23 COVID-19 hospitalizations, one death in London area

COVID-19 testing in a laboratory. (Photo from Pxhere)

For the first time in nine days, the London region has recorded a COVID-19 related death.

The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed on Thursday a man in his 70s has succumbed to the virus. He was not linked to a long-term care or retirement home, the health unit added. This is the first COVID death to be recorded in London or Middlesex County since June 14 and increases the local death toll to 402.

The health unit recorded 72 new COVID-19 cases since Monday. The health unit now only updates its COVID-19 dashboard twice a week and daily case tallies are believed to be an underestimate of community spread since the provincial government limited eligibility for PCR testing at the end of December. The total number of cases locally since March of 2020 is now 38,592, according to the health unit.

The number of resolved cases is up to 38,031. Currently, there are 159 known active cases in the region, up from 153 a week ago.

Area residents hoping to get a COVID-19 vaccination dose on Friday will not be able to do so at the health unit run clinics. The health unit announced its vaccination sites at the Western Fair District Agriplex and White Oaks Mall will not be offered as scheduled on Friday. That is due to an all-staff event for health unit employees. The clinics will reopen on Saturday.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) confirmed on Thursday it has 23 inpatients with the virus in its care, up by 11 compared to Monday. The last time more than 20 COVID positive patients were admitted to the hospital was on June 14.

Of the 23 hospitalized, there are 13 being treated for COVID-19 and 10 being treated for other ailments but have also tested positive.

There are currently no COVID infected patients listed in the intensive care unit. At Children’s Hospital, there are five or fewer patients with the virus, however, none are listed in paediatric critical care

There was a rise in the number of hospital workers who have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital network said it has 77 staffers sick, an increase of 25 since Monday.

Two units, one at University Hospital in north London and the other at Victoria Hospital in south London, are dealing with ongoing level two outbreaks. The outbreak on Victoria Hospital’s D6-100 Medicine Unit was declared on Saturday, while the outbreak on University Hospital’s U4 Medicine 100 and low 200 wings was confirmed on Monday.

Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for Elgin and Oxford counties, reported 32 more COVID-19 cases this week, increasing the local case count since the pandemic began to 14,051. There were no additional deaths recorded, leaving the death toll at 169. Resolved cases rose to 13,834 and there are now 48 known active cases in the two counties.