Explosion of COVID-19 cases at London seniors’ home as testing increases

Increased testing at seniors’ facilities where COVID-19 has infected residents or staff has turned up troubling results at London’s Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence.

Fourteen new people have tested positive for coronavirus. The facility first declared an outbreak on March 31 when two people initially contracted the virus, bringing the total to 16. 

One person at Grand Wood Park is in hospital, health officials said. 

The move to increase testing comes on the heels of new provincial guidelines introduced Wednesday. All symptomatic staff and residents must now be screened, as well as any asymptomatic residents or staff who came in contact with someone with COVID-19. 

The Middlesex London Health Unit said Friday that there are:

  • 69 people infected at both long-term care homes and retirement residences in London.
  • 50 are residents living in the facilities.
  • 19 are staff.

These numbers could grow when, like at Grand Wood Park, test results come back from the lab. Every home in the London region that’s declared an outbreak is being tested, according to the new guidelines.

“This increase in the number of cases at Grand Wood Park gives us a better picture of what is going on in some of our long-term care homes and retirement residences and actually helps increase our understanding of how the coronavirus behaves in these facilities,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Associate Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).

Declared COVID-19 Outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes

  • Horizon Place
  • Sprucedale Care Centre
  • Meadow Park Care Centre
  • Earls Court Care Centre
  • Kensington Village
  • Seasons Retirement Community (Strathroy)
  • Grand Wood Park
  • Henley Place

** From April 16, 2020 MLHU Outbreak Report

As well as increasing tests, risk assessments are also underway at seniors’ facilities. The MLHU says that will indicate whether specific homes have proper personal protective equipment or require additional support from infectious disease specialists.

There have been three deaths at seniors’ facilities in London, including one new death announced Friday. 

The MLHU will not say where those deaths occurred. With the exception of Grand Wood Park, it is also not revealing the number of cases being treated in individual homes, saying there is not enough risk to the public to merit it.

Highest number of overall positive cases

London saw the biggest single jump in news cases Friday, up 24, bringing the total count to 282. There have been 16 deaths in the region. 

It comes the same day the province also saw a leap in positive cases. 

The MLHU also reported Friday that 125 cases have been resolved. 


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