Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 17 instances in London-Middlesex; lethal Tillsonburg Maple Manor outbreak over – London

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Two people have died, 17 have tested positive for the coronavirus and 37 others have recovered in London and Middlesex, local health officials said Tuesday.

The update brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 5,913, of which 3,946 people have recovered and 179 have died, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

The two deaths reported on Tuesday involved a man in his 60s who was not associated with a seniors’ facility, and a woman in her 80s who was linked to a long-term care home.

Few other details have been released.

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Since the start of the month, roughly 206 people have tested positive for the virus, while four people have died.

It’s a notable difference from a month ago when cases were surging in the region. In the first eight days of January, 872 cases were reported and at least 17 people died.

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Health unit figures show all but two of Tuesday’s new cases are from London. One case is from Middlesex Centre, while one is from Thames Centre.

The demographic makeup of those infected skews younger, with 70 per cent involving people under 40.

Two cases involve people aged 19 or younger, four are in their 20s, six are in their 30s, two are in their 40s, two are in their 60s and one is in their 70s. No cases involve people in their 50s or over the age of 80.

Six cases have pending exposure source information, while four are listed as being due to close contact, three to outbreaks and one to travel. Three cases have no known link.

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On Monday, the province announced that Ontario’s economy will gradually reopen this week, with three regions being allowed to move back into the colour-coded framework on Wednesday.

London-Middlesex is not among them. It and all other regions — excluding three hot spots in the GTA — are set to move into the framework on Feb. 16.

While unclear what colour tier the region will be placed in, orange or red is anticipated, according to London Mayor Ed Holder. More details are expected this week.

“Regardless of where we wind up, this is not back to normal,” Holder said during Monday’s media briefing.

He added that Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott were clear that the province wouldn’t hesitate to put lockdowns in place again if necessary.

The plan to move regions back into the framework will come with an “emergency brake” the government could use to quickly move a region into lockdown if it experiences a rapid increase in cases or if its health system becomes overwhelmed.






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Although cases have dropped since the province went into lockdown on Boxing Day, and since a state of emergency and stay-at-home order were issued, health officials have expressed concern of more contagious variants.

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So far London and Middlesex has recorded at least four cases involving the variant B.1.1.7, first detected in the U.K. That figure remained unchanged as of Tuesday, according to the most recent epidemiologic summary from Public Health Ontario.

No cases have been found yet in the region involving the variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.

Testing for those variants of concern is done by the province, Mackie said Monday. Testing is also being done for the variant B.1.1.248, which was first detected in Brazil.

“We don’t have yet universal testing for all COVID samples for the variants of concern, but that is the direction that the province is moving,” Mackie said.

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At least 5,100 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 241 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, at least 198 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 95 in Thames Centre, 50 in Lucan Biddulph, 36 in Southwest Middlesex, 30 in North Middlesex, 15 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.

At least 108 cases have pending location information.

The health unit says 646 of the region’s cases have involved health-care workers.

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People in their 20s make up roughly 23 per cent of the region’s overall case count. People under the age of 40 make up just over half of all cases.

Hospitalizations

The number of COVID-19 patients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre stands at 20 as of Tuesday, an decrease of two from the day before.

At the same time, the number of COVID-19 inpatients in critical or intensive care also decreased by two to six.

Active staff cases at LHSC number five, half the number from Monday.

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At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, no COVID-19 patients were listed as being in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The organization says four staff cases are active, including three tied to a since-resolved outbreak at Mount Hope.

One case is active involving a patient of Parkwood’s Mental Health Care Building.

At least 350 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 66 in intensive care, the health unit says.

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Institutional outbreaks

No new outbreaks have been declared, and one has been declared over.

The outbreak at Chelsey Park Retirement Community was located in the facility’s third and fifth floors, the health unit says.

Six institutional outbreaks remain active in the region at long-term care and retirement homes, declared on:

Active outbreaks (as of Feb. 8) at seniors’ facilities, as declared on:

  • Feb. 3 at Westmount Gardens (Lily and Daisy units)
  • Jan. 30 at Henley Place LTC Residence (Victoria unit)
  • Jan. 27 at Kensington Village Retirement (5th, 6th and 7th Avenue)
  • Jan. 2 at Chelsey Park (long-term care – facility-wide)
  • Dec. 26 at Extendicare (facility-wide)
  • Dec. 23 at Middlesex Terrace (facility-wide)

The region has seen at least 97 institutional outbreaks since the pandemic began. At least 71 have been at local seniors’ facilities.

An outbreak also remains active at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, linked to at least 22 inmate and 21 staff cases.

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Five inmate cases remained active at the jail as of Monday, provincial data shows. Similar information for staff was not immediately available.

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Schools

Three new school cases were reported late Monday by the Thames Valley District School Board.

The cases are located at Caradoc North Public School, Clara Brenton Public School and Westminster Secondary School.

They’re among at least six cases that are active in the region, according to the health unit.

One case each is also active at Kensal Park French Immersion Public School, Sir Isaac Brock Public School and St. Mary Choir and Orchestra Catholic School.

