LONDON, ONT --
The number of cases in Middlesex-London jumped by 15 on Tuesday, bringing the total in the region to 52, as the St. Thomas area reported its first death.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) also reported two additional deaths, bringing the total in the region to three.
Two of the new cases are people with a recent history of travel, two are close contacts of previously reported cases and the source of infection for 11 people is still under investigation.
“We are seeing spread where there is no travel and no close contact with known cases of COVID-19,” said Medical Officer of Health and CEO of the MLHU Dr. Chris Mackie in a statement. “I can’t make this any clearer, what we do now will determine how the situation unfolds in London and Middlesex County. It is time to stay home and only go into the community for the essentials.”
The MLHU says another reason for the jump is that laboratories have been able to clear a backlog of pending tests.
The two deaths in Middlesex-London were both women, one in her 90s and another in her 80s.
In St. Thomas, a woman in her 80s has died at hospital; it is the first death to be reported in the area.
The St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) confirmed the death Tuesday morning, offering their sympathies to the patient’s family. The woman had no travel history.
According to Southwestern Public Health the total number of cases in Elgin and Oxford counties sits at 11, including the deceased, with one new case reported Tuesday in an Oxford County man in his 60s with a history of travel. He is self-isolating.
The hospital is reminding the public to heed safety measures put in place by various levels of government.
Meanwhile the hospital is ramping down elective surgeries and other non-emergent clinical activity, restricting visitors, reducing the number of entrances and screening everyone.
STEGH is also erecting tented areas outside of the Emergency Department to provide additional space for triage before patients enter.
Two confirmed cases at Parkwood Institute
St. Joseph's Health Care has confirmed it is dealing with two cases of COVID-19 at Parkwood Institute's Mental Health Care Building.
They have been isolated to two units.
St. Joseph’s said in a statement that additional infection control measures were immediately put into place.
The hospital adds staff members at risk of potential exposure have been notified and are self-isolating at home.
Patients in the affected units have also been made aware and placed on infection control precautions and are being closely monitored.
A statement continued, “Please be assured precautions, practices and protocols to address COVID-19 across all St. Joseph’s sites continue to be carefully followed."
Cases and deaths in the region rising
Sarnia-Lambton has 39 cases and four deaths as of Tuesday morning.
There is concern in the region with one of the outbreaks being in Landmark Village, a retirement home.
Meanwhile Huron-Perth reported its first death Monday with the total number of cases in the region up to nine; including a resident of Hillside Manor Long Term Care Home.
In Grey-Bruce there was one new case reported Tuesday, a woman in her 30s.
That brings the total to 12 confirmed cases in that region, but no deaths.
- With files from CTV's Jordyn Read and CTV News London