Six more COVID-19 deaths recorded in London-area

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / IvonneWierink

There were half a dozen additional COVID-19 deaths in the London region on Wednesday, the second time this month the single-day death toll has risen to near the record number.

The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed the latest six people to succumb to the virus were five men in their 50s, 70s, and 80s and a woman in her 80s. Two of the men in their 80s were associated with a long-term care home, the health unit said. Six deaths were also recorded locally last Thursday. The only time during the pandemic when more deaths were reported in a single day was on January 17, 2021 when a record seven people died from the virus.

The total death toll in London and Middlesex County is now 294, 35 of those deaths occurred this month alone.

The health unit logged 180 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, up from 159 the previous day. Resolved cases increased to 25,813, which helped lower the number of active cases locally to 2,087. However, public health officials have said current case numbers are likely an underestimation of the true number of people with the virus due to eligibility changes for lab-based PCR testing.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) reported an increase in hospitalizations on Wednesday. The hospital network confirmed there are 163 inpatients with the virus, up from 149 the previous day. The number of people with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit fell by one to 20. The number of inpatients at Children’s Hospital held at five or fewer patients in the hospital’s care.

The LHSC specified that, of the 163 COVID-19 patients at its hospitals, 102 are being treated for COVID-19, while 61 were admitted for other reasons but have the virus.

Seven fewer hospital staffers have tested positive for the virus, for a total of 192. That is a considerable drop compared to the same day last week when 311 employees were infected.

Southwestern Public Health reported 54 more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, increasing the local case count since the pandemic began to 9,897. The death toll was unchanged at 136. Resolved cases rose to 9,050. There are now 711 active cases in the two counties.

The number of people in intensive care at Ontario hospitals fell slightly on Wednesday.

A total of 4,016 people infected with the virus are currently in hospitals across the province. That is down eight from Tuesday. Fifty-six per cent of the 4,016 people in hospital on Wednesday were admitted because of the virus, while 44 per cent are there for other reasons but tested positive for COVID-19.

Of those in hospital, 608 are in the ICU, down 18 from the previous day. Roughly 83 per cent of those in the ICU were admitted because of COVID-19, while the remaining 17 per cent are there for other reasons but also have the virus.

The province recorded 5,368 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, which is considered an underestimate of community spread. Daily case numbers are no longer thought to be a true reflection of spread of the virus in the province as the government has limited who is eligible for a free PCR test.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 1,010,247.

According to public health officials, there were 92 additional deaths related to the virus recorded Wednesday. Eighty-nine of those deaths occurred over the past 21 days and three occurred more than a month ago but were just added to the official count as part of a data cleanup. The official death toll now stands at 11,160.

Resolved cases across the province are up by 9,913 to 942,158.

In the last 24 hour period, just over 33,600 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 14.1 per cent.

The province has administered 30,245,859 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday night. Eighty-nine per cent of Ontarians 12 and older have received both doses of the vaccine and are considered fully inoculated. There are more than 6.1 million people in the province who have now received the booster shot.