Three new COVID-19 cases reported in London area

A couple wearing face masks walk through a mall. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / dolgachov

As London’s COVID-19 assessment centres continue to be overwhelmed by people looking to get tested, the region is reporting fewer than five new infections for the first time in two days.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said on Tuesday just three additional people tested positive for the virus. That is down from six on Monday and five on Sunday.

The area’s total number of cases went up by four to 760 as a case confirmed late last week, which was originally missed, was added.

There were no additional recoveries reported in London and Middlesex County on Tuesday, leaving the total resolved cases at 678. The death toll is unchanged at 57 and there are only 25 active cases in the city and county.

For the third straight day, the wait for testing at London’s two COVID-19 assessment centres was quite long on Tuesday.  The health unit tweeted late-morning the wait time at the Carling Heights Assessment Centre was 3 hours, while those at the Oakridge Assessment Centre would be in line for roughly two hours. Just before 1:30 p.m., the health unit said the assessment centre at Carling Heights had reached its capacity for the day. Around 3 p.m., it reported that the Oakridge centre had also reached capacity for the day.

People began arriving at the two locations hours before opening, with the line of vehicles stretching out of the parking lots and onto the streets.

A mobile testing trailer at Western University was also seeing a large number of students for a second day. The on-campus assessment centre hit its 220 patient capacity within an hour of opening on Monday. For Tuesday, the testing capacity was more than doubled to 500.

The surge of individuals flocking to assessment centres came after the health unit declared a community outbreak after five Western students who had spent time at downtown bars and restaurants tested positive. Both the health unit and Western are urging people only to get tested if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected individual.

Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for Elgin and Oxford counties, reported no new cases on Tuesday. The area’s total case count remains at 258, with 248 cases resolved and five deaths. The number of active cases is five.

Ontario saw a slight decrease in the number of new cases reported on Tuesday.

Public health officials said there were 251 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours. That is down from 313 on Monday – the highest daily increase since early June.

Many of Tuesday’s new cases again came from the Toronto area, Ontario’s health minister confirmed.

“Toronto is reporting 73 new cases, with 51 in Ottawa and 42 in Peel,” Christine Elliott tweeted.

She also noted 24 of the province’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases with 14 reporting no new cases.

Ontario’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is 45,068.

There were four additional deaths linked to COVID-19 since Monday, bringing the death toll to 2,820.

Recoveries are up to 40,091.

There was no change in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the province with 47 people admitted. Of those, 19 are in the intensive care unit and 11 are relying on ventilators to breathe.

In the last 24 hours, nearly 28,000 additional COVID-19 tests were conducted in Ontario.