Coronavirus: 7 new cases, 1 new recovery, 1 new outbreak in London-Middlesex

Seven people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex, while one person has recovered, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Tuesday.

An outbreak has also been declared at a local retirement home.

The region’s total case count is 812, of which 685 people have recovered. Fifty-seven people have died, a tally unchanged since June 12.

There are at least 70 known active cases in the region as of Tuesday. At least 80 cases have been reported in London and Middlesex since the start of the month,

Of Tuesday’s cases, five were reported in London, while two are from Strathroy-Caradoc, according to the health unit.

One case involves a person under the age of 20, one person in their 20s, one is in their 30s, two are in their 50s, one is in their 70s and one is 80 or older. None are listed as health-care workers.

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At least one case in London and Middlesex has been linked to a school.

Late Monday afternoon, health officials and the region’s public school board announced they had learned of one case tied to H.B. Beal Secondary.

The case, the first in the region linked to a school, involves a student, according to the province. Further details were not provided.

In a statement, Mark Fisher, director of education for the Thames Valley District School Board, said health officials had indicated there was no evidence the case resulted from contact at the school, and said those identified as close contacts would be notified directly by the health unit.

“H.B. Beal will remain open and school buses will operate,” he said.

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A new outbreak was declared Monday at Ashwood Manor Retirement Home. The outbreak, which involves the whole facility, is one of two active institutional outbreaks.

The other, located on the fourth floor of Chelsey Park Retirement Community, was declared Sept. 9 and remained active as of Tuesday.

It’s not clear how many cases have been linked to each outbreak.

At least 29 institutional outbreaks have been declared, including 23 at seniors’ facilities, and have been tied to 193 cases involving residents and staff and 35 deaths.

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One case Tuesday involves a student from Fanshawe College — one of two that have been reported.

At least two cases involve students from Western University. The school has experienced a recent spike in cases among its student population.

At least 49 cases have been reported over the last week and a half involving students from the university.

At least two outbreaks declared by the health unit last week were associated with Western students.

One outbreak, declared in the wake of a large house party last weekend, has been linked to at least 17 cases, while another, “Western Student Outbreak Alpha,” has also left at least 17 people infected.

The latter outbreak, which the health unit detailed late last week, was declared on Sept. 13 and has been largely traced back to three households. A gathering at Lost Love Social House on Sept. 9 and gatherings at off-campus houses were seen as main infection points for the outbreak.

A third community outbreak was also declared at a northwest London Walmart after three staff members tested positive.

Health officials say the number of infections from the outbreaks is likely to stop growing soon, as most of those infected will have already begun to show symptoms and gotten tested.

Health officials have said “virtually all” of the spread among Western students has been driven by parties — either at bars or in private homes.

Over the weekend, downtown bars and restaurants were much emptier than previous weekends, and city bylaw officials said off-campus neighbourhoods were largely quiet.

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Lengthy wait times are expected for another day at the city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres and at Western’s on-campus testing trailer.

Wait times have run between two and four hours for more than a week at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena.

On Tuesday, wait times at Carling Heights stood at four hours as of 1 p.m. while Oakridge Arena was forced to close early after hitting capacity.

Both centres have also hit their maximum capacity on several days over the last week. On Monday, Oakridge Arena closed at 1:30 p.m. and Carling Heights 30 minutes later.

The facilities saw a total of 805 clients on Monday. Over the weekend, Carling Heights reported a total of nearly 800 visits over both days. It reached capacity by 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said Monday it was hoped that pending government announcements regarding Ontario’s plan to fight the virus this fall will see another assessment centre added in London or Middlesex to ease congestion.

Mackie added that the long game was making testing available to those asymptomatic and those who have not had close contact with a confirmed case. One way would be to do them in primary care clinics, family doctors’ offices or even pharmacies.

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At least 527 of the region’s cases have been reported in London, while 29 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc and 13 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 7.57 on Tuesday. Looking back to Sept. 7, the 14-day average is 5.28

People in their 20s account for 188 of the region’s cases, or about 23.2 per cent, followed by people in their 50s with 116 cases, or about 14 per cent. People in their 30s and people 80 and above each account for 13 per cent of cases, with 110 and 109, respectively.

It’s not clear how many, if any, cases in the region are currently hospitalized, as real-time data is not released by the health unit or the city’s largest hospital system.

A total of 115 have been hospitalized, including 32 who have needed intensive care.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 478 new cases on Tuesday along with three deaths. It’s the largest single-day jump in cases since early May.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there were 153 cases reported in Toronto, 95 in Peel Region and 90 in Ottawa.

