5 new coronavirus cases, 3 recoveries in London-Middlesex

Five people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex while three others have recovered, local health officials reported Monday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 558, an increase of only three from Sunday’s tally.

Health officials said the discrepancy comes after two cases from Friday were retested over the weekend and found to be negative.

Of the region’s cases, 416 have recovered while 56 have died.

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None of the five cases reported Monday are associated with long-term care or retirement homes, according to health unit figures.

Health officials reported six new cases and five recoveries on Saturday, and no cases and five recoveries on Sunday.

Only one of Saturday’s cases was linked to a long-term care or retirement home, meaning that of the 19 confirmed cases that have been reported in London and Middlesex since last Monday, only one has been associated with seniors’ facilities.

Overall, at least 521 of the region’s cases have been reported in London while 20 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc and seven cases have been reported in Middlesex Centre.

Four cases each have been reported in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one each has been reported in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

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Amid continued community spread of the virus, health unit officials are advising the thousands of attendees of Saturday’s Black Lives Matter rally in downtown London to stay at home as much as possible, monitor for coronavirus symptoms for 14 days and get tested if symptoms develop.

Nearly 350 people visited the assessment centre at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday. The location is the only one open on weekends.

Combined, the centres, including the one at Oakridge Arena, have seen some 19,000 clients and have swabbed more than 13,000 people since they opened.

The health unit continues to post wait times at the two assessment centres on its Twitter page.

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The number of active outbreaks fell by one over the weekend after health officials reported Sunday that an outbreak at Sisters of St. Joseph had ended.

At least 25 cases had been reported at the facility involving 13 residents and 12 staff members, health unit data shows. Of those, three residents and one staff member later died.

Only two active outbreaks remain in the region — one at Chelsey Park Retirement Community and another at Kensington Village.

Twenty-four outbreaks have been declared in London and Middlesex during the pandemic. At least 19 of them have been at long-term care and retirement homes.

At least 102 people have tested positive at long-term care homes, including 60 residents and 42 staff, while at retirement homes, 67 people have tested positive, including 44 residents and 23 staff.

At least 24 deaths have been reported at long-term care homes and 12 at retirement homes — about 64 per cent of the region’s deaths.

At least 461 outbreaks have been reported at seniors’ homes across the province since mid-January, according to Public Health Ontario. Of those, at least 119 remained active as of Sunday.

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Eight people remained hospitalized in the city as of midnight Friday, according to the most recent update from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The tally includes both University and Victoria hospitals.

No patients are being treated at St. Joseph’s Hospital, according to that organization’s most recent update from last week. The only case in its system is located at the main building of Parkwood Institute.

Hospitalizations account for about 19 per cent of all cases in London and Middlesex. Of those, 5.3 per cent have had to be admitted to intensive care.

A vast majority of hospitalized cases, nearly 90 per cent, involve patients over 50, according to health unit figures.

At least 42 staff members with LHSC have tested positive for the virus during the pandemic. LHSC said last week that it would stop releasing an updated figure unless the tally rose by five or more.

At least 18 staff members with St. Joseph’s Health Care have tested positive. It’s not clear how many cases remain active.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 243 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 24 more deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 30,860 cases — an increase of 0.8 per cent over the previous day, which is the lowest growth rate since early March.

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The total includes 2,450 deaths and 24,492 cases that have been resolved — 240 more than the previous day.

Ontario is reporting another drop in the number of people in hospital — from 635 to 603 — a trend over the past several days.

The number of people on ventilators also dropped from 92 to 81, though the number of people in intensive care rose slightly.

The province reported completing 15,357 tests in the previous day — well short of its goal of doing 20,000 per day, though weekends often see fewer tests.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that most regions outside of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) will be allowed to see more businesses and activities open on Friday, including restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools.

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Middlesex-London is among the regions allowed to move to Stage 2, along with Elgin, Huron, Oxford and Perth counties. Sarnia and Lambton will remain in Stage 1.

The province is taking a regional approach to the second stage of its economic reopening, leaving current restrictions in place for places such as the Toronto area, which has a high concentration of the province’s COVID-19 cases.

But provincewide on Friday — including in the GTHA — the maximum size of social gatherings will be increased from five to 10, though the government says people must still stay two metres away from anyone outside their own household.

Ontario entered its first stage of reopening on May 19.

Elgin and Oxford

No new cases, recoveries or deaths were reported by officials with Southwestern Public Health on Monday.

The total number of cases remains unchanged at 75, of which 68 have recovered and four have died.

No new cases have been reported since June 2, and no deaths have been reported since late April.

Health officials reported two recoveries over the weekend.

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Of the three active cases in the region, two are in St. Thomas and one is in Tillsonburg.

One outbreak remains active in the region at Secord Trails, a long-term care home in Ingersoll. At least eight staff have tested positive during the outbreak, which began May 18.

According to health unit data, no new COVID-19-related hospitalizations have been reported since April 28, and no COVID-19 patients have been in the hospital since the start of May.

The number of tests conducted by the health unit stood at 5,953 as of Monday, with 576 tests awaiting results.

The test per cent positivity rate for Elgin and Oxford stands at 1.4 per cent, down from 1.5 on Friday.

Huron and Perth

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported on Monday by officials with Huron Perth Public Health.

The total number of cases in the region remains at 55, of which 46 have recovered and five have died.

No new deaths have been reported in the region since April 29.

Health officials reported one new case over the weekend in Huron County in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh.

Four cases remain active in the region, including two in St. Marys, one in Stratford and the newest case in Huron County.

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The number of active outbreaks remains at zero. Seven in total have been declared.

Health officials say 26 cases have been reported in Stratford, along with four deaths.

The deaths are linked to a previous outbreak at Greenwood Court that saw six residents and 10 staff test positive.

Elsewhere, 13 cases have been reported in Huron County while 11 have been in Perth County.

Four cases have been reported in St. Marys, including the region’s first two cases. One later died.

The health unit said 3,944 tests had been administered in Huron and Perth as of Monday. Of those, 88 were awaiting test results.

Sarnia and Lambton

Two people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three others have recovered, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Sunday night.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 270, of which 226 have recovered and 25 have died.

Both new cases are linked to an active outbreak at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia and involve staff members at the facility, health officials said. The outbreak is the only one currently active in the county.

At least 26 residents and 27 staff members at the home have tested positive for the virus since an outbreak was declared on April 23. Ten residents have since died.

Health officials reported one death and one case in the county over the weekend. The death involved a resident of the facility.

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According to LPH figures, 40 per cent of cases are outbreak-related.

Of those, nearly all have been tied to just two Sarnia facilities: Vision Nursing Home and Landmark Village, where an outbreak from March 26 to May 6 saw 30 residents and 10 staff test positive and six residents die.

Bluewater Health, which has taken in positive resident cases from Vision Nursing Home, reported it was treating 11 COVID-19 patients on Monday, in addition to 21 who were suspected positive or awaiting tests.

As of late Sunday, LPH said 8,177 test results had been received by health officials. It’s not clear how many cases are still pending.

The county’s per cent positivity rate stands at 3.3 per cent.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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

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