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Two cases are currently active at child-care centres in London and Middlesex.

One case is located at Grand Avenue Child Care Centre, while one is located at London Bridge: Springbank Early Childhood Learning Centre.

In all, the health unit says at least 191 cases have been reported at local schools and child-care centres during the pandemic.

Elementary schools and high schools in the region returned to in-person learning last week. As of Monday, students in 13 other public health units, including Hamilton and Windsor, will return to physical classrooms.

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The province has said it’s mulling cancelling March break in a bid to reign in COVID-19 infections.

NDP Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath has called for March break to go ahead as planned, saying it’s important for the mental and emotional health of parents, educators and students.

Vaccinations and testing

Health officials provided an update on the local vaccination campaign during a media briefing on Monday.

As of end of day Monday, MLHU teams are about halfway to getting second doses to all long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents, Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said during the briefing.

He added that the campaign’s success in getting doses to the seniors’ facilities was “no doubt” partially responsible for the downtrend in deaths the region has seen.

Monday also saw the reopening of the region’s only mass vaccination clinic, located at the Western Fair District, following a two-week shutdown prompted by supply issues with the Pfizer vaccine.

A second vaccination clinic is set to open in the coming weeks in Mount Brydges at the Caradoc Community Centre.

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Health officials are planning to open a total of four such clinics to vaccinate up to 3,000 people per day, though details on the remaining two clinics have yet to be announced.

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Work is ongoing to retrofit the Caradoc Community Centre, including through the establishment of storage, security, refrigeration installation and other measures, Mackie said Monday.

“That is all happening over the next week or two so we can be prepared if and when we have adequate vaccine supplies to use that site,” Mackie said.

“There’s also the issue of staffing up. It’s a new site. It will be ideally a high-volume flowthrough site. So bringing on vaccinators, supervisors, managers, etc., to make sure that the complex logistics of that campaign are as smooth as possible at the site.”

It’s unclear when the health unit will be able to start initial vaccinations on new groups of people, but Mackie said updated guidance on that matter was expected soon from the province.

“We have been indicated that we will continue to receive doses each week over the next few weeks. We’re hopeful that the doses that we receive will be even higher than the past, which would allow us to accelerate into the level of providing new first doses to new individuals.”


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As of the week of Jan. 24, the region’s test positivity rate was 2.2 per cent, numbers released last week show. It’s a decline from 2.6 the week prior.

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Updated numbers are expected on Wednesday.

Both of the city’s COVID-19 assessment centres continue to operate on an appointment model and continue to see steady, albeit lower, turnout compared to a month ago, when cases were peaking in the region.

The Carling Heights centre saw an average of 302 visits per day between Monday and Friday of last week, slightly higher than the 289 seen the week before.

At Oakridge Arena, which isn’t open on weekends, roughly 268 visits were recorded between last Monday and Friday, close to the 264 seen a week earlier.

Between Jan. 3 and 8, Carling Heights saw an average of 513 visits per day, while Oakridge saw 334.

Ontario is reporting 1,022 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and 17 more deaths linked to the virus.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 343 new cases in Toronto, 250 in Peel Region and 128 in York Region.

Elliott also says nearly 30,800 tests were completed since Monday’s update.

Ontario is reporting that 12,462 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily report.

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A total of 398,633 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.

Ontario reports that 1,388 more cases have been resolved since Monday’s update.

There have been 280,494 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in Ontario since the pandemic, 259,991 of which have been resolved.

A total of 6,555 Ontarians have died from the novel coronavirus.

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Two people have died and two have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health reported on Tuesday.

The region’s pandemic case tally now stands at 2,391 of which 2,209 people have recovered, an increase of 17 from the day before.

At least 65 people have died during the pandemic, including at least eight since the start of February.

Health officials said the two deaths reported on Tuesday involved a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s, both from Oxford County. The woman was linked to the outbreak at Caressant Care Retirement Home.

At least 117 cases are considered active by the health unit. Of those, 72, or about 61 per cent, are in Woodstock, while 19 are in St. Thomas and 11 are in Ingersoll. Nine other municipalities have four or fewer active cases.

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The region’s oldest and deadliest institutional outbreak has been declared over, the health unit said.

In the near two months it was active, the outbreak at Maple Manor Nursing Home, declared on Dec. 12, resulted in a vast majority of residents at the 107-bed facility testing positive for the coronavirus.

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In all, at least 20 of the 85 residents who contracted the virus later died, while 52 staff members also became infected.

Provincial data shows the highest number of active resident infections at one time occurred on Jan. 8 with 68, while the highest number of active staff infections was between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 with 21.

At least 10 deaths were recorded at the facility between Jan. 6 and Jan. 17, the data shows.

Five outbreaks remain active, declared on:

  • Feb. 2 at Trillium Retirement Home in Norwich (one resident case, one death)
  • Jan. 28 at Extendicare in Port Stanley (one staff case)
  • Jan. 24 at Arches Transitional Bed Program in Woodstock (one staff case)
  • Jan. 21 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock (51 resident, 18 staff cases, two deaths; one death more than the day before)
  • Dec. 16 at PeopleCare Tavistock (47 resident, 38 staff cases, 10 deaths)

Meantime, no new school cases have been reported in the region.

