New COVID-19 cases linked to parties

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Local health officials are reminding people that they should not be gathering in groups of more than 10 after two of the three new COVID-19 cases reported Monday were linked to large gatherings.

The three new cases reported Monday bring the total in London and Middlesex County to 625 since the pandemic began.

The Middlesex London Health Unit says the first case related to the parties was reported on June 24. Since then, a total of eight cases have been linked to the gatherings, including the two cases reported Monday. All eight involve people in their 20s.

“In addition to violating the gathering limit of 10, some of the individuals associated with this outbreak also attended other social gatherings outside the Middlesex-London region, with different groups of people, outside their social circle,” the health unit said in a news release issued Monday. “Health Unit staff have been communicating with all eight individuals and are following up with their close contacts as part of the on-going case investigations.”

The new cases seem to underscore the importance of following the guidelines set out by the province and local health officials when it comes to maintaining physical distance and adhering to the rules surrounding how many people can get together in one place. Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says those guidelines are critical.

“While we enter new reopening phases, and start to see restrictions lift, it is important to
remember that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still present in our community,” Dr. Mackie said. “This outbreak highlights the need for ongoing caution during the reopening phases this summer. Limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, wash hands often, keep two metres apart, and wear a mask in indoor public spaces.”

Provincially, health officials reported 257 new cases on Monday. Many of the new cases can be linked to the agri-food sector in the Windsor area. Health officials there reported another 88 cases Monday after reporting 98 on Sunday.