Three people have tested positive, five have recovered, and a new outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in London, local health officials reported on Friday.
It brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 603, of which 470 have recovered and 57 have died — a tally that has not changed since late last week, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).
Two of the new cases were reported in London, while one was reported in Strathroy-Caradoc. None are associated with long-term care or retirement homes.
Overall, London has seen 562 reported cases, while Strathroy-Caradoc has seen 21. Elsewhere, nine have been reported in Middlesex Centre, five in North Middlesex, four in Thames Centre and one each in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.
Health unit officials reported five new cases and three recoveries on Thursday, five new cases and two recoveries on Wednesday, five new cases and 8 recoveries on Tuesday, and 6 new cases and 12 recoveries on Monday.
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The outbreak, declared Thursday at Westmount Gardens, came the same day three cases involving staff members were reported at the facility, according to health unit data.
It’s now among three outbreaks that are currently active in London and Middlesex.
Outbreaks remain at Kensington Village, declared April 3, and at Peoplecare Oak Crossing, declared this past Tuesday in its Norway Spruce area. The outbreak at Peoplecare is the second at the facility, following one that was active May 3 to May 18 after two staff members contracted the virus.
The most recent outbreak to be resolved was on Wednesday at Chelsey Park Retirement Community, which saw at least one resident case.
Provincially, 498 outbreaks have been reported across Ontario at long-term care and retirement homes, of which 100 remain active, according to Public Health Ontario.
Seniors’ facilities account for 21 of the at least 26 outbreaks that have been declared locally since the start of the pandemic, along with 176 of its cases — 106 residents and 70 staff — and 37 of its deaths.
New case rates have fallen at long-term care and retirement homes over the last several weeks, with most new cases being linked to community transmission.
Only seven of the at least 64 cases that have been reported in the region since June 1 have been linked to the facilities. Six of the long-term care home cases were reported this week, with three tied to the outbreak at Westmount Gardens.
With the number of community cases remaining steady, the health unit earlier this week updated its language surrounding masks, saying it now strongly recommends people wear them when going out to public spaces.
It stopped short of mandating face coverings, but the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, noted the option, while not being imminently considered, isn’t entirely off the table if need be.
As more of the province opens up, more Londoners have been taking it upon themselves to get checked out at the city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres.
Health unit figures show the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre saw its highest single-day turnout so far on Thursday with 409 people. At Oakridge Arena, 319 people were assessed — down from a peak of 373 seen at the start of the week.
Overall, the two facilities have seen more than 24,000 people, and have swabbed nearly 19,000 as of Thursday.
The number of hospitalized patients remains under five, according to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). The organization announced earlier this month it would only issue an updated tally if it was five or more.
About 19 per cent of the region’s cases — 111 — have involved hospitalizations, with 5 per cent needing intensive care.
Of those hospitalized, 36 have died.
People over 50 make up nearly 90 per cent of the region’s hospitalized cases, and account for all but one of the region’s deaths — the other involves a person in their 40s.
A quarter of hospitalized cases are linked to outbreaks at seniors’ homes, health unit data shows.
At least 19 staff within St. Joseph’s Health Care London have tested positive for the coronavirus, including one added this week.
It’s unclear how many LHSC have tested positive, as the organization has stopped releasing that number unless staff cases rise by five or more.
Health-care workers account for about 23 per cent of cases in London and Middlesex — 141 — and two of its deaths, according to the health unit.
Provincially, 89 outbreaks have been reported in hospitals, four of which remain active.
Health-care workers account for 2,142 of the province’s cases, and six of its deaths.
Provincially, Ontario reported 178 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and 11 more deaths.
That brings the province to a total of 33,095 cases, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the previous day.
It includes 2,564 deaths and 28,250 resolved cases — 246 more than the previous day.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dropped from 351 to 331, and while the number of people in intensive care also fell, the number of people on ventilators rose from 60 to 65.
About 60 per cent of the day’s new cases come from the only three regions not yet in Stage 2 of reopening: 56 in Toronto, 33 in Peel and 17 in Windsor-Essex.
