London-area records 400th COVID-19 death

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

It is a grim reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over.

The Middlesex London Health Unit announced on Monday it recorded the region’s 400th death from the virus over the weekend. The individual was in their 80s, was not linked to a long-term care home, and had three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Their death is the ninth so far this month and the 142nd since the start of the year.

The deadly milestone was hit as spread of the virus continued a downward trend in the London region.

The health unit reported 39 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. There were four new cases recorded on Monday, 16 new cases on Sunday, and 19 new cases on Saturday. However, public health officials caution that single-day case numbers are an underestimate of community spread due to eligibility changes that limit who can receive a test. The area’s total case count stands at 38,430 since the pandemic began.

Resolved cases are up to 37,838. The number of active cases locally went down by 50 since Friday to 192 on Monday.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) confirmed it has 20 inpatients in its care being treated for COVID-19, unchanged from Friday. At this time last week, there were 26 COVID positive inpatients at the LHSC. According to hospital officials, 14 of the current inpatients are being treated for the virus, while the remaining six are being treated for other ailments but have tested positive for COVID.

The intensive care unit has five or fewer infected inpatients in its care, the same as was reported on Friday. Meanwhile, the number of inpatients with the virus admitted to Children’s Hospital was also unchanged over the past 72 hours with five or fewer admitted.

The number of hospital workers who have tested positive for the virus dropped on Monday. There are 51 infected staffers at the LHSC, down eight since Friday. At this time last week, 68 hospital employees had contracted the virus.

The hospital network confirmed it has just one ongoing outbreak. It is on University Hospital’s U6 CVT unit.

Southwestern Public Health, the health unit that covers Elgin and Oxford counties, will not be updating its COVID-19 cases dashboard until Wednesday, while the province won’t issue updated numbers until Thursday.

Public Health Ontario announced the shift to a weekly reporting system in a news release issued late Friday afternoon. For the past two years, Ontario has published the latest COVID-19 data, including new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, daily.