Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 92 new cases in London-Middlesex; LHSC reports 11-patient jump – London

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

Two more people have died and 92 others have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported Wednesday.

The update brings the region’s total case tally to 3,106, of which 2,464 people have recovered — 50 more than the day before — and 102 have died, 36 just this month.

Health officials said the two most recent deaths involved a man 80 or older who was associated with a long-term care home and a woman 80 or older who was not associated with a seniors’ facility.

The region has reported at least 1,548 cases since Dec. 1, according to the health unit — about half of all cases reported in London-Middlesex during the pandemic, and more than triple those reported through the month of November, which stands as the second-worst month for cases.

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According to health unit figures, the region’s December case count is close to equalling the number of cases seen during every other month of the pandemic combined — 1,648.

The region has set at least 10 single-day case records this month, most recently on Tuesday when the health unit reported 100 new cases.

As of Wednesday, there are at least 540 active cases in London and Middlesex.

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Of the 92 new cases, 73 are from London, while five are from Thames Centre, four each are from Middlesex Centre and Strathroy-Caradoc, and one each is from Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex. Four cases are pending a location.

Those infected span all age groups tracked by the health unit, with a relatively even distribution among brackets for those under 70.

At least 15 are aged 19 or younger, 16 are in their 20s, 11 each are in their 30s and 40s, 14 each are in their 50s and 60s, five are in their 70s and six are aged 80 or older.

As has been the case for over a week, a majority of cases have their exposure source listed as pending or undetermined, signalling continued challenges when it comes to contact tracing amid what has been a deluge of cases.

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At least 71 cases have a pending or undetermined exposure source, while 10 are outbreak-related and nine are due to close contact with a confirmed case. Two have no known link.

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“As we approach new year’s, and as we approach 2021, it cannot be said enough that the importance of physical distancing, of maintaining close contact only with those with whom you live, is absolutely essential,” Dr. Alex Summers, the region’s associate medical officer of health, said during Tuesday’s media briefing.

“The incident rates that we have seen here locally have skyrocketed over the course of four to six weeks. This is consistent with what is being seen in other parts of the province. But what we know is that without intensive distancing efforts by all who are able to do so, we will not be able to slow the rapid acceleration that we are seeing.”

The region’s seven-day average stands at 71.7 as of Wednesday, while the 14-day average is 71.3.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 3.3 per cent as of the week of Dec. 20, about the same as the week before and up from 2.4 two weeks earlier.

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On Tuesday, the health unit declared an outbreak at Maple Ridge on the Park, an apartment complex in the city’s north end, where as many as 46 people are infected with the virus.

Health officials say they’re continuing to follow up with residents and contacts at the complex, located at 112 and 114 Arbor Glen Cres., just north of Kipps Lane.

“The declaration of a COVID-19 outbreak is concerning, especially when it is related to someone’s home,” Summers said in a statement.

“Our team is working closely with building management to determine transmission sources and reduce the potential for any further spread.”


The number of current COVID-19 inpatients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre rose on Wednesday to 38, an increase of 11 from the day before.

The number of COVID-19 patients in critical or intensive care rose as well, to 10, an increase of two from Tuesday.

The organization says 19 staff members are currently positive with the virus, an increase of one from the day before.

The organization is still dealing with an outbreak at Victoria Hospital.

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Elsewhere, no COVID-19 patients are in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital, however St. Joseph’s Health Care London is dealing with 10 current staff cases.

At least nine linked to Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, which is experiencing an outbreak, also linked to 13 patient/resident cases.

The organization says one patient/resident case is active at Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building, but say it is not outbreak-related.

At least 270 people have been hospitalized for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the health unit. Of those, at least 52 have needed intensive care.

Institutional outbreaks

No new institutional outbreaks were declared in the region Wednesday, however two have been declared over.

One was declared at Sisters of St. Joseph in its Care Centre – East and North Hall on Dec. 20, while the other was declared Nov. 10 at University Hospital in 4IP General Medicine.

As a result, for the first time in nearly two months, there are currently no active outbreaks at University Hospital.

At least 13 individual outbreaks had been declared at the hospital since Nov. 10, with at least five linked to the outbreak in 4IP General Medicine.

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According to health unit officials, the outbreaks at UH were linked to at least 174 cases in total and 23 deaths.

Non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures remain postponed at University Hospital, and ambulatory and outpatient activity at University Hospital remains reduced to urgent and emergent matters.

“Although UH is now outbreak-free, given the rate of transmission in our community… LHSC does continue to expect a surge in COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks. We are already starting to see the beginnings of that with our recent COVID admissions,” Dr. Adam Dukelow, LHSC’s chief medical officer, said on Tuesday.

