London-Middlesex records 20 more COVID-19 cases

A healthcare worker performs coronavirus swab on a patient. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo /Noiel

For the second time this week, 20 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the London region.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported the minor increase in the number of infections on Wednesday. It came after just 17 new cases were recorded on Tuesday. Twenty cases were also identified on Monday.

The new cases put the region’s total case count up to 5,934.

There were no additional deaths reported over the past 24 hours. That leaves the local death toll at 179. So far this month, there have been four COVID-19 related deaths, two of which were confirmed on Tuesday.

Outbreaks are ongoing at six area long-term care and retirement homes – Chelsey Park, Extendicare, Henley Place LTC Residence, Kensington Village Retirement, Middlesex Terrace, and Westmount Gardens.

The London Health Sciences Centre currently has 21 inpatients with COVID-19, six listed in the intensive care unit. There are five staff members who have tested positive for the virus. The hospital is outbreak free.

The number of resolved cases rose to 3,977, with 31 more people recovering from the virus. Currently, there are 1,778 known active cases in the region.

Seven new cases were reported Wednesday in Elgin and Oxford counties. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the two, said the latest cases bring the total case count up to 2,398. The death toll is uncharged at 65 with no additional deaths reported over the past 24 hours. There are five area long-term care or retirement homes with confirmed cases of the virus. The hardest hit are PeopleCare Tavistock and Caressant Care Retirement Home Woodstock. PeopleCare has 47 resident and 38 staff cases, with ten deaths linked to the outbreak. There have been 51 residents and 18 employees infected at Caressant Care. Two deaths are associated with that outbreak. The outbreaks at the other three homes involved a single case each. The health unit said the total number of resolved cases in the counties is 2,217, leaving 116 known active cases.

Provincially, the number of new cases rose slightly.

Public health officials logged 1,072 new infections across the province on Wednesday, up from 1,022 the previous day. Ontario has now been under 1,500 new cases a day for five consecutive days.

Regions with the highest case counts Wednesday were Toronto with 393, Peel with 196, and York Region with 125.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, there has been a total of 228 cases of the more contagious U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, three confirmed cases of the South African variant, known as B.1.351, and one case of the Brazil variant, P.1.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 281,566.

Forty-one deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, 13 of which were in long-term care homes. The province’s death toll is now 6,596

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 948 patients with COVID-19. Of those, 313 are in intensive care and 226 are on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose to 261,700. There are currently 13,270 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s current positivity rate is 2.5 per cent.

The province has administered 412,119 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since Tuesday night. A total of 125,725 people in Ontario have received their second dose of the vaccine and are considered fully inoculated.

Ontario began the three week transition from its stay-at-home lockdown order to its colour-coded restriction system on Wednesday. The regions covered by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit have moved back into the green-prevent phase of the framework. The rest of the province, excluding Toronto, Peel and York Region, are expected to make the switch on Tuesday.