The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) has reported 12 new cases and the death of a man in his forties.
“We are at a crossroads,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, MLHU medical officer of health. “The number of cases in the London and Middlesex area remains fairly stable for the moment, but that will not continue. “
In Ontario, 550 new cases were reported on Wednesday, making it the largest one-day increase since the start of the epidemic.
According to Dr. Mackie, taking into account the fact that these positive cases come from a smaller pool of tests than usual, this means that the infection rate of the virus is increasing.
“This is a disturbing development from the point of view of the provincial epidemic, and as we know, London is intimately linked to the province, so what is happening in Ontario will happen here too,” he said. -he explains.
Since the epidemic, there have been seven deaths in the London area, as well as one death in Huron-Perth.
In Ontario, the province’s official count includes 174 deaths, although CBC News has compiled data from regional public health units and has recorded at least 202 deaths related to COVID-19.
Of the 162 cases reported to date by the MLHU, one is a London bus driver who worked before being diagnosed.
Earlier on Wednesday, the London Transit Commission issued a statement asking anyone feeling sick, who had been on the driver’s route, to come to the health unit for a test.
More cases in institutions for the elderly
Eighteen people who tested positive for the virus in London and Middlesex County are linked to eight different seniors’ facilities.
Currently, there are 13 cases in long-term care homes and five in retirement homes. The cases concern both residents and staff members.
“Fortunately, we haven’t had a death in a long-term care home yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time,” said Dr. Mackie.
Homes for the Aged with COVID-19 Outbreaks:
- Sprucedale Care Center, Strathroy
- Meadow Park Health Center
- Kensington village
- Earls Court Village
- Grand Wood Retirement Residence in London
- Seasons Retirement Community, Strathroy
- Henley Place
- Chelsey park
The health unit is now asking all staff in long-term care homes to wear masks at all times.
“This will really help prevent the spread to residents of long-term care homes who are at risk,” said Dr. Mackie. “Even when a home and staff are doing their best to make sure no one gets into work, we have seen asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread. “
The health unit also said it was “aggressively” testing long-term care homes to identify potential cases and isolate them to stop the spread in these facilities.
Health unit encouraging people to get tested
The two London assessment centers now have the capacity to test more people, and health officials encourage anyone with symptoms to get tested.
“It was always a careful balance in terms of supplies available, but we now have enough supplies,” said Dr. Mackie.
He said the health unit is “advocating” for people to go to the assessment center if they have symptoms, especially if asked to do so by the Covid-19 Checkup.
Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday afternoon that more tests would be available across the province and called the current level unacceptable.
Ford said all frontline health workers need to be tested, including those working in hospitals and long-term care homes, as well as first responders, police and paramedics.
Ford also said that all seniors in long-term care homes should be tested, as well as all vulnerable people in the province.
Increase in cases in surrounding counties
Huron-Perth Public Health reported another case in Stratford.
There are now 24 cases in Huron-Perth and two of the cases have been resolved.
Two new cases have been reported in the county of Elgin and one in the country of Oxford, bringing the total of 27 counties to 27 cases.
Officials at Gray Bruce now have 30 confirmed cases. The latest is a self-isolated man in his sixties.