“We’re working collaboratively with regional partners to plan for the impact of the surge, and the impact it will have on our services in the face of inpatient bed, critical care and health, human resource constraints. We’re still working on what those service changes will look like and we’ll share details once they are finalized.”

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Elsewhere, an outbreak remains active at Victoria Hospital in C5-100 ENT/Burns/Plastics, linked to fewer than five patient cases and fewer than five staff cases. No deaths have been reported.

Outbreaks also remain active at:

  • Country Terrace (Woodcrest)
  • Dearness Home (Facility)
  • McGarrell Place (Facility)
  • Westmount Gardens (Apple Blossom)
  • Peoplecare Oak Crossing (Juniper, Sugar Maple, White Pine, Norway Spruce)
  • Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term care (SM1, SM2, SM3, MV4)
  • Glendale Crossing (Westminster, Byron, Pondmills)
  • Middlesex Terrace (Facility)
  • Oakcrossing Retirement Living (second floor)
  • Extendicare (third floor)
  • Earls Court Village (third floor).

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According to St. Joseph’s Health Care London, at least 13 patient/resident cases and nine staff cases have been reported as a result of the outbreaks at Mount Hope. Similar numbers for other facilities were not readily available.

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Since March, the region has seen at least 75 institutional outbreaks in London and Middlesex, including at least 54 at local seniors’ facilities.

The health unit says seniors’ home outbreaks alone have been tied to 161 staff cases, 147 resident cases and at least 49 deaths.


At least three new school cases were reported late Tuesday.

The Thames Valley District School Board reported that two new cases had been reported at Lord Dorchester Secondary School, while one new case had been reported at Princess Elizabeth Public School.

The cases are among at least 10 school cases currently active at nine schools in London and Middlesex. A full list of current cases can be found on the health unit’s website.

Elsewhere, outbreak declarations remain in place at John Paul II Catholic Secondary School (Dec. 19), A.B. Lucas Secondary School (Dec. 22), Covenant Christian School (Dec. 29) and École élémentaire catholique Monseigneur-Bruyère (Dec. 29).

The health unit says at least 164 school-linked cases have been reported in the region so far this school year.

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In the post-secondary setting, outbreaks at two Western University residences have been declared over as of Monday.

The outbreaks were declared on Nov. 19 at Saugeen-Maitland Hall and on Nov. 21 at Perth Hall.

Elsewhere, three cases are active in child-care settings. One case each is active at Gan-Gani Nursery School of London, Wee Watch Licensed Home Child Care London and Wilfrid Jury Childcare Centre – Whitehills Childcare Association.

Recent resolved school cases by date they were reported:

  • Dec. 20 at Emily Carr Public School, Lord Dorchester Secondary School, Medway Secondary School, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, Westminster Secondary School (two cases).
  • Dec. 21 at École élémentaire catholique Monseigneur-Bruyère, and White Oaks Public School (two cases).
  • Dec. 22 at A.B. Lucas Secondary School (two cases), École élémentaire catholique Monseigneur-Bruyère, Lord Dorchester Secondary School, Oakridge Secondary School, Regina Mundi Catholic College, Rick Hansen Public School (two cases), Saunders Secondary School, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School.
  • Dec. 23 at Glen Cairn Public School, Montcalm Secondary School (two cases), Catholic Central High School (two cases), St. Michael Catholic Elementary School.

Vaccinations and Testing

Local administration of the coronavirus vaccine began on Dec. 23 at the Western Fair District Agriplex.

According to LHSC officials, who are collaborating with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Huron Perth Public Health and Southwestern Public Health, some four to five dozen hospital and health unit staff members are at the scene operating the clinic on a daily basis.

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“Before opening the vaccine clinic this morning, we had provided the first dose of the vaccine to approximately 500 individuals,” Dukelow said on Tuesday, noting those receiving the vaccine are primary health-care workers from long-term care homes and some LHSC members that have worked in outbreak units.

We will vaccinate approximately 300 people (Tuesday) and ramp up our capacity to vaccinate approximately 420 each day starting (Wednesday),” Dukelow said.

“We will continue vaccinating through this coming weekend, and by Monday, Jan. 4, we anticipate that we will vaccinate 500 individuals per day. The biggest limitation on how many get vaccinated in the coming weeks will be the amount of vaccine we receive.”

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Visitations to the city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres have remained steady over the last several weeks, with dips reported over the holidays.

