25 new coronavirus cases in London and Middlesex Saturday, 21 in Sarnia-Lambton – London

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


The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported 25 new coronavirus cases on Saturday along with 11 recoveries.

The update brings the regional pandemic case tally to 6,276, of which 5,952 have resolved.

At least 184 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died during the pandemic. The most recent death was reported Wednesday involving a woman in her 80s not linked to a seniors’ facility.

With the update, at least 140 cases are active in London-Middlesex.

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

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Of the 25 new cases Saturday, 23 are from London, one is from Strathroy-Caradoc and one is pending.

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The total number of screened variant positive cases in the region sits at 13, with four confirmed to involve the variant B.1.1.7, first detected in the U.K.

The region’s seven-day case average stood at 15.42 as of Friday, while the 14-day average was 13.35.

At least 5,472 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 248 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 208 cases have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 96 in Thames Centre, 54 in Lucan Biddulph, 37 in Southwest Middlesex, 33 in North Middlesex, 14 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.

At least 112 cases have pending location information.

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Hospitalizations

The number of inpatients hospitalized at LHSC with COVID-19 was unchanged — it stood at six as of Friday.

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The number of patients in critical or intensive care also remained unchanged at fewer than five, along with the number of active staff cases within the organization.

At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, no COVID-19 patients were reported to be in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital as of Friday, the most recent update.

The organization had two active staff cases as of the last update.

At least 362 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 to date, the health unit says. Of those, 67 have needed intensive care.

Institutional outbreaks

One new outbreak has been declared.

The new outbreak was declared Friday at Meadow Park Care Centre.

There are six active seniors’ facility outbreaks in the region.

Active outbreaks (as of March 5) at seniors’ facilities, as declared on:

  • March 5 at Meadow Park Care Centre (Pink Unit)
  • March 4 at Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Sydenham)
  • March 2 at Dearness Home (4E/4W)
  • Feb. 28 at Richmond Woods (facility)
  • Feb. 24 at Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence (facility)
  • Feb. 13 at Dearness Home (3 East)

There have been at least 106 institutional outbreaks since the pandemic began, with at least 79 at local seniors’ facilities. They’ve been linked to at least 781 of the region’s cases and 106 of its deaths.

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Elsewhere, a non-institutional outbreak remains active at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. The outbreak, declared Jan. 18, has been associated with at least 29 staff cases and 27 inmate cases. Three inmate cases were listed as active as of Wednesday.

Non-institutional outbreaks are also active at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School, declared Thursday, and at Western University’s Essex Hall Residence, declared Tuesday, linked to at least seven cases.






Health Canada approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine


Health Canada approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Schools

Global News does not provide COVID-19 updates related to schools on the weekends.

As of Friday, four new school cases were reported in the region.

Two have been reported at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School, according to the health unit. The cases have prompted an outbreak declaration at the school.

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Elsewhere, a case has also been reported at Regina Mundi Catholic College, according to the London District Catholic School Board.

One case has also been reported at Bonaventure Public School. It’s the second case to be seen at the school in as many days.

At least 12 school cases are active in London and Middlesex, the health unit says. A full list can be found on its website.

The Thames Valley District School Board announced Friday that it was rolling out asymptomatic coronavirus testing next week.

Voluntary testing of students and staff in the public board who do not have obvious symptoms of COVID-19 will begin on Wednesday at a number of clinic sites.

Health officials say at least 224 school and child-care cases have been reported in London and Middlesex during the pandemic.

As of Friday, two child-care cases remain active in London. One is located at Little Acorns Early Childhood Learning Centre – London Bridge, while the other is at Stoneybrook Early Childhood Learning Centre – London Bridge.

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

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The outbreak was declared on March 2 and is linked to at least seven positive cases, according to the university.

It’s the fourth residence outbreak to be declared during the pandemic, following outbreaks at London Hall, Perth Hall and Saugeen-Maitland Hall in October and November.

Vaccinations and testing

Health Canada on Friday announced it had approved the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, saying it has evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective against the novel coronavirus.

It was also announced that Canada will get an extra 1.5 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine delivered this month, with another one million arriving in both April and May.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the fourth COVID-19 shot approved for use in Canada and the only one Canada has purchased that requires just a single dose.

Canada has pre-purchased 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, developed by subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Canada has options to buy another 28 million doses.

It’s not expected any will flow to Canada until at least April.

The vaccine can be stored and transported at refrigerated temperatures (rather than deep-freeze conditions required by other vaccines) for at least three months, facilitating distribution across the country.

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The province unveiled an updated vaccination timeline Friday, with Phase 2 of the three-phase rollout seeing shots administered based on risk factors including people’s age, neighbourhood, existing health conditions and inability to work from home.

The updated timeline does not factor in the newly approved Johnson & Johnson shot and additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Shots will go to seniors aged 75 and older starting in April with a goal of offering first shots to everyone 60 and older by the end of May.

Doses will also be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions and some caregivers, including those in congregate settings.

Essential workers who can’t work from home will be offered doses at the end of Phase 2, while adults 59 and younger are expected to receive the shot in July, though the timeline is subject to change.


Click to play video 'Should AstraZeneca be given to seniors? Doctor answers top COVID-19 questions'



Should AstraZeneca be given to seniors? Doctor answers top COVID-19 questions


Should AstraZeneca be given to seniors? Doctor answers top COVID-19 questions

Locally, health officials say they’ve been able to book more than 12,000 vaccination appointments for members of the community who are 80 and older since opening bookings up Tuesday morning.

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“Thank you to everyone who has gone above and beyond to help their family, friends, neighbours to book those appointments. We know that accessing appointments online can be a challenge, particularly for people over 80,” Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said Thursday.

Mackie added staff with London-Health Sciences Centre and the health unit were able to increase immunization capacity at the region’s two mass-vaccination clinics from 1,000 doses per day to closer to 1,500.

The two clinics are operating at the Western Fair District Agriplex in London and at Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges. Two more are set to open, but it’s not clear when.

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Health officials have said that given uncertainty about the vaccination supply locally, bookings are being done only as far as two weeks out.

The local appointment phone and website booking system have been inundated with calls and visits this week from residents trying to snag a slot before they’re all taken.

When bookings opened Tuesday, all 5,000 open slots were taken in less than two hours. Roughly 200,000 calls came in over the course of the day.


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Alone and Apart: Emotional and financial stress during the pandemic


Alone and Apart: Emotional and financial stress during the pandemic

With demand vastly outpacing supply, frustrations have been mounting. In a tweet Wednesday night, Mackie implored residents to be respectful to staff members manning the phone lines.

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“For goodness sake, please do not call the (health unit) phone number and yell, swear, demean, or otherwise criticize the excellent staff answering the phones there.”

During Thursday’s media briefing, Mackie said those wishing to provide feedback can contact the health unit or submit comments online at [email protected]

He noted the health unit received some feedback that parts of the online system were difficult to enter data into. In particular, the system was not allowing people who entered the version code — the letters following the numbers in the health card — to proceed.

“The most important thing for us is that people are able to book and we’re seeing that, I mean, appointments are disappearing as soon as they’re available through the online system,” he said.

We know that we’re in a situation where we need to move as quickly as possible, and that means that no system is going to be perfect, and so we accept that, because we’re focused on the overall goal of getting vaccine into arms as soon as possible.”

Mackie says pre-registration, as is done in Windsor-Essex, is a possibility that they will consider for the next round of large doses being available for the general public.

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

As of Saturday, around 1,900 people in the region has been vaccinated, according to the health unit.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.7 per cent as of the week of Feb. 21, slightly down from 0.8 per cent the week before.

At least 10,158 people were tested the week of Feb. 21, more than the 9,730 a week earlier.

Ontario

Ontario reported 990 cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 306,997.

Six new deaths were also reported, bringing the provincial death toll to 7,052.

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A total of 289,735 COVID-19 cases are considered resolved, which is up by 1,152 and is 94.4 per cent of all confirmed cases.

More than 57,800 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now completed a total of 11,351,768 tests and 27,796 remain under investigation.

Elgin and Oxford

Southwestern Public Health reported five new COVID-19 cases along with 12 recoveries on Saturday.

It brings the total number of cases reported in Elgin-Oxford during the pandemic to 2,566, of which 2,424 have resolved.

At least 67 people have died during the pandemic, with the most recent death reported on Feb. 20.

The update leaves 75 active cases in the region. Forty-six are located in Aylmer, with 11 in Woodstock and five in St. Thomas. Seven other municipalities have four or fewer cases.

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The high number of cases in Aylmer has been driven by an ongoing outbreak at the Ontario Police College which has grown to 93 cases in total as of Thursday, according to the health unit.

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On Thursday, officials confirmed that two COVID-19 variant cases had been identified in the region involving two residents who live in the same home and who are believed to have become infected through international travel. Both cases have resolved.

The region moved into the orange-restrict level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework on Monday.

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

As of Friday, no school cases were active, according to the Thames Valley and London District Catholic school boards.

