Minor increase in London area COVID-19 hospitalizations

A microbiologist performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus. (Photo by Tom Wolf from Flickr)

Two days after hitting its lowest level in more than two months, COVID-19 hospitalizations in London went up slightly on Friday.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) confirmed 24 inpatients with the virus are currently in its care, an increase of one since Thursday. The hospital network noted 12 of the 24 infected inpatients were admitted for treatment of the virus. The other dozen came to the hospital for other reasons and tested positive for the virus. COVID-19 hospitalizations at the LHSC hit their lowest level since March on Wednesday with 23 COVID positive people admitted. For four weeks prior to that hospitalizations locally ranged in low-30s to low-40s.

The hospital network has five or fewer patients with COVID listed in intensive care, unchanged from Thursday. Children’s Hospital has five or fewer inpatients with the virus, an increase over the previous day. None of the infected kids are listed in paediatric critical care.

The number of infected hospital workers rose slightly on Friday. The LHSC said there are currently 83 employees who have tested positive, up one over the past 24 hours. At this time last week, there were 75 infected workers.

An outbreak on University Hospital’s U7 clinical neurosciences unit has been resolved. That leaves just two ongoing outbreaks at the north London hospital.

The Middlesex London Health Unit logged another 25 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 20 the previous day. The health unit continues to note that single-day case counts are likely an underestimate of the true number of people in the region with the virus, due to limited testing eligibility. The total number of confirmed infections in the region since the pandemic began is now 38,258.

For a second straight day, there were no additional deaths linked to the virus. That leaves the death toll in London and Middlesex County unchanged at 392.

The number of resolved cases rose to 37,494. There are 372 known active cases in the region, down eight over the past 24 hours

In Elgin and Oxford counties, there were 20 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday. Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for the region, said that brings the local total number of cases to 13,941 with 13,683 resolved. There were no additional COVID-19 deaths locally, leaving the death toll at 169. There are currently 89 known active cases in the two counties.

While COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admission in Ontario continued their downward trend on Friday, the death toll went up.

There are currently 669 people in hospitals in Ontario with the virus, down one since Thursday. At this time last week, 948 hospitalizations were reported across the province.

Of the 669 people in hospital Friday, roughly 42 per cent were admitted because of the virus, while 58 per cent were admitted for other reasons and tested positive for the virus.

In intensive care units, there are 117 patients with COVID-19, down two from Thursday. This is the lowest COVID-19 related ICU admissions have been since last August.

Ontario logged 888 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. Public health officials have cautioned the daily counts are an underestimate of the spread of the virus in the province due to limited PCR testing eligibility.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 1,305,989.

Public health officials confirmed eight additional deaths over the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll up to 13,275. The province said all of the latest deaths occurred within the last month.

The number of resolved cases are up by 1,121 to 1,283,417.

In the last 24 hour period, 10,097 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 7.3 per cent, down from 8.4 per cent a week ago.

To date, the province has administered 33,407,553 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 91.3 per cent of people 12 and older having received two shots. More than 7.3 million Ontarians or 57.1 per cent have received a third shot.