London, ON – The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) will join countless organizations and millions of people around the world in marking the third anniversary of the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. It was on March 11th, 2020 that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced there were more than 118,000 cases of COVID-19 and that the virus had spread to 114 countries, claiming 4,291 lives. He stated that the WHO was deeply concerned by the startling extent of virus spread and severity, and had determined that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic.
The first known case of what was then characterized as an “pneumonia of unknown etiology” was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The first documented case of COVID-19 in London was announced on January 31st, 2020 in an individual who went to Western University and had recently returned from travel to Wuhan, China.
Three years later, according to the most recent WHO data, there have been more than 759 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 6.8 million deaths reported globally. The latest data from Public Health Ontario indicates there have been more than 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in Ontario and more than 16 thousand related deaths. According to the latest MLHU COVID-19 dashboard update, there have been 48,725 reported COVID-19 cases in London and Middlesex County, as well as 527 related deaths.
“Looking back on the last three years, I am proud of how our community responded and how our team at the Middlesex-London Health Unit was able to meet this generational challenge,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “As we reflect on the struggles of the pandemic, there is also so much to be grateful for. Thank you to our staff for the care they provided to those who became ill and to their families. Thank you to our community, health system and municipal partners for tirelessly working alongside us. And thank you to Middlesex and London residents for doing your part, including participating in the unprecedented vaccination effort.”
Since the Health Unit first began administering COVID-19 vaccines in late December of 2020, almost 94% of London and Middlesex County residents 12 years of age and older have completed their primary series. More than 1.35 million doses have been administered through the Health Unit’s mass vaccination sites at the Western Fair District’s Agriplex and main building; Caradoc Community Centre; Earl Nichols Arena; North London Optimist Community Centre; mall-based clinics at White Oaks Mall, CF Masonville Place, Westmount Shopping Centre; community-based clinics at numerous schools and community centres and Go-VAXX bus-based clinics held in partnership with the provincial government, as well as through pharmacies and healthcare provider offices across the region.
For more information about COVID-19 in London and Middlesex County visit www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-617-0570
Dr. Alex Summers, Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit