The Province of Ontario’s GO-VAXX bus mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic will return to London and Middlesex County for several visits throughout the month of May, with its first stop coming this Thursday. The bus will visit the Lucan Biddulph Community Memorial Centre on May 5th, before making a stop at London’s Sherwood Forest Mall on Friday, May 6th. The bus has travelled to many Ontario communities, increasing opportunities for local residents to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and supporting residents who haven’t been able to access mass vaccination clinics.
After just over two weeks of successful operation, the Middlesex-London Health Unit announced today that it plans to keep its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at White Oaks Mall open through the month of May. The walk-in clinic at the south London mall has delivered 617 doses of vaccine since re-opening on April 7th, reducing barriers to access and becoming a proven, popular and convenient way to receive a dose, for those seeking to be vaccinated. This clinic first operated at the mall between September 14 and October 10, 2021 and has administered a total of 6,345 doses of vaccine since that time. The walk-in clinic allows the Health Unit to offer vaccine to people who may not be able to attend a mass vaccinated clinic because of challenges, including convenience, transportation and appointment availability.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and its COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be closed for parts of the long weekend. The MLHU offices at Citi Plaza in London and the Shops on Sydenham in Strathroy, as well as the vaccination clinics at the Western Fair District Agriplex, Caradoc Community Centre and White Oaks Mall will all be closed on Friday, April 15th, and also on Sunday, April 17th and Monday the 18th.
Since Monday, April 4th, 768 COVID-19 cases and three additional COVID-19-related deaths have been reported to the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU). The current level of COVID-19 activity in London and Middlesex County is as high as any seen during the pandemic, except the Omicron-related surge in cases that occurred in January, 2022. With the local incidence rate standing at just over 134 cases per 100,000, wastewater analysis that shows an increasing COVID-19 viral load, and with more people returning to pre-pandemic activities and wearing masks less often, the Health Unit is reminding the community that the current risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains very high.
Starting today, London and Middlesex County residents who are eligible can receive a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine in order to boost their immunity and provide enhanced protection against the virus as it continues to circulate. Yesterday the Ontario government announced expanded eligibility for the vaccine, making a fourth dose available to people over the age of 60, as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members over the age of 18. It is recommended that fourth doses be administered five months after an individual received their third dose of vaccine, however the additional dose may be administered at a minimum interval of three months after the third dose was given.
The Canadian Public Health Association’s inaugural Canadian Public Health Week starts today and runs until Friday. While many people have become more aware of public health over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, there really is even more to its work than mass vaccination campaigns and outbreak management. Public health agencies, like the Middlesex-London Health Unit, play the role of unseen guardians, always on the lookout for the public health issues that can affect the community, and working diligently to address them.
After hosting a successful clinic at White Oaks Mall in September 2021, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is set to re-open its walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the south London mall this week. Re-opening the clinic at White Oaks Mall aligns with the Health Unit’s strategy of offering the vaccine in easy and convenient ways that reduce barriers for people.
On advisement from community partners at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) and the London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC), the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is issuing an urgent warning to individuals who use crystal methamphetamine. Point-of-care testing conducted by LIHC after reports of increased overdoses since Wednesday among people who do not use opioids, has found that a substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine is in fact, fentanyl.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) will soon shift its COVID-19 vaccine appointment booking line from a seven-day-a-week operation to Monday-to-Friday schedule. Starting on Monday, March 28th, the vaccination appointment booking line will be staffed weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The final day of live weekend phone line coverage will be Saturday, March 26th; an answering service will be in place for Sunday, March 27th.
On Wednesday, March 9, the Ontario Government released its plan called Living with and Managing COVID-19, which outlines the timeline for lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures across Ontario. This includes the removal of the mandatory masking requirement for most settings on Monday, March 21, with the exception of select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings.