Middlesex London reports 22 new COVID-19 cases

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

The London region is seeing a second straight day of double digit increases in the number of new cases of COVID-19.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 22 new infections on Thursday, the exact same number as was logged the previous day. The two days of double digit increases came after just eight and three new cases were recorded on Tuesday and Monday.

The region’s total number of cases since the pandemic began is now 12,402, according to the health unit.

The local death toll was unchanged at 221 with no additional deaths recorded since last Saturday.

Hospitalizations in the area were down by one on Thursday with 15 COVID-19 patients admitted to the London Health Sciences Centre. There are seven COVID-19 patients listed in intensive care at the LHSC. The number of COVID-19 patients transferred to the LHSC from outside of the region remains low with fewer than five in acute care and fewer than five in intensive care.

There were 20 more cases involving variants of concern in London and Middlesex County, for a total of 3,200. The majority of variants identified in the area are the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) strain from the U.K. The health unit also noted 342 cases have tested positive for a mutation.

Area seniors’ facilities, schools, and child care centres are currently outbreak free.

There were 17 more recoveries reported over the past 24 hours to bring the number of resolved cases to 12,076. Currently, there are 105 active cases in the region, 89 fewer than this time last week.

Second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments were accelerated in the London region Thursday morning for people 70 and older and anyone who received their first shot before April 18. The Middlesex London Health Unit updated its appointment booking system to allow for the shortened intervals for the two groups. To book a vaccine appointment head to www.covidvaccinelm.ca.

The number of new cases in Elgin and Oxford counties dropped from four to just one on Thursday. Southwestern Public Health said the latest cases bring the two counties’ total caseload to 3,821. There were no COVID-19 related deaths in the region leaving the death toll at 83. The total number of resolved cases stands at 3,719  and there are 19 known active cases locally. As of Wednesday, the health unit is no longer offering the Moderna vaccine at its three mass vaccination clinics. They are now exclusively administering Pfizer for all first and second doses due to supply issues with the Moderna brand.

Provincially, new infections jumped back above 500 for the first time in three days.

Public health officials said there were 590 new cases on Thursday. That is an increase from the 411 logged on Wednesday and 469 recorded on Tuesday. The seven-day average daily case count is now 618, down from 940 at this time last week.

Regions with the most new cases were Peel with 130, Toronto with 114, Waterloo with 61, Hamilton with 38, and York Region with 32.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 538,077.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, Ontario identified 1,509 cases of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant over the past 24 hours for a total of 136,117. Twenty-five more cases of the P.1 (Gamma) variant were found for a total of 4,098, while the number of new cases of the B.1.351(Beta) variant went up by three for a total of 1,128 . The daily epidemiologic summary does not currently list the B.1.617 (Delta) variant.

Eleven deaths were reported on Thursday, to increase the province’s death toll to 8,931.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 516 patients with COVID-19, a decrease of 55 from the previous day. Of those in hospital, 371 are in intensive care and 219 are on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose to 522,682. There are currently 6,464 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 31,423 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate held steady at 2 per cent.

The province has administered 10,627,469 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There have been 1,399,776 people in Ontario who have received their second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.