3 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths recorded in London-area

A couple wearing face masks walk through a mall. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / dolgachov

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in London and Middlesex County has reached a low not seen in more than three weeks.

The Middlesex London Health Unit logged just three new infections on Tuesday, down from six on Monday. The last time the region recorded so few cases of the virus was on June 26 when there were two new infections. The local total number of cases since the pandemic began is now 12,701.

The area death toll is unchanged at 229, with no additional COVID-19 related deaths reported in the past five days.

Recoveries are up by nine to bring the total number of resolved cases to 12,418. There are currently 54 active cases.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reporting a slight decrease in the number of patients with COVID-19 in its care. Currently, there are five COVID-positive patients admitted to the hospital, down from six on Monday. Fewer than five of those patients are listed in intensive care. The LHSC has no staffers who have tested positive for the virus.

Another 21 cases have been identified as variants of concern for a total of 3,554. There are 3,378 variants of concern that have been confirmed as the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) strain and 101 have tested positive as the P.1. (Gamma) variant. The region has also had 69 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 204 cases that have tested positive for a mutation.

As of Saturday, there have been 610,784 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the region, which works out to 79 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 56.6.

In a continued effort to knock down barriers to getting the vaccine, the health unit began allowing people in need of a second dose to get it at any of its four mass vaccination clinics without an appointment on Tuesday. The change came a week after the sites were opened up to first dose walk-ins. The hours for the walk-in appointments are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, the health unit is still encouraging those who can to book an appointment online at covidvaccinelm.ca.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, there was one new case reported Tuesday. That brings Southwestern Public Health’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 3,929. There has not been a COVID-19 related death in the region since last Wednesday, leaving the death toll unchanged at 84. Resolved cases rose to 3,828 with 17 known active cases in the two counties remaining. Roughly 76.9 per cent of area residents aged 12 and older have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 52.6 per cent have received both doses. There are no active outbreaks locally.

Ontario’s daily COVID-19 caseload dropped below 130 on Tuesday.

Public health officials logged 127 new infections over the past 24 hours, that is down from 130 on Monday and 177 on Sunday.

Toronto had the province’s highest daily number of cases on Tuesday with 34, followed by Waterloo Region with 17, and York Region with 14.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 548,474.

The province has confirmed 21 more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K., known as Alpha, for a total of 144,823. The number of cases of the B.1.351 variant first associated with South Africa, known as Beta, is up one to 1,467. There are 14 new cases involving the P.1. variant first found in Brazil, known as Gamma, increasing the total to 3,340. The total number of cases identified as the B.1.617 variant, Delta, which originated in India went up by 18 to 3,340.

There were two additional deaths reported Tuesday. The provincial death toll is now 9,296.

There are currently 145 people with COVID-19 being treated at Ontario hospitals, an increase of 30 since Monday. COVID-19 related admissions to the intensive care unit are down by two to 149 and there are 98 patients on ventilators.

The number of resolved cases rose by 126 to 537,824. There are currently 1,354 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, more than 13,586 COVID-19 tests were processed. That is up from the more than 11,567 the previous day and brings the province’s positivity rate to 0.9 per cent.

To date, the province has administered over 18.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 8,042,242 people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.