Two cases remain active, both under the Thames Valley District School Board. One is located at Central Public School in Woodstock, while one is located at Hickson Central Public School.

Elementary schools within Southwestern Public Health were allowed to return to in-person learning on Monday, and high schools on Thursday.

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The health unit says a total of 457 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 415 have been in St. Thomas, 359 in Aylmer and 320 in Tillsonburg.

Elsewhere, 200 cases have been in Norwich, 161 in Bayham, 108 in Ingersoll, 101 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 54 in Zorra, 49 in Blandford-Blenheim, 46 in South-West Oxford, 44 in Central Elgin, 25 in Southwold, 22 in Dutton/Dunwich, 21 in West Elgin and eight in Malahide.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.4 per cent as of the week of Jan. 24, health unit figures released Wednesday show. New numbers are expected this week.

Two people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while 39 others have been listed as recovered, Huron Perth Public Health reported.

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The update brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 1,267, unchanged from the day before. The health unit says two previously confirmed cases were reassigned to a different health unit.

At least 1,182 people have recovered and 46 have died. The most recent death was reported on Monday.

One case was reported in Huron East while one was reported in Stratford, the health unit said.

As of Tuesday, 39 cases were considered active in the region, with one in hospital.

Sixteen active cases are in Huron East, while six are in North Perth. Eight other municipalities, including Goderich, St. Marys and Stratford, have active case numbers of between one and three.


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No new outbreaks have been declared and none have been declared over.

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Seven outbreaks remain active in Huron and Perth, with four at long-term care homes, two at retirement homes and one at a hospital.

The long-term care and retirement home outbreaks were declared on:

  • Feb. 3 at Hillside Manor in Perth East (one resident, one staff case)
  • Jan. 31 at Seaforth Manor Retirement Home in Huron East (nine resident cases; one more than the day before)
  • Jan. 30 at Fordwich Village in Howick (one staff case)
  • Jan. 17 at Seaforth Manor Nursing Home in Huron East (43 resident, 19 staff cases, at least five deaths)
  • Jan. 10 at Caressant Care Nursing Home in North Perth (43 resident, 27 staff cases, 13 deaths)
  • Jan. 7 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in North Perth (30 resident, 12 staff cases, at least one death)

One outbreak is also still active at St. Marys Memorial Hospital, declared on Jan. 31. It’s been linked to at least three patient and four staff cases, unchanged from the day before.

There has also been no change to the number of active school cases in the region. Three cases remain active, all involving the Avon-Maitland District School Board.

One case is located at Elma Township Public School, while two are located at Listowel District Secondary School.

No cases are listed as active under the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board. The board hasn’t reported a new case since early December.

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The health unit says at least 531 cases have been reported in Perth County during the pandemic, including 339 in North Perth 133 in Perth East, 31 in Perth South and 28 in West Perth.

Elsewhere, 417 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 94 in South Huron, 90 in Huron East, 50 in Central Huron, 42 in Morris Turnberry, 38 in North Huron, 34 in Howick, 32 in Bluewater, 21 in ACW and 16 in Goderich.

At least 289 cases have been reported in Stratford and 30 in St. Marys.

The region’s test positivity rate fell to 1.6 per cent the week of Jan. 24 from 3.3 per cent a week earlier. Updated figures are expected Wednesday.

Two people have died, one person has tested positive for the virus and another three have recovered.

The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 1,878, of which 1,791 people have recovered and 44 have died.

Information about the two reported deaths was not immediately available.

There are 43 active cases in the county. At least three people were in the care of Bluewater Health as of Tuesday, a decline of one from the day before.

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An outbreak at Bluewater Health has been declared over, the health unit says.

The outbreak, declared on Jan. 22 at the Sarnia hospital, had been tied to four positive cases involving patients and six involving staff members. Two deaths had also been reported.

At least eight outbreaks are active in the region, including five at seniors’ facilities, two at unnamed workplaces and one at Sarnia’s jail.

The outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes were declared on:

  • Feb. 7 at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia (one staff case)
  • Jan. 28 at Lambton Meadowview Villa in Petrolia (one staff case)
  • Jan. 13 at Vision Rest Home (32 resident, 16 staff cases, three deaths)
  • Jan. 8 at Twin Lakes Terrace (LTC) in Sarnia (18 resident, six staff cases, one death)
  • Dec. 30 at Village on the St. Clair in Sarnia (28 resident, 15 staff cases, five deaths)

At least 367 of the region’s cases and 27 of its deaths have been linked to outbreaks.


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One case has been reported at a local school. The case was reported at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest by the Lambton-Kent District School Board.

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It’s the only active case involving a Lambton school. No active cases were listed by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

Schools in the county are returning to in-person learning this week.

The region’s test positivity rate sat at 1.5 per cent as of the week of Jan. 24, down from 2.3 the week before. Updated figures are expected this week.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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