London

London's COVID-19 cases dwindle but MLHU says keep distancing

The Middlesex London Health Unit continued to see a small number of positive test results for COVID-19 but warns the numbers will only taper off to zero if social distancing continues this long weekend and beyond.

One London assessment centre will be open every day this long weekend

One of many signs around LHSC's Victoria Hospital campus. That site had one person in critical care on Friday. University Hospital had 2 people. (Provided by J.J. Sereday)

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) continued to see a small number of positive test results for COVID-19 but warns the numbers will only taper to zero if social distancing continues this long weekend and beyond.

The health unit reported three new cases Friday, one more than the day before. Officials also said they failed to tally one sick staff member at a retirement home yesterday. In total, the Londoner region has seen 466 cases of the virus. 

The number of people in critical care is also slowly decreasing.

The London Health Science Centre says there are three people in intensive care units going into the weekend, though 23 others are being treated on general wards.

The declining numbers come as Ontario begins opening up the province, including recreational activities and allowing more people back to work.  

The start of Phase One is a primary reason why MLHU is urging people to remain vigilant with physical distancing rules and hand washing, and is preparing itself for a busy weekend in testing labs.

MLHU's Associate Medical Officer Dr. Alex Summers wants people with any symptoms related to the virus to get tested.

"That testing and rapid identification of COVID-19 cases helps us as a health unit to act quickly and make sure people are isolated to break the train of transmission," he added. 

Carling Heights open

The assessment centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre will be open every day this weekend, including holiday Monday, from 11 am to 7 pm.

The assessment centre at the Oakridge Arena will only be open Monday. 

An increased emphasis has been put on testing, both at the local and provincial level, with Ontario aiming for 16,000 tests daily.

While London reported no deaths Friday, that was not the case elsewhere in Ontario. The province reported 27 additional deaths, bring the total number to 1,825.

Figures CBC News has collected from local public health units show at least 1,902 deaths.

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