London area records four COVID-19 deaths

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

For the first time since February, the London region has recorded more than three COVID-19 deaths in a single day.

The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed on Wednesday four people, two women in their 70s and 80s, and two men in their 70s and 90s, are the latest in the region to succumb to the virus. Only the man in his 90s was associated with a long-term care home, the health unit said. The region has not had a day with this many deaths since February 23 when a record eight deaths were reported. The latest four deaths bring the local death toll up to 398.

Another 26 COVID-19 cases were logged on Wednesday, up from 17 the previous day. The total case count since the pandemic began is now 38,358. Resolved cases increased to 37,668, leaving the number of known active cases locally at 292. 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 21 patients with COVID-19 in its care on Wednesday, up one from the previous day. COVID-19 hospitalizations have been in the low-to-mid 20s for the past week after ranging from the low 30s to low 40s throughout all of May.

The LHSC specified that, of the 21 COVID-19 patients at its hospitals, 13 are being treated for COVID-19, while seven were admitted for other reasons but also have the virus.

The number of people with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit rose from five or fewer to six over the past 24 hours. At Children’s Hospital there were five or fewer inpatients with the virus, with none listed in paediatric critical care – unchanged from Tuesday.

The hospital network reported on Wednesday that it currently has 56 employees who have tested positive for the virus. That is down 20 compared to Tuesday.

Southwestern Public Health reported 12 more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, increasing the local case count since the pandemic began to 13,976. There were no additional deaths recorded, leaving the death toll at 169. Resolved cases rose to 13,733 and there are now 74 known active cases in the two counties.

There was a bit of a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ontario on Wednesday.

A total of 522 people infected with the virus are currently in hospitals across the province. That is down by four compared to Tuesday. At this time last week, there were 722 COVID-19 positive people in the hospital. Forty-one per cent of the people in hospital on Wednesday were admitted because of the virus, while 59 per cent were there for other reasons but tested positive for COVID-19.

Of those in hospital, 114 are in the ICU, unchanged from the previous day.

According to public health officials, there were 11 additional deaths related to the virus on Wednesday. Seven of those deaths occurred within the last month, while four occurred more than a month ago. The official death toll now stands at 13,304.

The province recorded 1,013 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 1,309,618.

Resolved cases across the province are up by 868 to 1,287,532.

In the last 24 hour period, 11,234 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate is currently 6.4 per cent, down from 8.3 per cent a week ago.

The province has administered 33,459,571 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday night. Figures show 91.4 per cent of Ontarians 12 and older have received both doses of the vaccine. There are more than 7.3 million people in the province who have received their third shot.