Coronavirus: 10 new cases reported in London-Middlesex, eight at long-term care homes: MLHU

Ten more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex, eight of them at local long-term care homes, while seven people have recovered, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Tuesday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 384 and the total number of recoveries to 201 — about 52 per cent of all cases. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 32.

Health unit figures show the 10 new cases were reported in London. Of those, seven involve local long-term care home residents, and one involves a long-term care home staff member.

So far, 356 cases have been reported in London. Elsewhere, 15 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc, while six have been in Middlesex Centre, four in Thames Centre and three in North Middlesex.

Local seniors’ facilities account for at least 108 of the region’s cases.

Sixty-seven cases have been reported at long-term care homes, involving 46 residents and 21 staff, while 41 cases have been reported at retirement homes, involving 29 residents and 12 staff.

Thirteen deaths have been reported at long-term care homes, the most recent on Monday involving a resident in her 80s, while four deaths have been reported at retirement homes.

Long-term care and retirement homes also account for 11 of the at least 16 COVID-19 outbreaks that have been declared in London and Middlesex since the start of the pandemic.

They’re among at least 176 outbreaks that have been reported at long-term care homes in the province since mid-January, according to Public Health Ontario.

Six local outbreaks have been declared over, the most recent at St. Joseph’s Hospice, where 13 staff and five patients had tested positive. Officials with the hospice reported on Tuesday that the MLHU had declared the outbreak resolved.

Elsewhere, outbreaks have been declared resolved at Chelsey Park, Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care, Seasons Strathroy, Sprucedale Care Centre and University Hospital’s inpatient cardiology unit.

The most recent active outbreak was declared on Saturday at Elmwood Place Long-Term Care Home after a resident tested positive.

Outbreaks also remain active at Earls Court Village, Grand Wood Park, Henley Place, Horizon Place, Kensington Village, Meadow Park Care Centre and Sisters of St. Joseph.

More than half of all cases and deaths reported at local retirement homes have been linked to the outbreak at Grand Wood Park, where at least 19 residents and five staff have tested positive and three residents have died, the officials with Revera, the home’s operator, said Saturday.

Local outbreaks also remain active in Victoria Hospital‘s oncology unit (C7-400) and geriatric behavioural unit (C6-100).

A total of at least 38 London Health Sciences Centre staff members had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, two more than the day before. It’s not clear how many cases remain active and whether any staff have been hospitalized.

University and Victoria Hospitals were treating a total of 36 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, two more than Monday, with 12 in intensive care, an increase of one from the day before.

Provincially, Ontario reported 525 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 59 more deaths, ending three consecutive days of declining numbers of new cases.

The new provincial total of 15,381 cases is an increase of 3.5 per cent over the previous day’s total and includes 951 deaths and 8,964 resolved cases.

Premier Doug Ford said Monday there would have to be a consistent, two-to-four-week decrease in the number of new cases before his government would move to the first of a three-stage process of re-opening for business.

While health officials have said community spread is in a peak period, cases in long-term care homes are rising. Some homes have been hit particularly hard, with 11 reporting 20 or more deaths.

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Ontario has called in operational support from the Canadian Armed Forces for five homes: Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamont Care Community in Toronto, Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto, Hawthorne Place in Toronto and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton.

The NDP is calling for public health units to take over direct management of long-term care homes “where seniors aren’t well-protected,” and for the province to mandate requirements for infection control, staffing and communication with residents and their families.


Elgin and Oxford

Two more people have tested positive for novel coronavirus, while four more people have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Tuesday.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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