Coronavirus: 45 cases in London-Middlesex as region officially moves to orange restriction level – London

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Forty-five people have tested positive for the coronavirus while another 19 have recovered, the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported Monday.

The jump brings the region’s total case count to 1,864, of which 1,482 people have recovered. Seventy-six deaths have been reported since the pandemic began, most recently on Saturday involving a man in his 60s whose death was linked to a severe outbreak at University Hospital that has left at least 13 dead and infected more than 130 since Nov. 10.

Monday’s tally is now the second-highest single-day case jump the region has seen. The current record is 46, set on Dec. 1.

Since last Monday, London and Middlesex has seen at least five days with more than 30 new cases reported. Three of those days — including Monday — saw more than 40 cases.

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The health unit says the region has recorded at least 217 cases since Dec. 1, more than were recorded in each of the months of March, May, June, July, August and September. The month with the largest number of cases reported, so far, was November with 503.

As of Monday, the region is in the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework, meaning tougher restrictions for businesses and other public spaces.

Further details on what restrictions a move to orange-restrict brings can be found in the framework document.

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Of the 45 cases reported Monday, 42 are from London. One is from Strathroy-Caradoc, one is from Thames Centre, and one case location is still pending.

Those infected include every age bracket tracked by the health unit, with the largest age representation involving people in their 20s, 30s and 50s.

Five individuals are aged 19 or younger, 12 are in their 20s, nine are in their 30s, four are in their 40s, nine are in their 50s, four are in their 60s, and one each are in their 70s and 80 or older.

The health unit says at least 16 contracted the virus through close contact with a confirmed case, while seven have “outbreak” listed as their exposure source. Nineteen cases have their exposure sources listed as pending or undetermined, while three have no known link.

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980 CFPL has confirmed that at least six cases are linked to the deadly outbreak at University Hospital, however that number may rise as health unit staff conduct case followups in the coming days.

According to the health unit, 1,732 cases have been reported in London since the pandemic began, while 40 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 37 in Middlesex Centre and 33 in Thames Centre.

Lucan Biddulph has seen 10, North Middlesex eight, Southwest Middlesex two and Newbury one.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 34.14 as of Monday. The 14-day average stands at 25.21.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate was 1.6 per cent as of the week of Nov. 22, the most recent figures available.


London Health Sciences Centre reported that at least 56 inpatients with COVID-19 were in its care as of Monday, the highest number of concurrent COVID-19 patients the organization has seen at any one time during the pandemic.

Monday’s tally is seven higher than the 49 COVID-19 inpatients LHSC reported in its last update on Friday. It’s not clear how many are linked to the large outbreak at University Hospital.

In addition, LHSC says at least six are in critical care/intensive care, the same as Friday.

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The number of active staff cases at LHSC stands at 46 as of Monday, one higher than Friday. Most, if not all, are linked to the University Hospital outbreak.

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It’s not clear how many COVID-19 inpatients are being admitted to LHSC per day as such data is not readily available. Data obtained from the province late last month by Global News only listed how many active COVID-19 inpatients were in the care of LHSC on a given day since March, not how many were admitted on a given day.

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St. Joseph’s Health Care London, meanwhile, reported no active COVID-19 patients in its care as of Monday, and said there was one active case among its staff as of Sunday.

The provincial data showed that the hospital has not recorded more than four COVID-19 patients in its care at any given time during the pandemic.

According to the health unit, at least 200 people have been admitted to the hospital due to the coronavirus during the pandemic, including 41 who have needed intensive care.

Institutional outbreaks

Presently, the only active institutional outbreaks in the region are located at University Hospital.

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The largest outbreak, which was first declared Nov. 10 in 4IP General Medicine, has continued to spread since, leaving more than 130 sickened, including 13 who have since died, according to the health unit and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

LHSC reported Monday that at least 71 patients have tested positive due to the outbreak, in addition to at least 60 staff members and health-care providers. Health officials last week said they had also determined the outbreak has been tied to “dozens of cases” in the broader community.

The outbreak has impacted at least six units of the hospital, including 4TU Multi-Organ Transplant Unit, 6IP Acute/Decant Medicine, 6IP Cardiovascular Surgery, 9IP Sub-Acute Medicine and 10IP Palliative Care/Sub-Acute Medicine.

