London region sees 3 new COVID-19 cases, all linked to seniors' homes

Health officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) recorded three new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, all of them at the region's hard-hit eldcare facilities.

There have been no new deaths reported in the region since Sunday

Two people appear to be visiting with a relative through a window at Kensington Village long-term care home in London, Ont. (Jean-Francois Bisson/CBC)

Health officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) recorded three new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, all of them at the region's hard-hit eldercare facilities. 

Of the three new reported cases Wednesday, one involved a resident and a staff member of a retirement home, while the third was a resident at a long-term care facility, health authorities said. 

At least 15 different centres have reported outbreaks since the pandemic began and, together, account for 160 out of the region's total caseload of 487.

The number of deaths in the region remains unchanged at 48 since Sunday with seniors' home staff and residents making up more than half the fatalities.  

While many of the outbreaks have been resolved, a number are still active.

The list of active outbreaks includes Country Terrace, Kensington Village, Meadow Park Care Centre, Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care, Waverley Mansion and Sisters of St. Joseph.

Two women out for a stroll along Adelaide Street, north of Cheapside Street in London, Ontario. (Colin Butler/CBC)

The three new cases come just a day after the region reported 11 new cases, most of which stemmed from community transmission and came on the heels of the province's reopening. 

Dr. Chris Mackie, the MLHU's medical officer of health, said that while it's encouraging to see fewer cases, it's not the time to back down on safety precautions. 

"We're still seeing deaths and we're still seeing more cases than we want, so we are certainly not out of the woods here," he said, adding that as long as major neighbouring cities such as Windsor and Toronto have outbreaks, that puts pressure on Middlesex-London.

The region's numbers also tend to fluctuate a bit more due to the smaller volume when compared to provincial figures, Dr. Mackie explained.

"We're watching for longer trends ... as those [five day rolling averages] climb up, that would be the time when we would start to be concerned. At this point, we are still in a watchful waiting situation," he added. 

Province-wide, Ontario reported 390 new cases coming out of 7,382 tests done, a number below the current target of 16,000 tests per day.

The sharp drop in testing may be due to the Victoria Day long weekend and because all testing at long-term care facilities has been completed, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said. 

Of the province's 23,774 cases, 76 per cent of them have been resolved. However, at least 1,962 people have died from the virus, according to the province's official death toll. 

Cases beyond Middlesex-London

Five COVID-19 cases remain active in Oxford and Elgin counties, according to Southwestern Public Health. 

Over the course of the pandemic, the counties have seen a total of 65 cases, but 56 have been resolved. Four people succumbed to the virus.

Meanwhile, Huron and Perth have no active cases. 

49 people have contracted the virus in the region, but according to Huron Perth Public Health, 44 people have recovered, while five died. 

In Grey Bruce, health officials have 12 active cases, after another case was deemed to be a false positive. 

In total, 90 people have been infected, but 78 have recovered and the region have not recorded a single fatality to date.