Coronavirus: 27 instances in London-Middlesex; outbreak declared at College Hospital – London

0
364

Jump to: Hospitalizations – Outbreaks – Schools – Vaccinations and Testing – Ontario – Elgin and Oxford – Huron and Perth – Sarnia and Lambton

Twenty-seven new coronavirus cases were reported Friday by officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

In addition, the number of cases in the region that have screened variant positive has risen by two, and an outbreak has been declared at University Hospital.

As of Friday, the region’s pandemic case tally stands at 6,395, of which 6,043 have resolved, an increase of 17 from the day before.

At least 185 deaths have been reported since the pandemic began, most recently on Monday.

The health unit says at least 167 cases are considered active in London-Middlesex as of Friday. The locations of the active locations have not been made public.

Story continues below advertisement

At least 214 cases and two deaths have been reported so far this month in London-Middlesex, which remains in the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.

Read more:
London-St. Thomas jobless rate for February at lowest level since March 2020

Of the 27 new cases, 23 are from London while two are from Middlesex Centre. Two cases are pending location data.

Infections are relatively spread out among the different age groups that the health unit monitors.

Five involve people 19 or younger, four each are in their 20s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, three are in their 30s, two are in their 70s, and one is 80 or older.

Exposure source data is pending for 18 cases, while five are due to close contact and two to outbreak. Two cases have no known link.

The health unit says two additional cases have been found to be screened variant positive cases, bringing the total number in London and Middlesex to 24. The figure is three more than Monday’s and double the number seen on Thursday of last week.

At least four of the cases have been confirmed to involve the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. The others remain under genomic sequencing, a process that can take up to two weeks from the time a sample screens positive for mutations that are common to variants of concern.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Rate of COVID-19 variant spread ‘very concerning’ as cases near 3,000

Variants of concern have been appearing more in local case numbers, with the percentage of variant cases increasing week-over-week, officials say.

Case numbers locally have been on the rise overall recently, raising concerns of a looming third wave. The case increases have been driven in part by variants, but also by residents engaging in close contact with too many people, the health unit has said.

During Thursday’s media briefing, Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said the average number of close contacts health officials have been recording has been six per person, enough to generate increased spread through the community.

“The things that are causing this third wave to kick into gear are really the same things that have been causing the COVID pandemic since the beginning … and that is close contacts indoors,” Mackie said.

“It’s so important as we look forward to St. Patrick’s Day next week, to Easter a few weeks after that, that people plan to have safe, small, outdoor gatherings … This third wave is just beginning and it will continue likely until May or June, as we saw the first wave tapering off last year.”






0:45Ontario seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in some areas, health official says


Previous Video

Next Video

Story continues below advertisement

Mackie’s calls for smaller outdoor gatherings came the same day officials declared a community outbreak after at least 22 people who had attended post-secondary gatherings last week at private homes tested positive for the virus.

At least 10 post-secondary student gatherings between March 2 and 6 have been tied to the outbreak.

“At this point, it looks like the vast majority are Western students, possibly all of them. We’re just confirming some of that,” Mackie said Thursday.

“We know that there were some fraternity, sorority sort-of organisations involved. We don’t have the details at this point in terms of exactly where all of these gatherings were and … the number of students involved (with each gathering).”

A statement from Western University implied that the 22 infected were all students, most of whom lived off campus. Three lived on-campus and have been put in self-isolation outside of residence, the statement said.

Mackie noted the outbreak did not involve variants and did not appear connected to an ongoing outbreak at Western’s Essex Hall residence since March 2.

During Thursday’s briefing, London Mayor Ed Holder threatened fines if that was what it took to “exact appropriate behaviours for the sake of our whole community.”

“We’ve been better than this and we are better than this,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s been a year, warnings are done. And I’m here to say that if people are not wearing masks well, are not following the public health guidelines, there will be fines.”

Read more:
Will coronavirus variants lead to a third wave? Doctor answers top COVID-19 questions

The region’s seven-day case average stood at 20.57 as of Friday, up from 19.28 Thursday. The 14-day average sits at 19.0.

At least 5,577 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 251 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 208 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 96 in Thames Centre, 55 in Lucan Biddulph, 39 in Southwest Middlesex, 33 in North Middlesex, 14 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.

At least 120 cases have pending location information.

