London-area records 1 death, 20 new COVID-19 cases

Nasal swabs in test tubes. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / ayo88.

For the second straight day, there has been a COVID-19 death confirmed in the London region.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported the death of a man in his 70s on Thursday, one day after the death of another man in his 70s was announced. According to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie, the man had two doses of vaccine, but was awaiting a booster shot because he had a suppressed immune system. His death brings the local death toll up to 245.

There were 20 new infections logged in the region over the past 24 hours, up from 14 on Wednesday and 18 on Tuesday. Daily case numbers have been holding firm in the double-digits since Monday when the area recorded its lowest single-day case increase since the start of August with just two cases.

The total number of cases locally since the pandemic began is now 14,344, according to the health unit.

The number of resolved cases is up by 13 to 13,998. Currently, there are 101 active cases in the region, up 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 4,281 variants now confirmed. The latest case identified as a variant was of the B.1.617 (Delta) strain for a total of 767. 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 six patients in its care with COVID-19, down three from Wednesday. Five or fewer of those patients are listed in intense care and five or fewer have been admitted to Children’s Hospital. There are five or fewer hospital staffers who have tested positive for the virus.

Just one COVID-19 outbreak remains at a school in the region. Providence Reformed Collegiate, a private school in Komoka, has been dealing with an outbreak since October 14. There are currently five cases linked to the school, up from three on Wednesday.

Of the 670 new COVID-19 cases to be reported in the region over the past six weeks, 72.8 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, 72.4 per cent were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and 27.6 per cent had received both shots.

Seventeen new COVID-19 cases were logged Thursday in Elgin and Oxford counties, up from 14 new infections recorded on Wednesday. Southwestern Public Health’s total caseload has now increased to 4,551. The death toll remained at 90, with no additional COVID-19 deaths reported since Tuesday. The total number of resolved cases stands at 4,382 and there are 79 known active cases locally.

Provincially, the daily number of COVID-19 cases remained below 500 for an eleventh consecutive day.

Public health officials said there were 413 new cases on Thursday. That is up from 304 infections logged on Wednesday – the lowest Ontario has seen in a single-day since August 5. There were 328 new cases recorded on Tuesday and 373 new cases confirmed on Monday.

Of the 413 new cases identified on Thursday, 226 were among unvaccinated individuals, 15 were people who were partially vaccinated, 140 were fully vaccinated individuals, and 32 had an unknown vaccination status.

Regions with the most new cases over the past 24 hours were Toronto with 66, Peel Region with 54, Ottawa with 36, and York Region with 29.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 596,280.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, Ontario identified 53 new cases of the B.1.617 (Delta) variant for a total of 20,075. The number of cases of the B.1.1.7. (Alpha) variant, P.1. (Gamma) variant, and the B.1.351(Beta) variant were unchanged with a total of 146,495, 5,230, and 1,503.

Four additional deaths related to the virus were reported on Thursday. The province’s death toll is currently 9,827.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 274 people with COVID-19 on general wards, an increase of 16 from the previous day. The number of people in the intensive care unit went up by two to 161 and there are 135 people on ventilators – an increase of three since Wednesday.

Of those on general hospital wards with COVID-19, 133 are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and 40 have received both doses.

The number of resolved cases rose by 488 to 583,097. There are currently 3,356 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 31,889 COVID-19 tests were processed, up slightly from 31,569 the previous day. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 1.6 per cent.

The province has administered 22.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There are 10,883,221 people in Ontario who have now received the second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.