London's health unit issues warning as 50% of new COVID-19 cases involve youth under 22
The spike in cases comes as Western University declares another outbreak Friday in residence
The Middlesex London Health Unit has issued an urgent notice to young adults telling them to "do their part," stay home and get tested if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
The warning comes after more than 50 per cent of new infections in the past 48 hours involve youth ages 18 - 22.
Data collected by the health unit shows the majority of variant cases screened in the area also involves this age group, and those under 19 years of age.
MLHU said 244 new infections were logged Friday and Saturday, with 132 cases involving youth.
⚠️ URGENT NOTICE FOR YOUNG ADULTS:<br><br>In the last 48 hours, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LdnOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LdnOnt</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Middlesex?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Middlesex</a> County have reported 244 cases of COVID-19. 132 are in young adults 18-22. You read that correctly. Over 50% of all new COVID-19 cases in the last two days are young adults. /1 <a href="https://t.co/PinwbN5skJ">pic.twitter.com/PinwbN5skJ</a>—@MLHealthUnit
The university is dealing with multiple outbreaks in residence buildings and has told students to move out if they are able.
The latest outbreak was declared Friday at Delaware Hall. The day before, Medway-Sydenham Hall Residence was locked down with at least 8 students infected. Outbreaks at Ontario Hall, Saugeen-Maitland Hall and Elgin Hall are also active.
Just over two weeks ago, St. Patrick's Day parties were underway with many young people celebrating. All bars and restaurants in the city complied with provincial pandemic rules, but two Western students were fined for hosting a party.
MLHU turned to social media Saturday to plead with students to respect distancing rules, describing in a step-by-step series of posts what to do if they show any symptoms.
2⃣ Write down the following to help public health staff identify your close contacts:<br><br>▪️ All the places you have been in the last 14 days<br><br>▪️ The names of everyone you have been in close contact with starting 48 hours before your symptoms began <br><br>/5—@MLHealthUnit
"If you are 18-22, it is critical that you cancel all parties, social gatherings, and hangouts. STAY AT HOME. Thanks for doing your part," one tweet said.
MLHU said it will not be providing an update on case counts in the region until Tuesday. On Saturday, there were 732 active cases.