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As parents worry and teachers sweat over back to school – just weeks away in Ontario – doctors say low COVID-19 count is a good signal to bring children back to London and the region in the classroom.
A new coronavirus infection was announced over the weekend, bringing the total number of cases so far in London and Middlesex County to 683, with 20 of those cases still active. It has become an encouraging pattern, except for a rare day or two, for local authorities to report zero or just one new case each day.
“Our numbers couldn’t be better at the moment,” said Dr Mario Elia, a family doctor in southwest London and assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Western University.
He attributed a strong public willingness to keep away from others, wear masks, and follow other public health recommendations, such as frequent and thorough hand washing.
“I hope that we can continue this momentum, with a weak community distribution. . . as long as everyone keeps doing what we’re doing, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have a good springboard to start school.
Elia said returning to classrooms – where schoolchildren, teachers and staff will inevitably come into close contact with many other people – is the main COVID-19 question he hears from patients.
Despite the anxiety, public health officials say London and Middlesex County are in a good place for back to school.
“The numbers have been so low since the start of this (pandemic),” said Dr. Alex Summers, deputy medical officer of the region, calling the statistics “reassuring”.
They have remained low for the three weeks since London entered the third phase of the reopening, also welcoming customers to restaurants, bars, fitness facilities and other indoor spaces.
Ontario has also seen promising numbers lately, with fewer than 100 new cases per day for a week.