Hospitalizations

The number of COVID-19 inpatients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre stood at seven as of Friday, an increase of one from the day before and two from Wednesday.

The number in critical or intensive care remained unchanged at fewer than five.

There were also fewer than five active staff cases within the organization, also unchanged from Thursday.

Story continues below advertisement

No patient or staff cases were reported as being active at any St. Joseph’s Health Care London facility. The organization has not issued an update on patient or staff cases since Monday night, and says it will once case numbers change.

At least 366 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 67 who have needed intensive care.


Click to play video 'Modelling shows nearly a quarter of a million backlogged surgical procedures in Ontario'



2:51Modelling shows nearly a quarter of a million backlogged surgical procedures in Ontario


Modelling shows nearly a quarter of a million backlogged surgical procedures in Ontario

Institutional outbreaks

Two new institutional outbreaks have been declared in the region, including one at University Hospital.

The outbreak is the first to be seen at the hospital in more than a month after an outbreak in the emergency department sickened at least 10 staff members between Jan. 15 and Feb. 4.

The latest outbreak, declared Friday, is linked to fewer than five patient cases and is located in U4 – Medicine, also known as 4IP General Medicine, the same unit that saw a significant outbreak from Nov. 10 to Dec. 29, 2020.

Story continues below advertisement

University Hospital had at least 13 outbreaks appear during that timeframe, of which at least five were directly connected to the initial outbreak in 4IP General Medicine. The 13 outbreaks were linked to at least 174 cases in total and 23 deaths.

To quell the severe outbreak, LHSC implemented stricter measures at University Hospital on Nov. 28, measures which remain in place today, according to LHSC.

“Any individuals with urgent medical concerns should not delay seeking immediate care. LHSC’s emergency departments at both University and Victoria Hospitals remain open and safe for care,” LHSC said in a statement.

Read more:
No scientific explanation linking AstraZeneca vaccine to blood clots, Sharma says

Elsewhere, the region’s other newly declared outbreak is located at Glendale Crossing in its Brighton area. It’s not clear how many cases are linked to the outbreak.

Including Friday’s two outbreaks, at least seven institutional outbreaks are active in the region.

Active institutional outbreaks (as of March 12), as declared on:

  • March 12 at University Hospital (4IP General Medicine)
  • March 11 at Glendale Crossing (Brighton)
  • March 6 at Fox Hollow Retirement Residence (2nd, 3rd, 4th floors)
  • March 5 at Meadow Park Care Centre (Pink Unit)
  • March 4 at Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Sydenham)
  • Feb. 28 at Richmond Woods (facility)
  • Feb. 24 at Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence (facility)

At least 109 institutional outbreaks have been declared in the region since the pandemic began last March, with at least 81 at seniors’ facilities.

Story continues below advertisement

Long-term care and retirement homes have been tied to 784 of all cases reported in London-Middlesex and 106 of its deaths.

Read more:
What we have learned about treating COVID-19 one year into the pandemic

An outbreak at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre remains active, however no inmate cases were reported at the facility as of Wednesday. No staff cases were active that day either, according to a provincial spokesperson.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The outbreak, declared Jan. 18, has been associated with at least 29 staff and 27 inmate cases.

Outbreaks remain active for two incubation periods after the last positive test result, or 28 days after the last new case, the health unit says.

Elsewhere, a non-institutional outbreak is active at Western University’s Essex Hall resident.

The aforementioned community outbreak is also considered active.

Schools

At least two new school cases were reported by the health unit Friday.

One case is located at A.B. Lucas Secondary School in London while the other is at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Middlesex Centre.

The cases are among 10 that are active in the region as of Friday, according to the health unit.

Story continues below advertisement

A full list of active cases can be found on the MLHU website.

Outbreaks remain active at three schools: Bonaventure Meadows Public School, Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School, and St. Mark Catholic School.

Bonaventure has one active case, as does Sir Arthur Carty. St. Mark Catholic has no active cases, according to the health unit.

Read more:
COVID-19 vaccine tracker: How many Canadians are vaccinated?

At least 237 school and child care centre cases have been reported during the pandemic in London-Middlesex, MLHU figures show.

One child care centre case is active in the region, located at Bonaventure Meadows Before and After School Program in London.

In the post-secondary world, an outbreak remains active at Western University’s Essex Hall residence.

