COVID-19: Encouraging signs from London’s weekend party scene

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Concerns remain. But the weekend’s quiet party scene – coupled with Premier Doug Ford’s decision to quell social gatherings across the province – is reason for cautious optimism, Summers said.

“We’re still in that two-week window where contacts already quarantined can turn into cases,” he said.

Richmond Row was quiet on Saturday night. Photo taken September 19, 2020. DALE CARRUTHERS / THE LONDON FREE PRESS

The weekend of 11 cases will be a relief for many. Especially since on Thursday and Friday, London and surrounding County of Middlesex had recorded 24 new cases – the community’s biggest two-day peak load since April.

The provincial government’s decision to crack down on social gatherings across the province should also attract broad support here. As Ford said on Saturday, “the alarm bells are ringing”.

According to the new rules:

  • Indoor gatherings should now be limited to a maximum of 10 people, down from 50
  • Outdoor gatherings should be limited to a maximum of 25 people, up from 100
  • Minimum fine for party planners is now $ 10,000 and $ 750 for those who attend

Officials from the London-Middlesex Health Unit had urged the Prime Minister to impose stricter rules on social gatherings on Friday.

A clear message was also sent last week by Western University President Alan Shepard, who warned students that in-person classes are “at risk” if the school’s COVID-19 workload does not is not under control.

No cases have yet been reported in any elementary or secondary schools in the London area.

Sunday’s 11 new COVID-19 cases bring the total number in London-Middlesex to 800 since the pandemic began several months ago. There are currently 61 “active” cases, according to an unofficial tally from The Free Press, and all the others have been “resolved.”

There have been 57 local deaths from COVID-19, the most recent on June 12.

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