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Outbreak Declared, Attendees Advised To Quarantine, After More Than A Dozen COVID Cases Reported Following Funeral

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit is continuing the investigation of a COVID-19 outbreak that was declared following a funeral held in London earlier this month. The Health Unit announced today that 14 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the event and that investigators have found evidence to suggest transmission likely occurred at private home gatherings, the visitation and the funeral.

The Health Unit has determined that between 180 and 300 people attended the visitation held Wednesday, May 5th at Needham Funeral Home; the funeral service on Thursday, May 6th at Holy Cross Santa Cruz Catholic Church; and the burial later that day at Woodland Cemetery.

While the Health Unit has been able to advise several people associated with the funeral of their exposure directly, investigators do not have a way to reach most of those who were in attendance. Anyone who attended these gatherings is considered a high-risk contact and is advised to quarantine immediately.

Those who attended any of the events associated with this funeral are also advised to get tested at one of London’s two COVID-19 Assessment Centres, located at the Oakridge Arena and the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre.

“The pandemic has made it very challenging to observe many important life events, including those like funerals, where we lean on each other for support,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “This outbreak is showing once again how important it is to continue following public health guidance. We ask that people continue to wear a mask or face covering, maintain a physical distance of six feet from others, and please do not gather in groups or with people who are not part of your household.”

In addition to these recommendations, the Health Unit also recommends the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections:

  • Book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment as soon as you are eligible.
  • Stay home from work and other activities if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested at an Assessment Centre as soon as you are able.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or use a waterless hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
  • Cover coughs and/or sneezes with your sleeve or cough into your elbow.
  • Clean high-touch areas, such as doorknobs in public spaces, frequently.

For more information about COVID-19, including the latest vaccine eligibility information and public health guidance visit: www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus.

Media Contact:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-617-0570

Spokesperson:
Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit