Coronavirus: 4 deaths, 9 new cases reported in London-Middlesex

Four more people have died, including three at local seniors homes, while nine others have tested positive for novel coronavirus, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Wednesday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in London and Middlesex to 393 and the number of deaths to 36. Health officials reported 11 people had also recovered, bringing that total to 212 — about 59 per cent of all cases.

The health unit said one of the cases and two of the deaths, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 90s, were associated with long-term care homes, while one death, involving a man in his 70s, was associated with a retirement home. The health unit does not say at which facilities the deaths occurred.

A fourth death involving a man in his 80s was not associated with long-term care or retirement homes, the health unit said.

The MLHU figures show eight of the new cases were confirmed in London, where 364 cases have been reported, while one was reported in Middlesex Centre, home to seven cases.

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

Seniors facilities now account for at least 109 of the region’s cases and 20 of its deaths.

Sixty-eight cases have been reported at long-term care homes, involving 47 residents and 21 staff, while 41 cases have been reported at retirement homes, involving 29 residents and 12 staff.

The number of outbreaks that have been declared in London and Middlesex remained unchanged from Tuesday at 16.

Of those, 10 remain active, including seven at seniors facilities. They’re among at least 11 outbreaks that have been declared at local long-term care and retirement homes since the start of the pandemic.

Provincially, at least 181 outbreaks have been declared at long-term care homes across Ontario, according to Public Health Ontario.

The most recent local outbreak was declared Saturday at Elmwood Place Long-Term Care Home, where a resident has tested positive.

Outbreaks also remain active at Earls Court Village, Grand Wood Park, Henley Place, Horizon Place, Kensington Village, Meadow Park Care Centre, Sisters of St. Joseph and Victoria Hospital, which has seen cases in its oncology unit (C7-400) and geriatric behavioural unit (C6-100).

As of Wednesday, at least 38 London Health Sciences staff had tested positive for novel coronavirus, the organization said, unchanged from the day before. Few other details have been released, including how many are front-line medical staff, how many, if any, have been hospitalized and how many have recovered.

Both University and Victoria hospitals were treating a total of 32 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, a decrease of four from Tuesday, with 12 in intensive care.

Six local outbreaks have been declared over, the most recent on Tuesday at St. Joseph’s Hospice, where 13 staff and five patients had tested positive.

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

Provincially, Ontario reported 347 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 45 more deaths, bringing the province’s caseload to 15,728, a 2.3 per cent increase over the previous day, which is the lowest growth rate in weeks.

More than 60 per cent of the total cases, 9,612, are ones that have been resolved, and there have been a total of 996 deaths.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose, though the number of people in intensive care and on ventilators decreased slightly.

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Under the province’s reopening framework, the chief medical officer is looking for a consistent two- to four-week decrease in the number of new cases as well as declining hospitalizations before advising moving to the first stage.

Ontario has reported doing 11,554 tests in the previous 24 hours and has said it will do 14,000 tests daily by Wednesday, a number that would be reflected in Thursday’s data.

Elgin and Oxford

One more person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while four people have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Wednesday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in Elgin and Oxford counties to 60 and the number of recoveries to 32 — about 53 per cent of cases. The number of deaths remains unchanged at four.

SWPH said the region was seeing cases double every 10 days, with the percentage of positive cases falling around 3.5 per cent.

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.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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