139 new COVID-19 infections, more than 1,000 active cases in London-area

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

People under the age of 30 continue to drive a surge of COVID-19 cases in the London region.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 139 new infections on Friday, the third straight day daily case numbers have been in the triple-digits. It is also the fourth time this week more than 100 new cases were reported in a single day.

Of the newly confirmed infections on Friday, 80 were among people 29 years of age or younger. Roughly 6 in 10 new cases involve younger people.

Since the pandemic began there has been a total of 8,098 cases in the region. Resolved cases have climbed to 6,824 and the death toll is unchanged at 190.

The number of known active cases topped 1,000 on Friday with 1,084 currently in London and Middlesex County. A week ago, active cases were significantly lower at 542.

There are no outbreaks at any local long-term care or retirement homes. The last remaining outbreak at Kensington Village was deemed resolved on Thursday.

Outbreaks continue at the Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care building, daycare centre Kidorable, and at four area schools – Holy Rosary Catholic, Northridge Public, Riverbend Academy, and Sir Fredrick Banting Secondary.

There are now a total of eight outbreaks at residences at Western University and its affiliates. The latest outbreak was confirmed Friday at a King’s University College student residence. Seven students at King’s Commons, an upper-year apartment style residence on Richmond Street, have tested positive for the virus. The seven other dorms with outbreaks are Perth Hall, Essex Hall, Delaware Hall, Elgin Hall, Medway-Sydenham Hall, Ontario Hall, and Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

The London Health Sciences Centre has 31 patients in its care with COVID-19, including 14 listed in the intensive care unit. Eight hospital workers have also tested positive.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, two dozen new cases were confirmed. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the region, said there were 24 new COVID-19 infections recorded Friday. The region’s total number of cases is now 2,960, with 2,768 resolved and 69 deaths. There has not been a COVID-19 death locally in two weeks. Currently, there are 123 active cases in the two counties and two outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in St. Thomas – Caressant Care Bonnie Place and Metcalfe Gardens.

Ontario’s daily case count soared to its second highest level since the pandemic began.

Public health officials confirmed 4,227 new infections across the province over the past 24 hours. That’s up significantly from 3,295 on Thursday. The only other time the daily case load has been this high was on January 8 when 4,249 infections were recorded.

Toronto had the province’s highest daily number of cases Friday with 1,218, that was followed by Peel with 762, York Region with 532, Durham with 247, and Ottawa with 246.

There has been another 1,860 new cases of the variant originating from the UK in Ontario. That brings the province’s total number of B.1.1.7,cases to 11,492. Cases of the B.1.351 and P.1 variants total 76 and 133.

Ontario total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 378,339.

There were 18 additional deaths reported over the past 24 hours. The province death toll is now 7,512.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 1,492 patients with COVID-19. Of those, 552 are in intensive care and 359 are on ventilators. The high number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU has led the province to instruct hospitals to “ramp down” all elective surgeries starting Monday.

The number of resolved cases rose to 341,200. There are currently 29,627 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 61,410 COVID-19 tests were processed, down from 63,846 the previous day. The province positivity rate is currently 6.3 per cent.

To date, the province has administered 2,940,166 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 328,598 people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.