A dozen new COVID-19 cases in London-Middlesex

A microbiologist performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus. (Photo by Tom Wolf from Flickr)

Public health officials are reporting a double-digit increase of new COVID-19 cases in London and Middlesex County.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said on Wednesday 12 additional people have tested positive for the virus. That is nearly double the number of new cases reported a day earlier when seven cases were recorded.

The new infections bring the region’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic up to 824.

There were two more recoveries reported over the past 24 hours, increasing total recoveries in the area to 687. Currently, there are 80 active cases in London and Middlesex.

The death toll is unchanged at 57.

The Oakridge COVID-19 Assessment Center had reached its maximum capacity for the day by noon. However, unlike in previous days, there was not a long line of vehicles stretching out of the parking lot and into the street. Those seeking a COVID-19 test were issued designated time cards, which hold their place in line without requiring them to wait there for an extended period of time. For the last week and a half, the wait time at the assessment centre has been roughly four hours.

The health unit didn’t confirm the current wait time at the Carling Heights assessment centre on Wednesday.

There haven’t been any new COVID-19 cases in Elgin and Oxford counties in nearly one week. Southwestern Public Health again said Wednesday it had no new positive cases to report. The region hasn’t recorded any infections since last Thursday.

The case count stands at 263 with 250 resolved cases and five deaths. There are eight active cases in the two counties.

Despite the low number of cases locally, the rising provincial numbers have seen people in Elgin and Oxford looking for COVID-19 tests at the region’s assessment centres. That has prompted a call from the area’s medical officer of health for only those with symptoms to get tested.

“We need to prioritize so that those who need testing the most are tested in a timely manner,” Dr. Joyce Lock said in a statement. “Please leave our local Emergency Departments for emergencies. Do not go to the Emergency Department with no symptoms or mild symptoms to get a COVID-19 test. If you have symptoms and require a test, please call and book an appointment.”

Provincially, there was a significant drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases compared to the day before.

Public health officials said on Wednesday there were 335 new laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus across Ontario. That is a big decrease from the 478 infections reported on Tuesday.

Nearly 70 per cent of the new cases involved people under the age of 40. The health units to report the highest number of cases on Wednesday were Toronto with 102, Peel with 79, and Ottawa with 65.

Ontario’s total number of cases is now 48,087.

Three additional people died due to COVID-19, increasing the province’s death toll to 2,835.

Recoveries are up to 48,087.

The number of infected Ontarians in hospital has gone up since Tuesday to 88. Of those, 24 are in the intensive care unit and nine are relying on ventilators to breathe.

In the last 24 hour period, more than 35,400 additional COVID-19 tests were conducted in Ontario.