Carling Heights recorded 188 visits on Christmas, 279 on Boxing Day and between 420 and 550 per day on Dec. 27, 28 and 29.

Oakridge Arena reported between 213 and 316 visits per day between Dec. 21 and 24.

Overall, the centres have seen nearly 129,000 clients and swabbed just over 123,000. Both centres are continuing to operate by appointment only, however appointment slots have been consistently full recently.

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As of Wednesday, some slots were available for Jan. 3 at Carling Heights. No spots were available for Oakridge Arena through to Jan. 4.

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

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 3.3 per cent as of the week of Dec. 20, about the same as the week before, and up from 2.4 two weeks earlier.

Ontario is reporting 2,923 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

The province also logged 19 new deaths related to the novel coronavirus since the last report.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 998 of the new cases reported Wednesday are in Toronto, 441 in Peel Region, 408 in York Region, 158 in Durham and 144 in Windsor-Essex County.

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Meanwhile, some 50,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Ontario Wednesday.

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Retired general Rick Hillier, who is leading the province’s COVID-19 vaccination program, says the vaccine will be distributed to long-term care and retirement homes.

He says immunizations are slated to start there within days of the delivery.

Hillier said Tuesday that more than half of Ontarians — about 8.5 million — should receive the vaccine by the end of July.

Another vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is already being administered to health-care workers, but its storage requirements limit where that can be done.

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

— With files from The Canadian Press

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Twenty-nine people have tested positive for the coronavirus while another 40 have recovered, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Wednesday.

It brings the region’s total case tally to 1,215, of which 940 have recovered and 12 have died. The most recent death was reported on Dec. 24.

There are at least 263 active cases in the region, according to the health unit. Of those, at least 61 are in Tillsonburg, 50 are in Aylmer, 49 are in St. Thomas, 27 are in Woodstock, and 24 are in East Zorra-Tavistock.

Roughly half of the region’s cases and deaths have been reported just this month — 652 cases and six deaths.

New confirmed cases in Elgin and Oxford counties by episode date (not reported date), Jan. 15 to Dec. 27, 2020.

New confirmed cases in Elgin and Oxford counties by episode date (not reported date), Jan. 15 to Dec. 27, 2020.

Southwestern Public Health

No new school cases were reported in the region. At least 19 school cases are currently active in the region at:

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  • East Elgin Secondary School
  • Eva Circe Cote French Immersion Public School
  • Glendale High School
  • John Wise Public School
  • June Rose Callwood Public School
  • Kettle Creek Public School
  • Locke’s Public School
  • Mitchell Hepburn Public School
  • Monsignor J. H. O’Neil Catholic School
  • Parkside Collegiate Institute
  • Plattsville and District Public School (two cases)
  • Roch Carrier French immersion Public School (two cases)
  • St. Anne’s Catholic School (three cases)
  • Summer’s Corners Public School (two cases)

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No new institutional outbreaks have been declared either, according to health officials, however an outbreak at PeopleCare Tavistock has seen at least 32 resident cases and 17 staff cases.

Elsewhere, an outbreak at Maple Manor Nursing Home has been tied to 31 resident cases, 20 staff cases, and one death — the only death in the region linked to an institutional outbreak.

Outbreaks are also active at Elgin Manor (two resident cases), Seasons Retirement Home (two staff cases), Terrace Lodge (five staff cases), and Chartwell Aylmer (three staff cases).

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At least 19 outbreaks have been declared in the region at 14 separate facilities.

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According to the health unit, Aylmer remains the hardest hit area in its jurisdiction, both by overall cases and by cases per 100,000 people.

At least 241 cases have been reported in the town, resulting in an incidence rate of 3,216.8 per 100,000 people, higher than the incidence rate for all of Peel Region.

Woodstock, which has seen 194 cases, has an incidence rate of 474 per 100,000 people, while St. Thomas, which has seen 192 cases, has a rate of 493.5.

Elsewhere, Tillsonburg has seen 135 cases, while Bayham has reported 122, Norwich 100, East Zorra-Tavistock 51, Ingersoll 50, Blandford-Blenheim 39, Zorra 22, Central Elgin 18, South-West Oxford 17, Dutton/Dunwich 11, West Elgin 10, Southwold nine, and Malahide three.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 3.5 per cent as of the week of Dec. 20, up from 3.3 the week before, and 2.5 the week before that.

One person has died and 18 others have tested positive for the coronavirus, Huron Perth Public Health reported on Wednesday.

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It brings the region’s total case count to 659, of which 555 have recovered — 42 more than the day before — and 22 have died.

Details of the deceased were not immediately available.

