72 new COVID-19 cases reported in London-area

COVID-19 testing in a laboratory. (Photo from Pxhere)

The number of new COVID-19 cases jumped back up on Tuesday, following a one day drop to levels not seen since the end of March.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 72 new infections over the past 24 hours. That is up from 47 on Monday, the lowest single-day case count since 46 were recorded on March 30. The latest daily figures bring the area’s total case count since the pandemic began to 10,695.

For the first time in two days, there were no additional deaths linked to the virus locally. That leaves the death toll at 202.

Another 12 cases have been identified as variants of concern for a total of 1,631. The region has confirmed its first case of the B.1.617 variant which originated in India. There are 1,622 variants of concern that have been confirmed as the B.1.1.7 strain, which originated in the U.K. and eight tested positive as the P.1. variant from Brazil. There are 274 cases that have tested positive for a mutation.

There were 104 recoveries logged over the past 24 hours to bring the total number of resolved cases to 9,612. Currently, there are 881 active cases in the city and county.

There are new outbreaks at two local long-term care homes – Glendale Crossing and Kensington Village. The health unit also confirmed an active outbreak at the Argyle Walmart. Five workers tested positive for COVID-19 over a span of eight days. The store has since undergone a deep cleaning and no customers have been infected.

Outbreaks are ongoing at two area schools, two daycare centres, and one Western University residence.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has 92 patients with COVID-19 in its care, 37 of whom are listed in intensive care. The hospital has been taking COVID-19 patient transfers from harder hit regions of the province with  ten acute care patients and 24 ICU patients at the LHSC from out of town.

As of Sunday, there have been 168,475 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the region. People aged 50 and older, individuals with high-risk health conditions, and the first phase of workers unable to work from home will be able to begin booking appointments to get the shot at mass immunization clinics as of 8 a.m. on Thursday.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, the number of new infections reported on Tuesday was down. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the region, said there were 12 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 44 Monday. That brings the total caseload since last spring to 3,462. There has not been any additional COVID-19 related deaths in the region in more than a week, leaving the death toll unchanged at 76. Resolved cases rose to 3,250 with 136 known active cases in the two counties remaining. Roughly 25.9 per cent of area residents have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while two per cent have received both doses.

Ontario’s daily case count has dropped below 3,000 for the first time since the start of April.

Public health officials logged 2,791 new infections across the province on Tuesday. That’s down from 3,436 on Monday and 3,732 on Sunday. Single-day case numbers in Ontario have not been this low since April 1 when 2,557 infections were recorded.

Toronto had the province’s highest daily number of cases on Tuesday with 931, that was followed by Peel with 653, York Region with 275, Durham with 147, and Hamilton with 128.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 476,692.

The province has confirmed 2,303 more cases of the variant first discovered in the U.K., known as B.1.1.7, for a total of 77,649. The number of cases of the variant first associated with South Africa, known as B.1.351. is up by eight to 309. The number of cases involving the variant first found in Brazil, known as P.1. rose by 51 cases to 971. The epidemiologic summary currently does not list data surrounding the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India.

There were 25 additional deaths reported over the past 24 hours. The provincial death toll is now 8,143.

There are currently 2,167 people with COVID-19 being treated at Ontario hospitals, an increase of 242 since Monday. COVID-19 related admissions to the intensive care unit are down by three to 886 and there are 609 patients on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose to 432,109. There are currently 36,440 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 33,740 COVID -19 tests were processed. That is down slightly from 33,179 the previous day and brings the province positivity rate to 9.1 per cent.

To date, the province has administered 5,467,120 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 378,085 people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.