She says 68 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

The province is also reporting 52 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 26 among students.

Those bring the total number of schools with a reported case to 116 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools.

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Ontario’s premier says encouraging residents to get the seasonal flu shot is the first part of the province’s plan to fight COVID-19 this fall.

Doug Ford says the province has spent $70 million to purchase 5.1 million doses of the flu vaccine.

He also notes that high-dose shots geared towards seniors will be available in pharmacies for the first time, adding the specialized shots will also be prioritized for long-term care facilities.

Ford says it’s essential for Ontario residents to get their flu shots this year to help preserve hospital capacity as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb.

Ford says today’s announcement marks the first step of Ontario’s pandemic fall preparedness plan, which will be rolled out over several days and contains six pillars.

Elgin and Oxford

One person has recovered from the novel coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Tuesday.

The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 263, of which now 249 people have recovered. Five people have died, most recently in early July.

The recovery reported involved a case in Bayham.

Health officials reported no change Monday, Sunday, Saturday or Friday.

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There are nine known active cases in the region, the health unit says. Eight are in Woodstock, while one is in Central Elgin.

Five active cases involve people in their 20s, one is in their 50s, two are in their 60s and one is in their 80s. Four contracted the virus through close contact with a positive case, two through travel and one through a workplace. Two are still under investigation.

Overall, people in their 50s account for the largest age group of cases with 51, followed by people in their 20s with 48 and people in their 40s with 38.

At least 82 of the region’s cases have been reported in Aylmer, followed by 38 in Bayham, 37 in St. Thomas, 30 in Woodstock, 25 in Tillsonburg and 10 in Dutton/Dunwich.

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Close contact has been linked to 106 cases, followed by 39 from workplaces, 25 through travel and 13 through social gatherings. Fifty-five are listed as having an unknown origin and 27 are listed as involving health-care workers.

Cough has been the most common symptom reported, tied to 44 per cent of cases, followed by fever (36 per cent), fatigue (33 per cent), headache (32 per cent), sore throat (27 per cent), nasal congestion (24 per cent) and shortness of breath (20 per cent.)

At least 17 per cent of cases have been asymptomatic, according to the health unit.

The health unit says its test per cent positivity rate for the week of Sept. 6, the most recent that data is available, was 0.1 per cent.

Huron and Perth

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

The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 127, of which 121 people have recovered and five have died.

There is one known active case in the region.

Health officials reported two recoveries on Monday. No update was released over the weekend.

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Of the region’s cases, at least 27 have been linked to people in their 20s, followed by people in their 50s with 23 and people in their 60s with 22.

At least 56 per cent of cases involve women and girls, health unit figures show.

At least 45 cases have been reported in Perth County, with North Perth and Perth East reporting 16 and 15 cases, respectively.

Forty-five cases have also been reported in Huron County, including 14 in Central Huron, 12 in Bluewater and 10 in South Huron.

Thirty-one cases have been reported in Stratford, along with four deaths that were linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court early in the pandemic.

In St. Marys, six cases and one death have been reported.

The health unit says at least 32,892 tests have been conducted by the health unit as of Sept. 6. That week saw 1,987 tests completed and a per cent positivity rate of 0.2 per cent.

Sarnia and Lambton

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Monday.

The new infection brings the region’s total case count to 344, of which 317 people have recovered and 25 have died. The death toll has remained unchanged since early June.

There are at least two known active cases in the region. The health unit has reported six cases so far this month.

Health officials reported no change late Sunday, one new case late Saturday and no change late Friday.

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The total number of outbreaks seen in the county during the pandemic remains unchanged at 10. In total, outbreaks are linked to 109 cases and 16 deaths, in large part due to outbreaks at Landmark Village from March to May and Vision Nursing Home from April to June.

The last outbreak to be reported was on Aug. 10 at an unspecified workplace where four people tested positive. It was declared over Aug. 15.

The total number of hospitalizations also remain unchanged at 58 since mid-June.

Health unit figures show close contact is tied to at least 135 cases, followed by outbreaks with 113 and travel with seven. Seventy-four cases have their exposure source listed as unknown. The exposure source for 15 cases was not immediately available.

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People 80 and up account for 76 cases, while people in their 50s make up 52 and people in their 20s 49. At least 196 cases, or 57 per cent, involve women and girls.

The health unit says at least 26,376 tests have been received as of late Sunday. At least 1.3 per cent of tests are coming back positive.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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

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