Six people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus while two have recovered, health officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported on Wednesday.
It brings the region’s total case count to 765, of which 680 have recovered. Fifty-seven people have also died, a tally that has remained the same since June 12.
There are at least 28 known active cases in the region, the health unit says. It’s not clear where the cases are located.
At least four of Wednesday’s cases were reported in London, while one was reported in Strathroy-Caradoc. Three involve people in their 20s, one is in their 50s, and one is in their 70s. One is listed as a health-care worker.
Three contracted the virus through an outbreak, while one contracted it through close contact. One case is listed as having a pending or undetermined exposure source.
The age, location and exposure source of one case was not immediately available.
Health officials reported three new cases on Tuesday, six on Wednesday, five on Sunday, and two on Saturday. Of those cases, at least 13 involved people in their 20s.
According to the health unit, four of Tuesday’s cases are linked to a community outbreak that was declared over the weekend after several Western students tested positive.
The community outbreak has been tied to at least 14 cases, 13 of them Western students.
Local health officials say one outbreak-related case has since been transferred to the jurisdiction of another health unit, leaving a total of nine under the purview of the MLHU.
According to the health unit, the student-dominated outbreak has been largely linked to packed downtown bars and restaurants, as well as interactions with other students in neighbouring off-campus housing units.
The health unit has refrained from naming establishments linked to the outbreak, except on Monday when the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, appeared to confirm that one involved Lost Love Social House.
It’s unclear if a case reported by the health unit on Friday involving a patron of El Furniture Warehouse was linked to the outbreak.
City assessment centres have been swamped since news of the outbreak emerged and as more students returned physically to school.
As was the case the previous several days, Londoners came out in large numbers Wednesday to the city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres, and to the testing trailer on the campus of Western University.
As of 3 p.m., wait times at each facility were similar to that seen on Monday and Tuesday at about two hours each.
On Tuesday, both centres were forced to close by mid-afternoon after reaching their testing capacities for the first times during the pandemic.
As a result of the high turnout and lengthy wait times, the health unit on Wednesday announced that symptomatic patients would be prioritized, along with those requiring testing for medical procedures and close contacts of previously confirmed cases.
The Western testing trailer, which ran out of capacity on Monday within two hours of opening, had its capacity more than doubled on Tuesday to 500, and its hours extended.
While the capacity had increased, wait times still stretched into hours for students who arrived after the testing trailer’s scheduled opening of 11 a.m.
To prevent students from having to wait in line the entire time, tickets were dealt that guaranteed a test before the trailer closed for the day, allowing students to come back to the testing trailer once lines died down.
Health unit figures show people in their 20s make up the region’s largest age group of cases, accounting for 176, or 23 per cent of the region’s case total. People in their 50s make up 114 cases, while people in their 30s and those 80 and above make up 108 each.
That being said, the health unit says the case rate for those 80 and above stands at the equivalent of 465.1 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 230.9 for those in their 20s.
At least 708 of the region’s cases have been reported in London, while 27 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc and 12 in Middlesex Centre. Seven cases have been in Thames Centre, six in North Middlesex, four in Lucan Biddulph and one in Southwest Middlesex.
The region’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 3.42 on Wednesday, up from 3.0 the day before. Looking back 14 days to Sept. 1, the 14-day average is 2.21.
The region’s cases per 100,000 rate stands at 152.5 as of Wednesday, while Ontario’s stands at 305.3. Individually, London itself has a case rate of 174.9, while Strathroy-Caradoc’s is 119.3. Lucan Biddulph and North Middlesex have case rates of 85.0 and 83.7, respectively.
The health unit says an outbreak declared on Sept. 9 on the fourth floor of Chelsey Park Retirement Community remained active as of Wednesday. It’s not clear how many cases have been linked to the outbreak.
There have been at least 28 institutional outbreaks declared during the pandemic, including 22 at local seniors’ facilities. The facility outbreaks are tied to 193 of the region’s cases and 35 of its deaths.
Outbreaks, including those not involving seniors’ homes, are the largest transmission source, linked to 265 cases.
Hospitalizations remain low, if non existent, in London and Middlesex. The health unit and London Health Sciences Centre have not been releasing real-time hospitalization figures. LHSC has only said the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 is “five or less.”