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On Dec. 5, two additional areas of the hospital — 5IP Cardiology and the cardiac offices on the sixth floor — were added to the list of units at the facility impacted by an outbreak of COVID-19.

It’s not clear yet, however, whether these are new, separate outbreaks, or an extension of the large Nov. 10 outbreak.

The hospital was also the scene of a separate, smaller outbreak in 9IP Orthopedics that was declared Nov. 11. That outbreak, linked to six cases, is no longer active.

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Non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries remain postponed at the hospital, while ambulatory or outpatient activity remains reduced to only urgent matters.

The health unit’s investigation into the Nov. 10 outbreak found there had been breaches when it came to the implementation of personal protective equipment (PPE) among staff and physical distancing protocols, health officials said last week — findings that were confirmed by LHSC’s CEO on Friday.

“I want to emphasize that I’m not assigning blame,” Dr. Paul Woods said. “Our staff and physicians have been vigilant and dedicated in their provision of safe patient care since day one of this pandemic. But we are human, we are fallible and we are tired. While regrettable, I can say with certainty there was never a breach intended to cause harm.”

Rumours about a potluck or potlucks at the hospital were found to be baseless, he said.

Since March, the region has seen at least 56 institutional outbreaks in London and Middlesex, including at least 40 at local seniors’ facilities.


The number of active school cases in London and Middlesex stands at 17 after 11 cases were reported Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Most recently, four cases were reported on Sunday at C.C. Carrothers Public School, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, Westminster Secondary School and Westmount Public School.

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It’s not clear if the cases involve staff or students.

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Active cases also remain at the following schools:

  • One student case is active at John Paul II Catholic Secondary School.
  • Two student cases are active at St. Marguerite d’Youville School. A class outbreak has since been declared by the health unit.
  • One student case is active at Stoney Creek Public School involving one student.
  • Two cases are active at Ashley Oaks Public School.
  • One student case is active at London Central Secondary School.
  • One case is active at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School.
  • One case is active at Ryerson Public School.
  • Three cases are active at Sir Arthur Currie Public School.
  • Two cases are active at Westminster Secondary School.
  • One case is active at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School.

The region has recorded at least 62 school cases since the start of September.

At Western University, two outbreaks remain active at Perth Hall and Saugeen Maitland-Hall student residences. Late last week, health officials said the outbreaks would likely be declared over soon.

Recent resolved school cases by date they were reported on:

  • Nov. 13 at Académie de la Tamise involving one staff member.
  • Nov. 14 at Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School involving one student.
  • Nov. 19 at Saunders Secondary School involving one student.
  • Nov. 20 at Providence Reformed Collegiate.
  • Nov. 20 at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School involving one student.
  • Nov. 21 and 22 at Catholic Central High School involving two students.
  • Nov. 23 at Lord Dorchester Secondary School involving one student.


At least 8,055 people were tested for the coronavirus during the week of Nov. 22, according to the most recent testing figures issued by the health unit.

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The tally was slightly higher than the 7,624 reported the week prior.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 1.6 per cent as of the week of Nov. 22, up from 1.3 per cent the week before.

New data is expected to be released this week.

The city’s two dedicated assessment centres, Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, continue to operate normally, both by appointment only.

Carling Heights has seen an uptick in visits over the last week, recording an average of 428 visits over five days from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, up from 381 between Nov. 23 and 27.

At Oakridge Arena, numbers have been largely stable. The centre recorded a five-day average of 319 visits from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 compared to 318 between Nov. 23 and 27.

Appointment testing for certain asymptomatic people is also continuing at eight local pharmacies.

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Ontario reported 1,925 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 26 deaths related to the virus.

That’s a record high for new cases of the novel coronavirus in the province, topping Sunday’s daily total by one.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 601 new cases in Toronto, 512 in Peel Region and 167 in York Region.

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She also says there are 1,412 more resolved cases since the last daily update and nearly 45,300 tests completed in that time.

Monday’s daily update brings Ontario to a total of 129,234 COVID-19 cases, 109,402 resolved and 3,798 deaths.

In addition to London and Middlesex, two other Ontario regions are seeing tighter public health restrictions.

Thunder Bay is also moving into the orange zone, while the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit moves to yellow.

The measures will remain in place for at least 28 days.

— Figures from neighbouring areas will be added to this story.

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— With files from The Canadian Press

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