The health unit said six of the new cases were reported in North Perth, while five are from Stratford, and three are from Perth East. Two cases are from North Huron, while one each are from Perth South and South Huron.

The update leaves at least 82 active cases in the region. At least 28 are in North Perth while 13 are in Stratford and 11 in North Huron. At least four people are currently in hospital.

At least 254 cases and four deaths have been reported since the start of the month.

Cumulative confirmed cases in Huron and Perth counties from March 6 to Dec. 29, 2020.

Cumulative confirmed cases in Huron and Perth counties from March 6 to Dec. 29, 2020.

Huron Perth Public Health

At least three new school cases have been reported in the region.

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The Avon-Maitland District School Board reported that one case was confirmed at North Perth Westfield Elementary School on Tuesday, while two cases were reported at Stratford District Secondary School.

At least seven school cases are currently active, located at:

  • F.E. Madill Secondary School
  • Listowel District Secondary School
  • North Perth Westfield Elementary School (two cases)
  • Stratford District Secondary School (two cases)
  • Upper Thames Elementary School.

No new cases were reported by the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.

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Meantime, no new institutional outbreaks have been declared.

At least eight are currently active, including five at long-term care homes, two at retirement homes, and one in a hospital.

Active outbreaks are currently active at the current long-term care and retirement homes:

  • Braemar Retirement Centre in North Huron (Dec. 26 – one staff case)
  • Caressant Care in North Perth (Dec. 25 – one staff case)
  • Hillside Manor (Dec. 22 – one staff case)
  • Exeter Villa Retirement Home in South Huron (Dec. 21 – one resident case)
  • Exeter Villa in South Huron (Dec. 18 – five resident cases and one staff case)
  • Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East (Dec. 17 – two staff cases).
  • Cedarcroft Place in Stratford (Oct. 27 – 50 residents and 24 staff, 12 deaths).

According to the health unit, no cases are currently active at Cedarcroft Place.

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An outbreak also remains active at Listowel Memorial Hospital, with five patient and nine staff cases reported.

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At least 303 cases have been in Perth County — with at least 157 in North Perth and 111 in Perth East — while 187 cases have been in Stratford.

Elsewhere, 159 cases have been in Huron County, while 10 cases have been in St. Marys.

As of the week of Dec. 6, the region’s test per cent positivity rate was 2.3 per cent, up from 1.6 the week before. At least 3,464 people were tested that week, down from roughly 4,200 the week before.

Forty people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while another 26 have recovered, Lambton Public Health reported.

It brings the region’s total case tally to 732, of which 538 have recovered and 28 have died, most recently on Dec. 19.

As of Wednesday, at least 166 cases are active in the region. The locations of the cases have not been released by the health unit.

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At least five people are in hospital at Bluewater Health, an increase of one from the day before.

The region has reported at least 320 cases and three deaths since Dec. 1, according to health unit figures. The region recorded a single-day case record of 48 on Dec. 26.

Confirmed cases in Lambton County by reported date, March 25 to Dec. 29, 2020.

Confirmed cases in Lambton County by reported date, March 25 to Dec. 29, 2020.

Lambton Public Health

An outbreak has been declared at Confederation Central School in Sarnia, tied to two cases.

Elsewhere, an outbreak declared Dec. 26 at Great Lakes Secondary School, also in Sarnia, is also active, also linked to two cases.

It’s unclear if any other new school cases have been reported or resolved as both the Lambton Kent District School Board and the St. Clair Catholic District School Board have paused public reporting of cases until after the holidays.

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Meantime, the health unit declared two new workplace outbreaks on Tuesday, with both tied to two cases each.

They’re among 11 active workplace outbreaks that have been declared since Dec. 11, linked to a total of 42 cases.

Details about the outbreaks, including where the outbreaks are located, have not been made public.

Elsewhere, two outbreaks remain active at Trillium Villa, declared on Dec. 19 and linked to two staff cases, and at Vision Nursing Home, declared Dec. 27 and linked to one resident case.

The outbreak at Vision is the second to be seen at the facility during the pandemic. A deadly outbreak there from April 23 to June 18 resulted in 26 patient cases, 10 resident deaths, and 28 staff cases.

The health unit says 27 institutional and workplace outbreaks have been declared since March, tied to 162 cases and 16 deaths.

At least 71,035 people had been tested in the county as of Dec. 26, the most recent figures available.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate was 3.30 that week, a notable increase from the 0.86 per cent reported for the week of Dec. 6.

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The health unit says 3,142 people were tested from Dec. 20 to 26.

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