Vaccinations and Testing

The region’s 50,000th vaccine dose is anticipated to be administered Friday, Dr. Chris Mackie said Thursday during a scheduled media briefing.

The health unit has been handing out vaccines at the Western Fair District Agriplex in London since late December and at Caradoc Community Centre since last month. Vaccines have been administered to eligible members of the community under Phase 1 of the province’s three-phase vaccination plan.

Trending Stories

  • Health Canada says AstraZeneca vaccine safe after countries suspend use

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s popularity plummets in U.K. post-Oprah interview

Story continues below advertisement

This week the health unit opened vaccinations to all remaining health-care workers defined as “very high priority” by the province, along with adults 16 and older who are chronic home care recipients.

Read more:
Canada expecting 1M Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses a week until early May

Among the the health-care workers now eligible are those working in correctional settings, dentistry, hospital-based outpatient clinics, contract nursing agencies, hospices and palliative care settings, pharmacies, shelters, and others.

With some health units in southern Ontario beginning to offer jabs to additional age groups, including in Chatham-Kent which is now offering them to people 75 and older, Mackie was asked Thursday when a similar move may be made here.

Mackie said it was anticipated that those 75 and older would be eligible for the vaccine soon, “certainly by the end of the month.” However, he stressed there were still many health-care workers that needed to be vaccinated, including those who just became eligible.

“Because we are a health-care community that serves most of southwestern Ontario, we have a large health-care population to get through,” he said.


Click to play video 'Canada to receive 1M Pfizer vaccine doses per week until early May'



0:48Canada to receive 1M Pfizer vaccine doses per week until early May


Previous Video

Next Video

Story continues below advertisement

The health unit hopes to enter Phase 2 of the province’s rollout in early April, Mackie said. He noted, however, that won’t mean everyone eligible under Phase 2 will be able to get a shot immediately.

“When you’re talking about Phase 2, you’re talking about many tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands (of people),” he said.

“That group starts to get so large that we’ll have to break it down to early, mid, late-Phase 2 and even more granular than that in many cases.”

Last week, the province unveiled an updated vaccination timeline showing Phase 2 being rolled out with shots administered based on risk factors including age, neighbourhood, existing health conditions and inability to work from home.

Mackie says the London-Middlesex region is “definitely in the very top” when it comes to total vaccinations administered per capita.

“It’s something I think we all should be proud of, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg, we have so much more work to do.”

Read more:
Second jab of COVID-19 vaccine should not be delayed for cancer patients: report

The region’s two main assessment centres, located at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, remain open and operating by appointment.

Story continues below advertisement

The Carling Heights site saw an average of 378 daily visits between March 1 and March 5, while Oakridge Arena recorded 322.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.1 per cent as of the week of Feb. 28, up from 0.7 the week before.

At least 8,819 people were tested the week of Feb. 28, down from 10,490 the week prior.

Ontario

Ontario is reporting 1,371 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 371 new cases in Toronto.

She says there are also 225 new cases in Peel Region, 111 in York Region and 109 in Hamilton.

Story continues below advertisement

The province also reports that 1,110 more cases of the novel coronavirus were resolved.

More than 64,600 tests were completed since Thursday’s update.

Ontario says that 43,503 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily report.

Read more:
Ontario reports 1,371 new coronavirus cases, 18 more deaths

A total of 1,062,910 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province so far.

A pilot project offering COVID-19 vaccines in pharmacies was expanding more broadly Friday.

Pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor and Kingston health units are offering Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to residents between the ages of 60 to 64.

Justin Bates of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association says interest in the pilot has been overwhelming.

Individual pharmacies are using their own booking systems and Bates says people should check online before calling due to high call volumes.

Story continues below advertisement

Elgin and Oxford

Sixteen new coronavirus cases have been reported and nine have resolved, officials with Southwestern Public Health reported.

Officials also reported late Friday afternoon that a variant of concern had been identified at a school in Woodstock that is currently experiencing an outbreak.

The update brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 2,606, of which 2,490 have resolved and 67 have died. The most recent death was reported on Feb. 20.

The health unit says 49 cases are considered active in the region as of Friday, with at least 19 in Aylmer, 13 in Woodstock, and four in Norwich Township.

The region is in the orange-restrict level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

Read more:
Variant of concern identified at St. Michael’s Catholic Elementary School following outbreak

Another screened variant positive case has been confirmed in Elgin and Oxford, identified at St. Michael’s Catholic Elementary School in Woodstock, officials said Friday.

