Two additional COVID-19 deaths, 76 new cases in Middlesex-London

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

The London region recorded two more COVID-19 related deaths as the daily number of new cases dropped below 100 for the first time in seven days.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said on Tuesday a man and woman, both in their 60s, have died from the virus. Neither was associated with an assisted living facility. Their deaths are the third and fourth of the month and bring the region’s death toll up to 192.

There were 76 new infections reported Tuesday, down from 102 on Monday and 126 on Sunday. The return to double-digits ends the area’s longest stretch of daily triple-digit increase since the pandemic began. New cases were above 100 everyday for the past six days.

The total number of cases in the city and county now stands at 8,570.

Cases screened positive for a variant of concern have risen by 97 to 875 since Monday. There are ten confirmed B.1.1.7 variant cases locally.

Outbreaks continue at Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care building and at Kidorable Child Care Centre.

Providence Reformed Collegiate in Komoka is the latest school in the region to declare an outbreak. Other schools with outbreaks include East Carling Public, Holy Rosary Catholic, Northridge Public, Riverbend Academy, Sir Fredrick Banting Secondary, and St. Anne’s Catholic. According to the health unit, there are 23 local schools currently reporting at least one case of the virus. On Monday, the province announced schools will remain closed following the spring break and students will shift to full-time remote learning for the foreseeable future.

Eight residences at Western University and one of its affiliates have ongoing outbreaks.

There are 52 patients with COVID-19 at the London Health Sciences Centre, 18 of whom are listed in the intensive care unit. The hospital also reported ten staff members have tested positive for the virus.

Resolved cases in the region have gone up to 7,248, leaving 1,130 active cases.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, there were nearly three dozen new infections and another death reported on Tuesday. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the region, said there were 32 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours to bring the total caseload since last spring to 3,057. The death toll is up to 71. Resolved cases are up to 2,809 with 177 known active cases in the two counties remaining. Roughly 11.6 per cent of area residents have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.9 per cent have received both doses.

Ontario’s daily case count slid back below 4,000 as hospitalizations from the virus reached a record high.

Public health officials logged 3,670 new infections across the province on Tuesday. That’s down from 4,401 on Monday and 4,456 on Sunday.

Toronto had the province’s highest daily number of cases with 1,016, that was followed by Peel with 613, York Region with 519, Ottawa with 214, and Durham with 196.

Ontario has confirmed 3,947 more cases of the variant first discovered in the U.K., known as B.1.1.7, for a total of 20,487. The number of cases of the variant first associated with South Africa, known as B.1.351. is unchanged at 81. Three more cases of the variant first found in Brazil, known as P.1. were identified for a total of 143.

Ontario total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 394,679.

There were 15 additional deaths reported over the past 24 hours. The provincial death toll is now 7,582.

There are currently 1,822 people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. That is the most people to be hospitalized with the virus in the province since the pandemic began. The previous record high for hospital admissions was 1,701 on January 12.

COVID-19 related admissions to the intensive care unit are also at an all-time high with 626 people being treated there. There are 422 people on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose to 351,257. There are currently 35,840 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, nearly 42,200 COVID -19 tests were processed. That is down from 47,929 the previous day and brings the province positivity rate to 10.3 per cent. The last time the positivity rate was this high was in April of last year when it hit 17 per cent.

To date, the province has administered 3,310,157 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 335,262 people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.