London

First COVID-19 patient admitted to Children's Hospital as two more die from virus

London health Sciences Centre's Children's Hospital has admitted its first COVID-19 patient, as the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported on Tuesday two new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths, ending four consecutive days of zero deaths in the region. 

The young patient is not in the critical care unit

A young patient has been admitted to the Children's Hospital for COVID-19, but health officials are unable to provide any details on the patient in order to maintain confidentiality. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

London Health Sciences Centre's Children's Hospital has admitted its first COVID-19 patient, as the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported on Tuesday two new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths, ending four consecutive days of zero deaths in the region. 

This is the first time since the outbreak began that a young person has been admitted to hospital with the virus, public health officials said. 

Little information is known about the young patient and public health officials said they were unable to provide any details, including his or her age, in order to protect their privacy. 

Over the course of the pandemic, six people under the age of 19 have tested positive for COVID-19, but Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health for the MLHU, said this was the first time a youth had to be admitted to hospital.

"The reality is children are actually at much lower risk of being seriously impacted by coronavirus," said Mackie. 

"Coronavirus has caused very few deaths around the world in anyone under 10."

Young people are more likely to have a bad outcome from the virus if they vape or if they are immunocompromised, Dr. Mackie said.

The latest to die from the virus in Middlesex-London are a woman in her 60s associated with a retirement home and man in his 80s from a long-term care home. 

Since the outbreak began in the region with a single case in January, 45 people have died from the virus and 25 of them have been associated with seniors' homes. 

In addition to the new deaths, the MLHU also reported two new cases in the region, both of which are associated with seniors' facilities. 

Currently, nine seniors' homes in the region have declared outbreaks, meaning that at least one staff or resident has contracted the virus. 

COVID-19 outbreaks in senior's facilities

  • Peoplecare Oak Crossing
  • Kensington Village Retirement
  • Elmwood Place
  • Horizon Place
  • Meadow Park Care Centre
  • Earls Court Care Centre
  • Kensington Village
  • Grand Wood Park
  • Henley Place

** From May 11, 2020 MLHU Outbreak Report

Over the course of the pandemic, four outbreaks have been resolved, but two of the current nine outbreaks have been ongoing since March.

"We're very slow to remove those outbreak declarations," said Mackie, adding that the health unit has to wait several days after a new case has been reported before declaring it over. 

"You don't want to be flipping in and out of outbreaks, it can be quite confusing ... so, we're very cautious to make sure that we are not declaring an outbreak over until it's very clear."

As of Tuesday, 25 people at the London Health Sciences Centre are being treated for COVID-19, including the patient admitted to Children's Hospital. Of the people hospitalized, five are in critical care units. 

Meanwhile, the health unit marked four more cases resolved, bringing the total number of inactive cases to 303 out of the 458 cases reported over the course of the pandemic.

Cases in surrounding counties 

A woman in a surgical mask returns a cart after loading groceries into the back of her car. (Colin Butler/CBC)

Oxford and Elgin counties saw a new COVID-19 case after their tally had held steadily at the same number for four days. 

The region has recorded 63 cases, 47 recoveries and four deaths to date. 

Meanwhile, it's been more than a week since Huron and Perth reported new cases. 

Currently, the region has three active cases. Since the outbreak began, 49 people have contracted the virus, but 41 have recovered, while five have died. 

In Grey Bruce, health officials also had no new cases to report. 

The region's tally has held at 90 for three days and 72 people have recovered from the virus. 

Clarifications

  • In an earlier version of this story, Dr. Mackie was quoted saying cystic fibrosis was a risk factor for having bad outcomes from COVID-19 in pediatric cases. Since then, Dr. Mackie said he consulted with physicians who say cystic fibrosis is not a particular risk factor for pediatric cases.
    May 13, 2020 5:09 PM ET

now