London

5 deaths and 79 new COVID-19 cases in London region Tuesday

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 79 new infections Tuesday, with 1305 known active cases in the community. Five people, all of whom were over 80, died of the virus.

The premier said the province is 'in crisis' and issued a state of emergency order

A paramedic prepares a gurney before its loaded back into an ambulance parked outside the emergency department at University Hospital in London, Ont. in January. (Colin Butler/CBC)

Recent developments

What's the situation for the London area?

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 79 new infections Tuesday, with 1305 known active cases in the community. Five people, all of whom were over 80, died of the virus. The rolling average for the week is 109 new cases per day. 

Southwestern Public Health, which includes St. Thomas and Woodstock, is reporting 64 new cases. Three more people have died. 

Huron Perth Public Health reported 22 new cases Tuesday. It currently has 104 known active cases, with the majority in Stratford. 

How is it looking in hospitals? 

Admissions to local hospitals are growing. London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) said it has 40 new patients with COVID-19 in hospital. There 15 patients in the critical care unit. 

One outbreak is currently ongoing at Victoria Hospital in the Antenatal unit. It was declared last week and LHSC said Tuesday fewer than 5 patients and fewer than 5 staff have tested positive in relation to the outbreak.

University Hospital has resolved all outbreaks. 

What does a 'state of emergency' mean? 

Premier Doug Ford said Ontario is "in crisis."  

"The system is on the brink of collapse. It's on the brink of being overwhelmed," Ford said Tuesday during a live media briefing outlining new public health measures. 

Effective immediately, Ontario is in a state of emergency and starting Thursday at 12:01 a.m., a stay-at-home order is in place. That will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Other measures include: 

  • Outdoor gathering limits reduced to five people.
  • Shorter hours for essential businesses, which would involve later openings and earlier closures.
  • Limits on construction activity, but those limits would still allow essential construction to continue. Essential construction would be defined as work on health care and critical infrastructure, as well as residential buildings.
  • A requirement that no employees would be allowed in offices unless they are deemed essential.

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