A total of 115 people have had to be hospitalized, including 32 in intensive care.
Provincially, Ontario reported 315 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and two new deaths.
There were also 154 cases newly marked as resolved over the past 24 hours.
The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 45,383, which includes 2,822 deaths and 40,245 cases classified as resolved.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 25 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases.
She says Toronto is reporting 77 new cases, with 61 in Ottawa and 54 in Peel Region.
The province says it processed 28,761 tests over the previous 24 hours.
It is also reporting 12 new COVID-19 cases in schools _ six students, four staff, and two are unidentified.
Ontario will lower the limits on social gatherings in a bid to stem a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.
Premier Doug Ford’s office has confirmed the move but won’t say when the new health guidelines will be released.
The current limit on social gatherings is 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
Elgin and Oxford
Four people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Wednesday.
It brings the region’s total case count to 262, of which 248 have recovered. Five have also died, most recently in early July.
Health officials reported no change on Tuesday, two cases on Monday and one case on Saturday.
Health unit figures show three of the four new cases were reported in Woodstock, while one was reported in Central Elgin.
One of the cases involved someone in their 20s, one in their 50s, one in the 60s, and one in their 80s. Two are men and two are women.
There are currently nine known active cases in the region — seven in Woodstock, one in Bayham, and one in Central Elgin.
Four cases are in their 20s, two are in their 50s, two are in their 60s, and one is in their 80s. Six are men and three are women.
There is no exposure information yet for all but one case. That person became infected through a workplace.
Two cases in the region are in hospital, with one in intensive care, as of Wednesday, health unit figures show.
By municipality, Aylmer still has seen the largest number of cases with 82 — an incident rate equivalent to 1,094 cases per 100,000 people. Bayham has reported 38 cases and has a case rate of 513 per 100,000.
Elsewhere, St. Thomas has reported 37 (95.1 per 100,000), while Woodstock has seen 29 (70.9 per 100,000).
Total testing numbers weren’t immediately available, but the health unit says its test per cent positivity rate for the week of Sept. 6, the most recent that is available, was 0.1 per cent.
At least 2,691 people were tested that week, the health unit says.
Huron and Perth
No new cases, deaths, or recoveries were reported on Wednesday by officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH).
The total number of confirmed cases is unchanged at 127, of which 118 have recovered. Five people have also died.
Four known active cases remain in the region, the health unit says.
One case was reported on Tuesday in Stratford, and two cases were reported on Monday, one in Central Huron and one in Stratford.
People in their 20s make up the largest group of cases by age with 27, followed by people in their 50s with 23 and people in their 60s with 22.
By location, Perth County has reported 45 cases overall. Sixteen cases have been reported in North Perth, 15 in Perth East, eight in Perth South, and six in West Perth.
At least 45 cases have also been reported in Huron County, including 14 in Central Huron, 12 in Bluewater, and 10 in South Huron.
In Stratford, 31 cases have been reported along with four deaths that were all linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court, a long-term care home, that was declared over on May 11.
In St. Marys, six cases and one death — the region’s first COVID-19-linked death — have been reported.
The health unit says the region’s test positivity rate was 0.2 per cent as of the week of Sept. 6, the most recent statistics available. At least 1,987 people were tested that week.
Sarnia and Lambton
Two people have recovered from the novel coronavirus, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Tuesday.
The region’s total case count remains at 343, of which now 316 have recovered. Twenty-five people have also died, most recently in early June.
As of Wednesday, the health unit says there are at least two known active cases in the region. It’s not clear where the cases are located as the health unit does not release that information.
Health officials reported no change late Monday or late Sunday. One case was reported late Saturday.
There has been no change to the number of outbreaks declared in the region. At least 10 have been reported, including eight at local seniors’ facilities, one at Bluewater Health, and one at an unspecified workplace.
The outbreaks have been linked to 109 cases and 16 deaths, largely due to two outbreaks at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home that stretched from March to May and from April to June, respectively.
Hospitalizations have also remained the same for the last several months. Bluewater Health discharged its final COVID-19 patient in mid-June. A total of 58 hospitalizations have been reported.
The health unit says at least 25,103 tests have been received as of late Tuesday. At least 1.4 per cent of tests are coming back positive, a figure unchanged from the day before.
— With files from Andrew Graham and The Canadian Press
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