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New COVID-19 cases high in Aylmer as town imposes mask bylaw

As other southwestern communities are seeing a steady decline in new coronavirus cases, the caseload in Aylmer only seems to be growing.

The picturesque town known for its slower pace of life is quickly turning into a COVID hot spot

The town of Aylmer passed a bylaw making masks mandatory starting August 7, 2020. It's one of the last remaining areas in southwestern Ontario to impose a policy. Chatham Kent does not have a masking policy in place. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A mandatory mask by-law will take effect in the southwestern Ontario community of Aylmer this week as authorities struggle to contain a growing coronavirus outbreak in the community. 

The town of 7,500 has 47 active cases of COVID-19, compared with only 25 active cases of the illness in nearby London, a sprawling city of 385,000. 

On Thursday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported one new COVID-19 case while Southwest Public Health, the authority responsible for Elgin and Oxford counties reported three new cases.

Earlier in the week, Aylmer passed a bylaw making masks mandatory in indoor public areas, which comes into effect Friday at midnight. 

"The Town is receiving a significant number of concerns and complaints from the local business community related to mandatory face covering. We believe that we must support our business community any way we can during these difficult economic times," Mayor Mary French said in a statement.  

She notes infection rates are rising and warns the community the health unit is concerned about further spread. 

Meanwhile, the number of cases being reported across Ontario continues to fall. There were 95 new COVID-19 cases Thursday bringing the province to its fourth consecutive day of having less than 100 cases. 

Windsor-Essex, which remains in Stage 2 and has seen high case numbers largely due to community spread within the farming industry, reported five new cases Thursday. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said there were 52 active COVID-19 cases in Aylmer. In fact, the town has 47 active COVID-19. It has had 52 cases over the course of the pandemic.
    Aug 06, 2020 5:58 PM ET

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