London region reports 9 new COVID-19 cases, outbreak at UH over

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / IvonneWierink

The only remaining COVID-19 outbreak in the London region came to an end Tuesday as the daily case count remained in the single digits for a sixth consecutive day.

The outbreak on University Hospital’s 8TU transplant unit was originally declared just over two weeks ago, with fewer than five patients and fewer than five employees infected. It was the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) first outbreak since March. It has now been declared over, leaving the city and county with no active outbreaks.  The LHSC has nine patients with COVID-19 in its care, fewer than five of whom are listed in intensive care.

The Middlesex London Health Unit logged nine new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. That is up from five Monday and seven Sunday, but is still below single-day totals around 20 that were recorded earlier this month.  The total number of cases in the area since the pandemic began has increased to 12,550.

The death toll is unchanged at 226.

Another six cases have been identified as variants of concern for a total of 3,473. There are 3,353 variants of concern that have been confirmed as the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) strain and 96 have tested positive as the P.1. (Gamma) variant or a sublineage of it. The region has also had 22 cases of the B.1.617 (Delta) variant or a sublineage of it, and two cases of the B.1.351 (Beta) strain. There are 186 cases that have tested positive for a mutation.

There were eight recoveries logged over the last 24 hours to bring the total number of resolved cases to 12,285.

As of Saturday, there have been 445,621 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the region, which works out to 75.3 per cent of all area residents aged 12 and older having received at least one dose. The percentage of the local population to receive both doses is currently 23.4.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, there were no new cases reported Tuesday and four previously reported cases were removed from the total case count. The four cases were switched to other health units as part of a data cleanup. That leaves Southwestern Public Health with a total of 3,878 cases since the start of the pandemic. There has not been a COVID-19 related death in the region in more than two weeks, leaving the death toll unchanged at 83. Resolved cases rose to 3,780 with 15 known active cases in the two counties remaining. Roughly 75.7 per cent of area residents have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 25.2 per cent have received both doses. There are no active outbreaks locally.

Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case count rose to nearly 300, but the spike isn’t due to recent spread.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said some of the 299 infections reported on Tuesday are actually from last year.

“Due to a data review and clean-up, previous data is being reported today, resulting in an overestimate of the daily counts,” tweeted Elliott.

Tuesday’s case increase comes after 210 infections were logged on Monday, the lowest single-day case count since September 13.

Toronto had the province’s highest daily number of cases over the past 24 hours with 130, followed by Waterloo with 69, and Peel with 20.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 544,713.

The province has confirmed 31 more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K., known as Alpha, for a total of 143,381. The number of cases of the B.1.351 variant first associated with South Africa, known as Beta, is up 42 for a total of 1,315. There are 11 more cases involving the P.1. variant first found in Brazil, known as Gamma, for a total of 4,439. The total number of cases identified as the B.1.617 variant, Delta, which originated in India went up by 75 to 1,704.

There were 25 additional deaths reported over the past two days. The previously mentioned “data cleanup” was to blame for the sharp increase. The Ministry of Health clarified 19 of the deaths reported on Tuesday are from previous months and were not added into the system until now. The provincial death toll is now 9,154.

There are currently 257 people with COVID-19 being treated at Ontario hospitals, an increase of 39 since Monday. COVID-19 related admissions to the intensive care unit are down by 11 to 276 and there are 185 patients on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose by 371 to 533,150. There are currently 2,409 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 28,306 COVID-19 tests were processed. That is up from nearly 13,100 the previous day and brings the province’s positivity rate to 1.6 per cent.

To date, the province has administered 14,472,741 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 4.5 million people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.

Ontario enters Step 2 of its three step economic reopening plan on Wednesday. It will allow for personal care services like hair and nail salons to reopen, capacity at essential retailers to increase to 50 percent, and up to 25 people to gather outdoors.