The news comes less than a day after the London District Catholic School Board closed the school temporarily after two new cases were confirmed there, prompting an outbreak declaration. One case had already been active at the school.

Story continues below advertisement

Health unit officials say the variant case is unrelated to the outbreak, which has resulted in the school’s closure until at least March 24.

“Since the cases affect staff in multiple different classrooms throughout the school as part of their regular duties, the LDCSB has made the decision to temporarily close the school, effective immediately,” the board said of the outbreak declaration.

Elgin-Oxford has recorded at least nine cases that have screened variant positive as of Friday, with at least two confirmed to involve the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. Sequencing remains underway for the others.

Elsewhere, one school case is still active at Emily Stowe Public School in Norwich.

Read more:
CRA to lock out 800K taxpayers from online accounts Saturday

Meantime, no new outbreaks have been declared and none resolved.

Three remain active, located at Arches Transitional Bed Program in Woodstock (one staff case), Maples Retirement Home in Tavistock (one resident case), and Bethany Care Home in Norwich (one resident case).

The local vaccination effort continues to push on.

Health officials opened bookings Tuesday for eligible residents in SWPH’s jurisdiction which were quickly booked up to the week of March 15.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s expected 5,000 new slots will soon be available for the week of March 22.

The health unit says eligible residents should visit covidvaccinelm.ca or call 226-289-3560 on March 15 starting at 8 a.m. to book into the next block of appointments.

More information on the local vaccination campaign can be found on the health unit’s website.

Read more:
Renewed optimism for Ontario travel industry for 2022

The health unit says a total of 514 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 447 have been in Aylmer, 432 in St. Thomas and 336 in Tillsonburg.

Elsewhere, 206 cases have been in Norwich, 162 in Bayham, 116 in Ingersoll, 109 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 57 in Zorra, 57 in Blandford-Blenheim, 47 in South-West Oxford, 46 in Central Elgin, 25 in Southwold, 23 in Dutton/Dunwich, 20 in West Elgin and eight in Malahide.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.9 per cent as of the week of Feb. 28, down from 1.6 per cent as of the week before.

At least 3,739 people were tested the week of Feb. 28, down from 4,773 the week before.

Story continues below advertisement

Huron and Perth

Five new cases have been reported and four cases have resolved, Huron Perth Public Health reported Friday.

The update brings the region’s pandemic case total to 1,376, of which 1,304 have resolved.

At least 50 deaths have been reported in the region during the pandemic, most recently on March 1.

The health unit said two of Friday’s cases were reported in Huron East, while one each was reported in Central Huron, South Huron, and Stratford.

At least 22 cases are active in the region, with 13 located in Stratford.

The region has recorded at least two presumptive positive variant cases, health officials said Thursday. Both are undergoing genomic sequencing.

The region is in the yellow-protect level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus will remain in global population ‘for some time,’ Tam says'



0:28Coronavirus will remain in global population ‘for some time,’ Tam says


Coronavirus will remain in global population ‘for some time,’ Tam says

The health unit says it continues to add more vaccination appointments.

Story continues below advertisement

Earlier this week it announced that, like London and MIddlesex, second vaccine doses for most people would be delayed up to 16 weeks following updated guidance from the province.

The move is aimed at getting more initial shots into the community.

Long-term care home, retirement home, Elder Care Lodge and Assisted Living facility residents will continue to receive a second dose between 21 to 42 days after their first, the health unit says.

Those looking to book a vaccination appointment are asked to do so via the health unit’s booking website, or by calling 1-833-753-2098.

More information on the local vaccination campaign can be found on the health unit’s website.

Read more:
Ontario to blame if $11M in COVID-19 relief aid embezzled, fired senior civil servant alleges

No new school cases have been reported in the region, according to the health unit.

Two remain active in the region, both in Stratford. One case is located at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School while the other is at St. Michael Catholic Secondary School.

No new institutional outbreaks have been declared, either. None are currently active.

The only outbreak active in the region is located at an unnamed workplace, the health unit says.

Story continues below advertisement

Health unit figures show at least 553 cases have been reported in Perth County during the pandemic, including 348 in North Perth and 138 in Perth East.

Elsewhere, 455 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 101 in South Huron and 101 in Huron East, while at least 336 cases have been reported in Stratford and 32 in St. Marys.

According to new figures released Thursday, the region’s test per cent positivity rate was 1.0 per cent as of the week of Feb. 28, up from 0.8 per cent the week before.

Roughly 2,702 people were tested the week of Feb. 28, down from 3,319 a week earlier.

Sarnia and Lambton

Twenty-three new coronavirus cases have been reported and 16 have resolved, officials with Lambton Public Health reported Friday.

The update comes as the province announces its moving the region into grey-lockdown on Monday to curb steadily rising case rates in the county.

As of Friday, the region’s pandemic case tally stands at 2,323, of which 2,118 have resolved. At least 46 deaths have been reported, most recently on Feb. 17.

At least 159 cases were considered active, with five people reported in the care of Bluewater Health, an increase of one from the day before and two from Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

Information on the local vaccination campaign can be found on the health unit’s website. The health unit says more than 9,400 people have gotten the vaccine.

Read more:
Lambton Public Health moving to grey-lockdown on Monday, province says

The move to grey-lockdown, the most restrictive of the levels outlined in the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework, will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

As a result, Lambton will be the only region in southern Ontario outside of Peel and Toronto to be in lockdown. It comes nearly three weeks after the province moved Lambton from orange to red.

Lambton Public Health has already recorded at least 210 cases just since the start of March, four cases shy of that reported in the same period by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, whose jurisdiction has more than 3.5 times the population.

The region has also recorded at least 20 screened variant positive cases as of Friday, according to a health unit spokesperson — an increase of 11 from the day before. All of remain under genomic sequencing.

At least two of the region’s variant cases are associated with Brooke Central Public School in Alvinston, which also has an active outbreak declaration.

Information on the impacts of grey-lockdown can be found on the province’s website.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Coronavirus: Capacity limits increased for weddings, funerals under Ontario’s grey lockdown restrictions

The number of active school cases in Lambton County continues to increase, with at least eight cases reported just on Friday.

It brings the total number of active school cases in the county to 49 as of Friday, according to figures published by both the Lambton Kent District School Board and the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

Full lists can be found on their respective websites, linked above.

Four cases were reported Friday at St. Peter Canisius Catholic School in Warwick, which brings the number of active cases there to 11.

Elsewhere, one case each was reported at Holy Trinity Catholic School, Lambton Central Collegiate & Vocational Institute, St. Anne Catholic School and St. Patrick’s Catholic High School.

Outbreaks are active at Brooke Central Public School, where six cases have been reported, including two that are screened variant positive cases. The school has been closed temporarily.

Elsewhere, two outbreaks are also active at Queen Elizabeth II Public School and Sacred Heart School, both in Sarnia, and both linked to two cases each.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: ‘Very important’ that Canada is involved in international vaccine passport talks, Hadju says'



2:54Coronavirus: ‘Very important’ that Canada is involved in international vaccine passport talks, Hadju says


Coronavirus: ‘Very important’ that Canada is involved in international vaccine passport talks, Hadju says

Two new institutional outbreaks were declared on Friday, both at long-term care homes in Sarnia.

Story continues below advertisement

One outbreak is located at Trillium Villa while one is at Vision Nursing Home. Both outbreaks are linked to one staff case each.

They’re among at least five seniors’ facility outbreaks that are active as of Friday, declared on:

  • March 11 at Trillium Villa in Sarnia (one staff case)
  • March 11 at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia (one staff case)
  • March 9 at Landmark Village in Sarnia (one staff case)
  • March 7 at Lambton Meadowview Villa in Petrolia (one staff case)
  • Feb. 24 at Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia (three staff cases).

Elsewhere, an outbreak remains active at Good Shepherd’s Lodge, a shelter in Sarnia. Declared on Feb. 24, it’s been associated with six resident and three staff cases.

One workplace outbreak is also active in the county, declared on Feb. 25. It’s linked to eight cases.

Including the three previously mentioned school cases, the number of active outbreaks in Lambton numbers 10 as of Friday.

The health unit says the county’s test positivity rate was 3.1 per cent as of the week of Feb. 28, up from 1.7 per cent the week prior.

At least 3,959 people were tested the week of Feb. 28, down from 4,438 a week earlier.

— With files from The Canadian Press

View link »

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.