Coronavirus: London-Middlesex reports 2 cases; Elgin-Oxford sees largest single-day spike

Two people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Wednesday.

The total case tally for the region now stands at 669, of which 585 have recovered — a figure unchanged from the day before. Fifty-seven people have also died during the pandemic, with the most recent death having been reported on June 12.

There are at least 27 known active cases in London-Middlesex, according to the health unit.

The two new cases are both from London, Ont., and involve two men, one in their 30s the other in their 40s. Neither is listed as a health-care worker, and neither is linked to a seniors’ facility.

Health unit data shows one case acquired the virus through travel, while the other is currently listed as having no known link.

At least 619 cases have been reported in London during the pandemic. Elsewhere, 24 cases have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 12 in Middlesex Centre, six each in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one each in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

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The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 3.0 per day as of Wednesday. Looking back 14 days to July 14, the average is 2.14.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.1 per cent as of the week of July 12, the most recent data available. That figure is the same as it was the two weeks prior.

London and Middlesex has seen 131.8 cases per 100,000 people as of Wednesday, while Ontario has seen 261.8 cases per 100,000.

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At least 27 outbreaks have been declared during the pandemic. One is currently active at Victoria Hospital in its child and adolescent mental health unit (B8-200).

The outbreak was declared on Friday after the health unit reported a staff member at the hospital had tested positive.

Of the outbreaks, at least 21 have been at long-term care and retirement homes, which account for at least 184 cases and 37 deaths in London-Middlesex.

According to health unit figures, outbreaks are linked to 37 per cent of all cases, including nearly 85 per cent of all cases involving people 80 and above.

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The health unit says people in their 20s make up 21 per cent of cases (141), while people 80 and above make up 16 per cent of cases (107), and people in their 50s 15.4 per cent (103).

For people in their 20s, 39 per cent of cases are due to contact with a confirmed case, while 32 have no known link.

For people in their 50s, 39.8 per cent have no known link, while 33 per cent are associated with outbreaks.

According to the health unit, women make up nearly 60 per cent of all cases. Thirty-three per cent are listed as being health-care workers. Just under nine per cent of cases involving men are health-care workers.

At least 155 cases are listed as involving health-care workers. Of those, 131 are women.

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The number of COVID-19 inpatients at London Health Sciences Centre remains stable at five or fewer — the hospital isn’t issuing a tally unless it rises above that number.

No COVID-19 patients were in the care of St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

At least 113 people have had to be hospitalized for COVID-19, including 31 who needed to be admitted to intensive care.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported just 76 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the lowest day-over-day increase in cases since late March.

The total number of cases now stands at 38,986, which includes 34,741 cases marked as resolved and 2,769 deaths.

The province reported one new death related to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

There were also 174 cases newly marked as resolved.

Read more: Ontario reports 76 new coronavirus cases, lowest single-day increase since March

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the number of people in hospital, in intensive care and on a ventilator all dropped.

She adds the province was able to complete more than 27,000 tests the previous day.

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The numbers come as the province announced that more businesses and public spaces in Toronto and nearby Peel Region will be able to reopen on Friday as those areas join most of Ontario in Stage 3 of the government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

But the province said the Windsor-Essex region, which has been grappling with outbreaks on farms, will remain in Stage 2 for the time being.

Elgin and Oxford

Eight people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and two have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Wednesday.

The spike is the largest single-day increase in cases the region has seen during the entire pandemic. Seven cases were reported on March 20 and six just this past Monday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 122, of which 84 have recovered. Five people have died during the pandemic, most recently in early July.

It’s the twelfth day in a row that the region has seen at least one new case reported, a marked change from the low coronavirus activity the region had seen the month prior.

At least 37 cases have been reported so far this month compared to the six reported through all of June.

Health officials announced two new cases on Tuesday, seven on Monday, five over the weekend, and four on Friday.

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Speaking with 980 CFPL’s Mike Stubbs on Tuesday, the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Joyce Lock, said the recent cases have been coming from a broad variety of sources.

“Some of them have been within families where some family member travelled outside of our area and then caught COVID-19 somewhere else and took it home to their family,” she said.

“Some of the cases have been in workplace-related places where someone brought it into the workplace and then some of the colleagues have gotten it as well, and some of them have been due to some other social activities that people have been engaging in.”

Lock stressed that COVID-19 was still in the community, and called on area residents to be on guard and continue playing a role in stopping the spread.

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The one best way to stop the spread is not to be in touch with other people, and we did that earlier on by locking everybody down and closing all our businesses. We don’t want to do that again.”

Lock has previously stated that a face mask mandate is on the way for Elgin and Oxford, and that the health unit is working through final steps with municipalities.

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The town of Aylmer accounts for nearly half of the region’s 33 known active cases with 15, up from nine on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, six active cases are in Bayham, five are in St. Thomas, four are in Tillsonburg, and one each are in Central Elgin and Norwich, the health unit says. The location of one case was not immediately available.

Aylmer is the second hardest-hit area in SWPH’s jurisdiction, with a case rate of 226.9 per 100,000 people, up from 146.8 on Tuesday. Dutton/Dunwich has a rate of 232.8 per 100,000.

The entire region’s case rate is 54.4 per 100,000, according to Public Health Ontario.

Overall, St. Thomas has seen 24 cases in total, while Aylmer and Woodstock have seen 17 each, and Tillsonburg 11.

Bayham and Dutton/Dunwich have each seen nine cases, East Zorra-Tavistock seven, and Blandford-Blenheim, Central Elgin, and Ingersoll five apiece.

Elsewhere, Malahide and Norwich have each seen three, while West Elgin and Zorra have seen two each, and South-West Oxford and Southwold one each.

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Hospitalizations remain low in the region. Only one person has had to be hospitalized so far this month and they have since been released.

SWPH has received 16,068 tests to date, with 366 pending results. At least 0.8 per cent of tests are coming back positive.

Huron and Perth

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported Wednesday by officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH).

The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 65, of which 58 people have recovered. Five have also died, most recently in late April.

Two known active cases remain — one in Huron County the other in Perth County.

Health officials reported no change on Tuesday, and reported two new cases on Monday and two cases and three recoveries on Friday.

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Overall, 26 cases and four deaths have been reported in Stratford, with the deaths linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court.

Elsewhere, 19 cases have been reported in Perth County and 15 in Huron County, while five cases, including one death, have been reported in St. Marys.

The region’s case rate stands at 47.2 per 100,000 people, the lowest in southwestern Ontario, according to Public Health Ontario.

Sarnia and Lambton

No new cases have been reported and one person has recovered, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Tuesday.

The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 299, of which 263 have recovered and 25 have died. There has been no change in the death toll since early June.

There are now 11 active cases in the county. At least six are in Sarnia, while the rest are in more rural areas.

Health officials reported four new cases late Monday and two new cases late Sunday.

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No patients are currently in hospital in Sarnia for COVID-19, according to Bluewater Health. The last COVID-19 patient was discharged June 14. There are 26 patients currently awaiting test results.

According to the health unit, at least 58 people have had to be hospitalized for the virus.

There are no active outbreaks in the region. At least nine have been declared, most recently on June 18 at Afton Park Place in Sarnia. The outbreak was resolved on July 2.

Two outbreaks, at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home, account for nearly all of the region’s 105 outbreak-related cases. All 16 outbreak-related deaths occurred at the two homes.

According to the health unit, at least 16,611 test results had been received as of late Tuesday. The region’s test positivity remains at 1.8 per cent.

The region’s case rate is 228.3 per 100,000 people, according to Public Health Ontario.

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— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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