London-area records 16 new COVID-19 cases

A healthcare worker performs coronavirus swab on a patient. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo /Noiel

The London region saw another double-digit increase in COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

The Middlesex London Health Unit logged 16 new infections over the past 24 hours, up from 13 the previous day and six on Tuesday. Thursday’s new case count is the highest single-day jump in the region since last Saturday when 26 new cases were confirmed.

The total number of cases locally since the pandemic began is now 14,255, according to the health unit.

The death toll is unchanged at 243, with no additional COVID-19 related deaths reported in London or Middlesex County since Sunday.

The number of resolved cases is up by 21 to 13,870. Currently, there are 142 active cases in the region, down six from the previous day.

The number of cases involving variants of concern in London and Middlesex County has increased for the first time this week with a total of 4,269 variants now confirmed. The latest three cases identified were of the B.1.617 (Delta) strain for a total of 755. Since the health unit began tracking variants there has been a total of 3,384 cases of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) strain, 124 cases of the P.1. (Gamma) variant, and two cases of the B.1.351 (Beta) strain.

The London Health Sciences Centre has 12 patients in its care with COVID-19, down two from Wednesday. Five or fewer of those patients are listed in intense care and none are admitted to Children’s Hospital. There are no hospital staffers who have tested positive for the virus.

There are ongoing outbreaks at the Dearness Home in London, Ryerson Public School, London Christian High, and St. Kateri Elementary School. An outbreak that was declared October 1 at St. Catherine of Siena Elementary School has now been deemed over. The Thames Valley District School Board currently has 32 active cases at 23 of its schools, while the London District Catholic School Board has ten active cases at six schools. All schools remain open.

Of the 726 new COVID-19 cases to be reported in the region over the past six weeks, 74.9 per cent were among people who were not yet fully vaccinated against the virus or had not reached full immunity. Of those hospitalized with the virus, 70 per cent were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and 30 per cent had received both shots.

Southwestern Public Health has recorded its first COVID-19 death in a week. The death, reported Thursday, brings the area’s death toll up to 88. Twelve new infections were also logged over the past 24 hours, down from 13 on Wednesday. The health unit’s total caseload since the pandemic began is now 4,459. The total number of resolved cases stands at 4,291 and there are 80 known active cases locally. An outbreak continues at Elgin Manor in St. Thomas. Since the outbreak was declared on October 3, there have been two staff and two resident cases associated with it.

Provincially, the daily number of COVID-19 cases jumped back above 400 following a one day drop.

Public health officials said there were 417 new cases on Thursday. That is down from 306 infections logged on Wednesday – the lowest Ontario has seen in a single-day since August 5. There were 390 new cases recorded on Tuesday and 458 new cases confirmed on Monday.

Of the 417 new cases identified on Thursday, 228 were among unvaccinated individuals, 16 were people who were partially vaccinated, 146 were fully vaccinated individuals, and 27 had an unknown vaccination status.

Regions with the most new cases over the past 24 hours were Toronto with 69, Eastern Ontario Health Unit with 44, Peel Region with 43, and Hamilton with 30.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 593,437.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, Ontario identified two new cases of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant over the past 24 hours for a total of 146,494. Cases of the P.1 (Gamma) variant and B.1.351 (Beta) variant were unchanged at 5,229 and 1,503. There were 70 new cases involving the B.1.617 (Delta) variant for a total of 19,518.

Three additional deaths related to the virus were reported on Thursday. The province’s death toll is currently 9,807.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 254 people with COVID-19 on general wards, an increase of 12 from the previous day. The number of people in the intensive care unit went up by five to 158 and there are 129 people on ventilators – an increase of five since Wednesday.

Of those on general hospital wards with COVID-19, 111 are not fully vaccinated and 31 have received both doses.

The number of resolved cases rose by 528 to 579,608. There are currently 4,022 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 35,421 COVID-19 tests were processed, up from more than 23,200 the previous day. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 1.5 per cent. It has not been this low since August 6 when it sat at 1.4 per cent.

The province has administered 22.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There are 10,775,345 people in Ontario who have now received the second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.