London region logs 120 new COVID-19 cases and 2 more deaths ahead of lockdown

Recent developments:

What’s the latest in London? 

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 120 new cases Wednesday and two new deaths. They involved a man in his 80s who was living in a seniors’ home. The other death was a woman in her 90s.

There have been 134 deaths in the London region to date. The health unit says there are currently 1,364 known active cases in Middlesex-London. 

Southwestern Public Health, which includes Oxford and Elgin counties, reported 40 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and two new deaths. The health unit says there are 362 known active cases in the area. 

In Huron Perth, there are 100 people diagnosed with the virus. Today, that health unit reported 12 new cases. The greatest number of cases in the area continues to be in North Perth.

What do we know about the stay-at-home order?

The order starts Thursday and today, Premier Doug Ford reiterated that people must only leave their homes for essential reasons.

“I know essential means different things to different people … so we need everyone to use their best judgment. If you’re not sure if a trip is absolutely essential, it probably isn’t,” he said at a media briefing.

The province said it will publish the “legal parameters” for the order online today and will offer more clarification on the measures. It said it would likely be available this evening.

Meanwhile, Middlesex-London’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said Wednesday that the notion of a “bubble” is done. He says people living alone can still spend time with one other household. But otherwise, he says people should not be together. 

As for exercise, especially with kids at home from school, he says five people are allowed to be together outside and wearing masks. He says parents should remember the masking rule if children from different households want to play. 

How many outbreaks are there today? 

There are currently 14 outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes in the London region. There are also two outbreaks at Victoria Hospital, including one that was declared Tuesday in the Geriatric Behavioural Unit. 

Two seniors’ homes in Oxford County are especially hard hit. At Tillsonburg’s Maple Manor Nursing Home, 11 people have died and 80 out of 103 residents are infected. Staff at that home are also sick, with 48 employees having tested positive.

People Care Tavistock is also dealing with a large outbreak where 40 residents and 33 staff members have tested positive. At that home, five people have died. 

Today, the province set a deadline of Feb. 15 for vaccinating people in all seniors’ facilities and high-risk retirement homes. The plan is to use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to speed up immunizations in nursing homes.

In the London area, Oneida Long-Term Care residents were vaccinated Monday, and on Tuesday, those at Country Terrace received the shot. Today, the vaccination team is scheduled to be at Chelsey Park long-term care. 



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