Two outbreaks remain active. One is at Bethany Care Home in Norwich. It was declared on March 2 and linked to one resident case. The other outbreak was declared March 5 at Maples Retirement Home in Tavistock. It’s linked to one resident case.

The health unit says a total of 502 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 433 have been in St. Thomas, 428 in Aylmer and 336 in Tillsonburg.

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Elsewhere, 202 cases have been in Norwich, 162 in Bayham, 115 in Ingersoll, 108 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 56 in Zorra, 56 in Blandford-Blenheim, 46 in South-West Oxford, 45 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 1.6 per cent as of the week of Feb. 21, up from 0.5 per cent the week before and 0.8 the week before that.

At least 4,773 people were tested the week of Feb. 21, up slightly from 4,470 a week earlier.

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Huron and Perth

Huron Perth Public Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases along with five recoveries on Saturday.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 1,353, of which 1,279 have resolved.

At least 50 people who tested positive for the virus have died, with the most recent death reported on March 1.

The health unit says 24 cases are active in the region, 12 of which are in Stratford.

The region moved into the yellow-protect level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework on Monday.

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

Three school cases were active in the region as of Friday, located at two schools under the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.

Two cases are active at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Stratford, while one case is active at Jeanne Sauvé Catholic Elementary School, also in Stratford.

Meantime, one outbreak is active in the region, located at a retirement home.

The outbreak, declared Jan. 31 at Seaforth Manor Retirement Home in Huron East, has been linked to 12 resident cases and one staff case.

Health unit figures show at least 551 cases have been reported in Perth County during the pandemic, including 346 in North Perth and 138 in Perth East.

Elsewhere, 448 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 99 in South Huron and 98 in Huron East, while at least 322 cases have been reported in Stratford and 32 in St. Marys.

Officials reported this week that the local test positivity rate stood at 0.7 per cent the week of Feb. 21, the same as the week before.

Roughly 3,266 people were tested the week of Feb. 21, up from 2,899 a week earlier.

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Concerns over second vaccine dose timing and cancelled clinics


Concerns over second vaccine dose timing and cancelled clinics

Sarnia and Lambton

Lambton Public Health reported 21 new COVID-19 cases along with nine recoveries on Saturday.

The region’s total case count stands at 2,208, of which 2,028 have resolved.

At least 46 people have died. The most recent virus-related death was reported on Feb. 17.

As of Saturday, at least 134 cases were active in the county.

Bluewater Health reported three COVID-19 patients in its care on Friday.

At least 26 of the county’s active cases were located at Kettle and Stony Point First Nation as of Thursday, a number that rose from two just days earlier.

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The situation has become “quite alarming,” Chief Jason Henry said in a video posted to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point Facebook page.

As of Friday, the First Nation has seen a total of 47 confirmed cases during the pandemic.


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Officials say no confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants detected in First Nations communities on reserve


Officials say no confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants detected in First Nations communities on reserve – Feb 24, 2021

Lambton County remains in red-control of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

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

At least 20 school cases are active in Lambton County as of Friday, according to the Avon-Maitland and St. Clair Catholic district school boards.

  • Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School
  • Colonel Cameron Public School
  • Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School (two cases)
  • Holy Rosary Catholic School (two cases)
  • King George VI Public School – Sarnia
  • Lambton Central Collegiate & Vocational Institute
  • Lansdowne Public School
  • North Lambton Secondary School (three cases)
  • Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School
  • Queen Elizabeth II Public School – Sarnia
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School
  • St. Joseph Catholic School (two cases)
  • St. Peter Canisius Catholic School (three cases)

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Lambton Public Health does not provide detailed COVID-19 updates on the weekends. As of Friday, six outbreaks were active, with three at seniors’ facilities, one at Sarnia’s jail, one at a Sarnia shelter, and one at an unnamed workplace.

The seniors’ facility outbreaks were declared on:

  • Feb. 24 at Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia (three staff cases)
  • Feb. 19 at Twin Lakes Terrace in Sarnia (one staff case)
  • Feb. 10 at Country Manor Estates in Lambton Shores (two resident, one staff case)

Elsewhere, the jail outbreak was declared on Feb. 7 and is linked to 47 inmate cases and five staff cases, while the shelter outbreak, declared Feb. 24 at Good Shepherd’s Lodge, is linked to six resident and three staff cases, one more resident case than the day before.

The workplace outbreak, declared on Feb. 25, involves eight cases.

The health unit says the county’s test per cent positivity rate was 1.7 per cent the week of Feb. 21, down from 1.9 the week before.

At least 4,367 people were tested the week of Feb. 21, up from 3,797 the week before.

— With files from 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick and The Canadian Press

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

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