Nearly 100 more London hospital workers tests positive for COVID-19

A doctor performs a nasal swab test for COVID-19. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / SeventyFour

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reporting a big jump in the number of its workers infected with COVID-19 as the daily case count across the region reached a near record high on Thursday.

Another 89 hospital employees have been confirmed over the last 24 hours as having contracted the virus. That brings the total number of infected staff to 350, more than double the 135 workers who reportedly tested positive a week ago.

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 at the LHSC also went up by 16 on Wednesday to 79. But the number of COVID-19 positive patients in the intensive care unit went down by four to six.

Additional COVID-19 cases have been linked to two outbreaks at the LHSC. There are currently six confirmed patient cases and six potential staff cases associated with the outbreak on 7IP Clinical Neurosciences at University Hospital and five or fewer patient cases and nine potential cases linked to the outbreak on Victoria Hospital’s Adult Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. The LHSC noted that cases involving staff may fluctuate from day-to-day as each positive case on the affected units is investigated to determine whether they are actually part of the outbreak.

Within the community, there were 635 new COVID-19 cases recorded by the Middlesex London Health Unit on Thursday. That is up from 307 the previous day and nearly matches the region’s record-high single-day case count of 638 which was set on New Year’s Eve.

The total number of cases locally since the pandemic began is now 22,723, according to the health unit.

There has not been a COVID-19 related death locally in a week, leaving the death toll unchanged at 259.

The number of resolved cases is up by 398 to 18,104. Currently, there are 4,360 active cases in the region, up 226 from the previous day.

There are 27 seniors’ facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks locally, with Parkwood Institute’s 2 Perth area added to the list.

There were 137 new COVID-19 cases logged Thursday in Elgin and Oxford counties, up from 106 new infections recorded on Wednesday. Southwestern Public Health’s total caseload has now increased to 7,965. The death toll has gone up by one to 117. The total number of resolved cases stands at 6,413 and there are 1,435 known active cases locally.

Provincially, the daily number of COVID-19 cases was back above 13,000 as hospitalizations and ICU admissions from the virus are beginning to overwhelm the system.

Public health officials said there were 13,339 new cases on Thursday. That is up from 11,582 infections logged on Wednesday and 11,352 new cases recorded on Tuesday. Public health officials cautioned those numbers are an underestimate of the spread of the virus though, as changes made late last month limit who can get a free PCR test in Ontario.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 841,371.

Twenty additional deaths related to the virus were reported on Thursday. The province’s death toll is currently 10,272.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 2,279 people with COVID-19 on general wards, up 198 from the previous day. The number of people in the intensive care unit rose by 31 to 319. A week ago, there were 965 people in hospital with COVID-19, 200 of whom were in the ICU.  Of those in the ICU with COVID-19, 151 are not fully vaccinated and 87 have received both doses.

As a way to help hospitals dealing with capacity issues, the province has paused all non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

The number of resolved cases rose by 12,036 to 695,786. There are currently 135,313 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 59,241 tests COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate is now around 29.2 per cent, down from 30.5 per cent a week ago.

The province has administered 27,945,958 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There are more than 11.4 million people in Ontario who have received the second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated. Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted that more than 50 per cent of Ontarians 50 and older have now received their booster shot.