Health

More than 30 COVID-19 cases associated with 2 outbreaks at downtown London, Ont. bars

The Middlesex-London Health Unit says at least 34 COVID-19 cases are associated with two outbreaks connected with bars off Richmond Row in downtown London, Ont.

The first outbreak reported at Delilah’s on John Street is associated with 22 primary cases and four secondary cases while the outbreak tied to Lost Love Social House on Carling Street is associated with eight cases.

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Associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers says the MLHU believes those tallies will rise further.

“We’re under no illusion that there aren’t folks that have likely not been tested that are out there and that’s why we’re encouraging anybody who’s been at Delilah’s or (Lost Love), particularly over the weekend of Aug. 7 and 8, but also last weekend, the 13 (and) 14, to monitor yourself closely for symptoms and go for testing immediately if you develop any symptoms,” Summers said Thursday.

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“These are highly transmissible events that we’ve witnessed. It’s absolutely critical that if you were in attendance at these facilities, if you’re a staff at these facilities, that you get yourself tested if you develop any symptoms.”

Of the 22 primary cases associated with the Delilah’s outbreak, Summers says nine involved individuals who were fully vaccinated. Of the eight cases tied to Lost Love, Summers said it’s believed they all involved individuals who were either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

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Summers added that there has recently been a “notable jump” in COVID-19 cases among those age 18 to 24.

“The nature of being 18 to 24 (is) that attending nightclubs and bars in downtown London or in other parts of our region is an important part of life. However, these are higher-risk activities,” Summers said.

“For those who are unwell or for those who are unvaccinated, I strongly encourage you to consider your actions when attending these events. For those who are vaccinated, again, I would remind you that any indoor activity with those who are unvaccinated also places you at risk.”

As part of an effort to reach age groups with a lower vaccine uptake, the MLHU will be hosting a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic dubbed “Doses Till Dark” from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday along Richmond Row.

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The outbreak at Delilah’s was first reported on Sunday with the MLHU urging anyone who went to Delilah’s between Aug. 5 and 7 to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if they notice any.

The health unit reported the outbreak at Lost Love on Wednesday and asked anyone who was there on the night of Aug. 7 or early morning Aug. 8 to do the same.

Investigations into both of the outbreaks are ongoing.

Both establishments previously experienced associations with outbreaks late last year, with an outbreak at Delilah’s declared in November 2020 after three staff members tested positive and Lost Love among the locations listed in connection with a community outbreak involving Western University students in September 2020.

— with files from Global News’ Kelly Wang and Matthew Trevithick


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Ontario unveils new COVID-19 safety measures ahead of ‘difficult’ fall





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