1 COVID-19 death, 94 new cases in London region

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / IvonneWierink

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the London-area crept toward triple-digits for the first time in 11 days on Thursday.

The Middlesex London Health Unit logged 94 new infections over the past 24 hours. That is up from 62 on Wednesday and 43 on Tuesday. Daily cases have not been this high since May 9, when 102 infections were confirmed.

The region’s total case count since the pandemic began is now 11,826.

For a fourth straight day, a COVID-19 related death was reported. The health unit said a woman in her 90s linked to a long-term care home succumbed to the virus. Her death is the 16th COVID-19 death this month. The local death toll is now 216.

Hospitalizations in the area were unchanged on Thursday with 49 COVID-19 patients admitted to the London Health Sciences Centre. There are 23 COVID-19 patients listed in intensive care at the LHSC. Of the 49 in hospital with the virus, 26 were transferred to London from overwhelmed hospitals in other regions of the province – 12 in acute care and 14 in intensive care.

There were 49 more cases involving variants of concern in London and Middlesex County, for a total of 2,674. Of those, 2,646 have been identified as the B.1.1.7 from the U.K., 27 are the P.1. variant from Brazil, and one is the new B.1.617 strain from India. The health unit also noted 376 cases have tested positive for a mutation.

Active outbreaks remain at four area seniors’ facilities and one child care centre.

There were 80 more recoveries reported over the past 24 hours to bring the number of resolved cases to 10,990. Currently, there are 620 active cases in the region, 186 fewer than this time last week.

As of Tuesday, more than 50 per cent of adults in the Middlesex-London region have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligibility was expanded to all adults 18 and older earlier this week. More appointments to get the shot open each day with the region’s vaccine capabilities set to grow next week when the health unit’s fourth mass vaccination clinic opens at  Earl
Nichols Recreation Centre. A mobile community vaccination clinic is also being opened at the FlightExec Centre in Dorchester. Up to 400 people will be inoculated at this site while it is in operation May 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To book an appointment online head to www.covidvaccinelm.ca or call 226-289-3560 daily between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The number of new cases in Elgin and Oxford counties decreased on Thursday to ten. Southwestern Public Health said the latest cases bring the two counties total caseload to 3,699. There has not been a COVID-19 related death in the region since Tuesday, leaving the death toll unchanged at 79. The total number of resolved cases stands at 3,518, leaving 102 known active cases in the two counties. An outbreak at Caressant Care Nursing Home in Woodstock has ended, while the one at  the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital continues. The health unit has announced a one-day pop up vaccination clinic for next week. Residents of Port Burwell, Vienna, and Straffordville can book to get their shot at the clinic in Port Burwell on May 27. Approximately 400 appointments are available.

Provincially, new infections jumped back above 2,000.

Public health officials said there were 2,400 new cases on Thursday. That is an increase from the 1,588 logged on Wednesday and 1,616 recorded on Tuesday.

Regions with the most new cases were Toronto with 607, Peel with 528, Hamilton with 224, York Region with 181, and Durham with 110.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 517,090.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, Ontario identified 1,810 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant over the past 24 hours for a total of 114,569. Thirty more cases of the P.1 variant were found for a total of 2,089, while the number of new cases of the B.1.351 variant went up by one for a total of 684. The daily epidemiologic summary does not currently list the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India.

Twenty-seven deaths were reported on Thursday, to increase the province’s death toll to 8,552.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 1,320 patients with COVID-19, a decrease of 81 from the previous day. Of those in hospital, 721 are in intensive care and 493 are on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose to 485,512. There are currently 23,026 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 45,406 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate held steady at 5.2  per cent.

The province has administered 7,576,624 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There have been nearly 474,000 people in Ontario who have received their second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.