MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Middlesex-London on Tuesday, following a two-day rise in cases connected to a community outbreak.

The new cases bring the total in the region to 760, with 678 resolved and 57 deaths, though no new deaths since June 12.

There have been more than a dozen new cases reported since Saturday, largely associated with students at Western University.

The jump prompted the Middlesex-London Health Unit to declare a community outbreak, which has led to long lines at the city’s two assessment centres and another set up on the Western campus.

The outbreak consists of students who had yet to visit campus, but had interactions with others at downtown bars and with people in neighbouring student residences.

An outbreak on the fourth floor of the Chelsey Park Retirement Community, which was declared last Wednesday, continues.

Nearly 65,000 people have now been tested at the city’s two assessment centres since they opened months ago.

Here is where the case totals stand in other nearby regions based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Huron-Perth – one new, four active, 127 total, 118 resolved, five deaths
  • Elgin-Oxford – none new, five active, 258 cases, 248 resolved, five deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – none new, four active, 343 cases, 314 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – none new, 11 active, 485 total cases, 442 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – none new, one active, 130 total, 129 resolved, no deaths

Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra issued an open letter Tuesday about why children should not be tested as a precaution, as local assessment centres there were also pushed to their capacity limits.

While he said he sympathizes with the concerns of fellow parents, “I want to explain to all parents that if there are no symptoms, and no close link to a confirmed case (as decided by local public health); then there is no practical benefit to getting your children tested. There is, however, potential harm.”

Among Arra’s concerns; potential anxiety and complications from the test, false reassurance, the potential for false positives and undue pressure on testing capacity.

He added that public health is working closely with schools and parents will be notified should there be any need for testing.

Across Ontario, 251 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, a slight decline from the 14-week high reported on Monday.