Monday’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from Southwestern Public Health shows the number of confirmed active COVID-19 cases in Oxford and Elgin Counties is 11.
As of Monday, May 11, 11:15 a.m., there are seven active cases in Oxford County – three in Tillsonburg, two in Woodstock, and one in Norwich and South-West Oxford.
Elgin County has four ongoing cases (two in St. Thomas).
Four people in Elgin County have died from the coronavirus. There have been no reported Covid-19 in Oxford County.
A total of 3,124 people have been tested in Oxford-Elgin, including 248 pending test results.
In total, since the first positive tests March 23 (Elgin) and March 25 (Oxford) were recorded by Southwestern Public Health, there have been 62 cumulative cases in Oxford-Elgin, which includes 47 that are resolved (no longer infectious).
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit reported 201 lab-confirmed cumulative cases on Monday (75 have recovered) and 30 deaths.
Saturday was the first day Middlesex-London Health Unit reported no new cases since March 21. On Monday, however, 13 new cases were reported.
“Obviously there has been a declining trend. This is very good news but we need to be cautious in terms of saying the virus is not any longer in our community. That would be a hard statement to make at this stage,” said Dr. Saverio Stranges, the chair of epidemiology and biostatistics at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry on the weekend.
“This is excellent news, but I will encourage (everyone) to wait for a few additional days to see whether this a consistent trend or maybe just a random fact as far as today.”
The total number of cases in Middlesex-London is 456 (including 299 resolved), and there have been 43 deaths.
“I’m encouraged by what I see in our communities. It’s Saturday, I just did my grocery run, and people are being very careful,” Mackie said, citing lots of face masks, “courteous interactions” and shoppers giving one another lots of personal space.
“It’s very clear that we’re not through this. We will have more cases that are reported in the next weeks, but it’s a very good sign that things are starting to normalize,” he added.
Across the province, 447,964 people have been tested. There are currently 4,118 confirmed cases in the province (down 372 since last Wednesday).
Premier Doug Ford also announced on Saturday that provincial parks and conservation authorities would open for day-use starting Monday.
Mackie pointed to countries with more relaxed public health measures that have been met with higher death tolls and case counts.
“It’s not hard to figure out what would have happened if we as a whole community and society had not put in these efforts,” he said.
“I’m still seeing – at least from my perspective – that people continue to take this seriously, and that’s what will need to happen.”
There’s “no reason” to think there won’t be a second wave of COVID-19 in the late fall or early winter, Mackie said, noting the virus is seasonal, like the flu.
New skills, such as learning how to be physically distanced from others while out and about, or embracing curbside pickup for shopping, will continue to be important, he added.
– with files from Megan Stacey