More remaining regions of Ontario are moving into the second stage of the province’s reopening plan today, including parts of the Greater Toronto Area.
The second stage of reopening includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools.
Elgin and Oxford
One person has recovered from the novel coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health reported Friday.
The total number of cases remains unchanged at 82, of which now 71 have recovered. Four people have died, a tally that has not changed in nearly two months.
Health officials reported no new cases, deaths or recoveries on Thursday, one new case each on Wednesday and Tuesday, and no cases on Monday.
Friday’s recovered case involved a person in St. Thomas, where one other case still remains active, health unit figures show.
Elsewhere in Elgin County, one active case is in Dutton/Dunwich, while in Oxford County, three cases are in East Zorra-Tavistock, and one each is in Tillsonburg and Woodstock.
None of the active cases have been hospitalized.
The total number of outbreaks declared remains unchanged at three. All have since resolved with no deaths reported.
As of Friday, 7,499 tests had been conducted in Elgin and Oxford counties, with 642 people still awaiting test results.
The per cent of tests that come back positive remains at 1.2 per cent as of Friday.
Huron and Perth
No new cases, deaths, or recoveries were reported by health officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH).
The number of cases confirmed in the region remains at 57, of which 49 people have recovered and five have died.
No new cases deaths or recoveries were reported on Thursday, and one new case and recovery were reported Wednesday. No update was given on Tuesday, and Monday saw no new cases, deaths or recoveries.
Three cases remain active in the region, including two in Perth County and one in Huron County.
Stratford has seen 26 cases and four deaths reported, while in Huron and Perth counties, 14 cases and 13 cases have been reported, respectively.
Four cases and one death have been reported in St. Marys, according to the health unit.
The four deaths in Stratford were linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court, a long-term care facility that saw six residents and 10 staff members test positive. It was declared over last month.
Seven outbreaks have been declared in total. All have resolved.
The number of tests conducted in the region is not known as the health unit has stopped providing a figure.
The health unit says it will also stop updating case figures on weekends to focus resources on existing HPPH programs given the low number of new cases.
Sarnia and Lambton
Two people have tested positive, one person has recovered, and a severe outbreak at a Sarnia nursing home has been declared over, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Thursday.
At the same time, health officials also said a new outbreak had been declared at a different Sarnia facility, with one of the two new cases linked to it.
The news comes as Lambton County, along with several other regions, moves into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening framework.
The total number of confirmed cases in the region now stands at 281, of which 240 have recovered and 25 have died.
Officials announced one new case and one recovery late Wednesday, two new cases and three recoveries late Tuesday, and no cases late Monday.
After nearly two months, the outbreak at Vision Nursing Home has been declared over as of Thursday by health unit officials.
Declared April 23, the outbreak was the most severe in the county, with 26 residents — 10 of whom later died — and 28 staff testing positive.
Several positive cases from the facility were taken in by Bluewater Health hospital to curb the outbreak. The last resident, also the last COVID-19 patient at the hospital, was discharged Monday morning.
However, as health officials marked one outbreak resolved, another was declared in the city at a different long-term care home.
LPH says one staff member at Afton Park Place has tested positive for the coronavirus. Few other details are known.
The outbreak at Afton Park Place is among nine that have been declared in Lambton, and one of two outbreaks that remain active.
The other, at Bluewater Health, was declared June 17 after three staff members who worked in the hospital’s since-closed COVID-19 unit tested positive.
In total, at least 18 staff at the hospital have contracted the virus during the pandemic.
Due to changes early this month in provincial outbreak criteria, the outbreak Wednesday was the first to be declared at the hospital despite the previous cases.
According to the health unit, 40 per cent of the county’s cases are associated with health facility outbreaks, followed by 35 per cent through close contact.
The percentage of tests that come back positive stands at 2.7 per cent, down from 2.8 late Wednesday.
At least 10,240 test results had been received by the health unit as of late Thursday.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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