No new coronavirus cases in London-Middlesex as Elgin-Oxford reports 12-case increase – London

No new coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday by officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).

The region’s total case count remains at 679. Three people were reported to have recovered, bringing that total to 591. The death toll has remained unchanged since June 12 at 57.

There are currently at least 31 known active cases of COVID-19 in London and Middlesex.

Health officials reported five cases over the holiday long weekend along with two recoveries. Five new cases were reported on Friday.

At least 627 cases have been reported in London, while 26 have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc and 12 in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, six cases each have been reported in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one in each of Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

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The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 1.71 as of Tuesday, down from 2.28 on Friday. Looking back 14 days to July 21, the average is 2.35.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.3 per cent as of the week of July 19, the most recent data available. That figure is up from the 0.1 per cent recorded the week prior.

London and Middlesex has seen 133.8 cases per 100,000 people as of Tuesday, while Ontario’s is 265.4 cases per 100,000.

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One outbreak remains active in the region at Victoria Hospital’s child and adolescent mental health unit (B8-200). The outbreak was declared July 24 after a staff member tested positive.

It’s among at least 27 outbreaks that have been reported in the region since the start of the pandemic. At least 21 have been at long-term care and retirement homes.

At least 185 of the region’s cases and 35 of its deaths are linked to the seniors’ home outbreaks.

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One of the cases reported over the weekend involved a staff member at a local long-term care home, however the case did not prompt an outbreak declaration at the home.

Seniors’ homes accounted for eight of at least 49 cases reported in the region since the start of July.

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People in their 20s remain the largest age group of cases with 143, or about 21 per cent of cases, followed by people 80 and above with 107, or about 15.7 per cent.

A vast majority of cases involving people over 80 are linked to outbreaks.

Women make up nearly 60 per cent of all cases in London and Middlesex, despite accounting for only 51.4 per cent of the region’s population as of 2016.

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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 as of Tuesday.

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


Provincially, Ontario reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and four deaths.

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The figures for Monday come after an increase of 88 cases on Sunday and no reported deaths.

In all, 2,782 people have died from the coronavirus in Ontario. A majority of deaths — 1,798 of them — have been in long-term care facilities.

Currently, 78 people are in hospital, 28 of them in intensive care.

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Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2 of the province’s COVID-19 reopening strategy for the time being.

While most of the province has moved to the looser restrictions of Stage 3, Windsor-Essex will stay in Stage 2 until further notice.

The province says the decision is based on the advice of health experts in light of outbreaks among farm workers.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott says the region will move to Stage 3 only when it’s safe to do so.

The province says it is monitoring local transmission of COVID-19 and will support efforts to contain its spread.

It says outbreaks, especially in agriculture and agri-food sectors, pose unique challenges.

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Elgin and Oxford

Twelve people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while three people have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Tuesday.

The update brings the region’s total case count to 178, of which 94 people have recovered. Five have also died, most recently in early July.

The new cases continue what’s been a major surge in the region over the last two weeks, a surge that continued through the long weekend.

Health officials reported 23 new cases over the long weekend — 15 on Saturday, six on Sunday and eight on Monday. Five recoveries were also reported.

The spike on Saturday now stands as the largest single-day increase in cases for Elgin and Oxford.

The region has recorded at least 95 new cases since the start of July. In comparison, June saw just nine cases, while April and May saw 43 and 15, respectively.

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There are at least 79 known active cases in the region, the health unit says.

More than half of those active cases, 42, are located in Aylmer, while 18 are in Bayham, nine are in Tillsonburg, six are in Norwich and three are in St. Thomas. The location of one case was not immediately available.

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Aylmer is currently the hardest-hit area within SWPH’s jurisdiction, with a case rate of 614 per 100,000. In comparison, the second hardest-hit area, Bayham, has a case rate of 297.5, while St. Thomas is at 66.8.

Health officials have largely refrained from detailing the reason for the surge in cases, speaking in broad terms that they have been coming from a variety of sources. They have also refrained from commenting on whether any of the cases are linked to members of the local Old Colony Mennonite community.

Neighbouring jurisdictions have reported an increase in cases involving members of the “Low German-speaking community.”

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As of Friday, a region-wide mask mandate is in effect by way of a letter of instruction to businesses in the region.

While the mandate came into effect last week, businesses have a one-week grace period to be prepared, meaning mask policies must be in place no later than midnight Aug. 6.

Two people were in critical care in the region as of Sunday, one in Tillsonburg and one in Woodstock, health unit figures show.

SWPH has received 17,577 tests to date, with 412 pending results. At least one per cent of tests are coming back positive.

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Huron and Perth

Two new cases have been reported, officials with Huron Perth Public Health reported on Tuesday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 74, of which 64 have recovered — one more than Monday. Five have also died. The death toll has not changed since late April.

Health officials reported four new cases on Monday. No update was released on Saturday and Sunday.

There are at least five known active cases in the region, all in Perth County, according to the health unit.

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The health unit says at least five of the cases that have been reported recently in the region are linked to Perth East and the area’s Low German-speaking communities.

“All cases in Perth East are self-isolating and contract tracing is being done with the support of the leadership of the local Low German speaking community,” the health unit said Saturday.

Such communities have been seeing an increase in cases across southwestern Ontario, including in Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex.

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The region’s lone active outbreak, and first active outbreak since early June, was declared over Friday at Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East, the health unit says. One staff member had tested positive.

Overall, 27 cases have been reported in Perth County, while 26 cases, including four deaths, have been reported in Stratford. Elsewhere, 16 cases have been reported in Huron County, while five cases, including one death, have been reported in St. Marys.

The Stratford death was linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court, a long-term care facility. The outbreak was declared over on May 11. Six residents and 10 staff members tested positive.

The region’s lone active outbreak, and first active outbreak since early June, was declared over Friday at Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East, the health unit says. One staff member had tested positive.

At least 11,833 people had been tested as of Tuesday, according to the health unit.

Sarnia and Lambton

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

The update brings the region’s total case count to 139, of which 270 people have recovered. Twenty-five have also died, most recently in early June.

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Health officials reported 16 new cases over the long weekend, 15 on Saturday alone.

The 15 cases, close contacts of cases confirmed last week, are “linked to a few of the same families, predominantly in a rural community, but with connections to family members in urban communities,” the health unit said.

Investigation is continuing, and the health unit says it expects that new cases may result this week.

There are at least 24 known active cases in the region as of late Monday, of which at least eight are in Sarnia. At least 12 cases are listed as being in Alvinston, health unit data says.

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Despite the surge in cases, Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia says it still has no COVID-19 patients in its care, nearly two months after it discharged its last COVID-19 patient on June 14.

At least 14 patients were at the hospital awaiting tests on Monday, the hospital reported.

At least 58 people have had to be hospitalized during the pandemic due to the virus, most recently in late May.

Outbreaks remain flat as well, with the last outbreak declared on June 18 and resolved July 2. A total of nine outbreaks have been reported, to which 105 cases and 16 deaths have been linked.

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Nearly all of the cases, and all 16 deaths, are linked to the Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home outbreaks from the spring.

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Thirty-six per cent of the region’s cases are linked to outbreaks, while 39 per cent are due to close contact with a confirmed case. Twenty-three per cent have an unknown source of exposure.

By age, people 80 and above make up nearly a quarter of all cases. People in their 50s account for 16 per cent of cases, while people in their 20s make up 13 per cent of cases.

At least 17,700 test results had been received as of late Monday. The region’s test positivity remains at 1.8 per cent.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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

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