Active COVID-19 cases in London region remain above 50

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / IvonneWierink

London and Middlesex County saw another seven new COVID-19 infections on Friday, as active cases in the region have remained above 50 for a week straight.

Daily case counts have been in the single digits for the past seven days, with seven reported on Thursday, nine on Wednesday, four on Tuesday, and six on Monday. The latest infections push the Middlesex London Health Unit’s total caseload since the pandemic began to 12,620.

No additional deaths have been recorded so far this month, leaving the death toll at 226.

The number of resolved cases rose to 12,337. There are 57 known active cases in the region. Active cases have been sitting above 50 since last Friday.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has a total of 12 COVID-19 inpatients, up one from Thursday. Of those, fewer than five are listed in intensive care and fewer than five are COVID-19 patients who were transferred in from regions. Currently, under five hospital staff have tested positive for the virus.

The number of cases involving variants of concern identified in the area went up by four to 3,501. There have been 3,361 cases involving the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant that originated in the U.K., 97 cases of the P.1 (Gamma) variant from Brazil, including one sublineage, two cases of the B.1.351 (Beta) variant from South Africa, and 41 cases of the B.1.617 (Delta) variant, originally found in India.

The health unit is continuing to urge all eligible residents to push up their second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointment. As of the start of the week, 502,545 doses have been administered by the health unit with 76.7 per cent of residents aged 12 and older having received one shot. A total of 34.8 per cent of residents aged 12 and older have been given both doses. Appointments in Middlesex London can be booked online at www.covidvaccinelm.ca or by calling 226-289-3560 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Two walk-in, pop-up vaccination clinics are planned for next week. The first will be held at Lord Elgin Public School on Victoria Drive, the second will run Wednesday at White Oaks Public School on Bradley Avenue. Both clinics will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, the number of new cases rose to three. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the region, said the local total number of cases is now 3,898 with 3,798 resolved. The death toll was unchanged at 83. Currently, there are 17 active cases in the two counties. As of Thursday, 77.6 per cent of local residents 18 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 44.1 per cent have been given both doses.

The number of new COVID-19 cases across the province fell back below 200 on Friday, the same day Ontario announced it would move into Step 3 of its economic reopening plan five days early.

Public health officials confirmed 183 new infections on Friday, down from 210 on Thursday. There were 194 logged on Wednesday and 164 recorded on Tuesday.

Waterloo had the province’s highest daily number of cases over the past 24 hours with 50, followed by Peel and Grey Bruce with 24 each, and Toronto with 22.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 546,804.

There have been another 76 new cases of the variant originating from the U.K. in Ontario. That brings the province’s total number of B.1.1.7. (Alpha) cases to 144,493. Cases of the B.1.351 (Beta) variant are up by three with 1,439 total and P.1 (Gamma) variants are up by 34 to 4,739. The number of new cases involving the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant is up by 174 for a total of 2,459.

There were nine additional deaths reported to bring the provincial death toll up to 9,237.

Hospitalizations in Ontario are down by five with 189 COVID-19 positive patients admitted. There are 202 patients in intensive care and 143 are on ventilators. ICU numbers include patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 but have since recovered and remain due to other complications.

The number of resolved cases now stands at 535,810. There are currently 1,757 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, more than 26,101 COVID-19 tests were processed, up from the more than 25,857 the previous day. Ontario’s current positivity rate remains low at 0.8 per cent.

To date, the province has administered 16,619,927 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 6,515,960 people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.

Ontario will move into Step 3 of its economic reopening plan on July 16, five days earlier than originally planned, the provincial government announced. Under the further loosened COVID-19 restrictions, which will take effect at 12:01 next Friday, indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment can resume. Indoor social gatherings increase from five to 25.