The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting the highest daily increase in new local COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began 21 months ago. When the local online COVID-19 dashboard is updated later today, the numbers will show there were 228 new cases reported to the Health Unit yesterday, setting a new benchmark in the local effort to respond to the pandemic. The data is clear evidence that COVID-19 is circulating very quickly and widely in the community.
The rapid increase in local COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks has placed pressure on MLHU resources. As it now stands, more than 300 people in London and Middlesex County who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have not yet been contacted by local public health to be advised of their status.
The growing number of new COVID-19 cases, combined with a demand for PCR testing that currently exceeds the local capacity to perform the tests, has led the MLHU to issue new guidance for the local community.
The Health Unit is now advising anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate immediately and not wait to be contacted by public health. These individuals are also asked to tell all those who are part of their household to isolate as well. In addition, anyone who develops respiratory symptoms is being advised to treat their illness as though it is COVID-19, even without a positive test result, to self-isolate immediately and advise members of their household to isolate as well.
“Since the Omicron variant was first identified in our community, we have seen the case counts climb at a rate we haven’t seen before. The virus spreads easily and very quickly,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Acting Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We’re asking everyone to take enhanced precautions when they would rather gather with friends and family, and we know that is not what people want to hear. But the situation is unfolding in an unprecedented way and we all need to act together to prevent further spread.”
The MLHU is also asking everyone to reduce indoor contact with others as much as possible, as every non-essential indoor interaction with another person increases the risk of getting COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19 visit: https://www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-663-5317, extension 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell)
Dr. Alex Summers, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit