A healthcare worker performs coronavirus swab on a patient. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo /NoielA healthcare worker performs coronavirus swab on a patient. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo /Noiel

Active COVID-19 cases in London-area back above 200

For the first time in nearly two weeks, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the London region jumped back above 200.

The Middlesex London Health Unit is reporting 204 active infections locally, the first time that number has climbed above 200 since September 11. The increase comes as resolved cases failed to outpace the number of new cases in the city and county.

Public health officials logged 22 new infections on Thursday, down from 29 the previous day. That puts the total number of cases locally since the pandemic began at 13,885. Resolves cases went up by 14 to 13,443.

The death toll is unchanged at 238, with no additional COVID-19 related deaths reported in London or Middlesex County since Tuesday.

The number of cases involving variants of concern in London and Middlesex County has gone up by eight to 4,232. The new cases were identified as the Delta variant for a total of 718 locally. The number of cases of the Alpha variant, Gamma variant, and Beta variant were unchanged leaving those totals at 3,384, 124, and two.

The London Health Sciences Centre has 11 patients in its care with COVID-19, up from nine on Wednesday. Five or fewer of those patients are listed in intense care and none are admitted to Children’s Hospital. There are fewer than five hospital staffers who are isolating after contracting the virus.

At schools across the region, more cases are popping up which has led to a new outbreak being declared. The health unit declared an outbreak at St. Thomas More Catholic Elementary School after five positive cases were identified. That is in addition to an outbreak at École élémentaire La Pommeraie. The London District Catholic school board now has 14 active cases at eight schools and local French-language boards have four active cases at two schools. The Thames Valley District school board confirmed new infections at two of its schools on Wednesday night. The latest cases are at Kensal Park French Immersion Public School in London and Oliver Stephens Public School in Woodstock. Thames Valley currently has 15 active cases at 14 of its schools.

Of the 891 new COVID-19 cases to be reported in the region over the past six weeks, 82.3 per cent were among people who were not yet fully vaccinated against the virus or had not reached full immunity. Of those hospitalized with the virus, 85.3 were not fully vaccinated and 11.8 per cent had received both shots.

There has been a COVID-19 related death in Elgin and Oxford counties for the first time since August 31. The death reported by Southwestern Public Health on Thursday, increases the local death toll to 86. Two new COVID-19 cases were logged Thursday in the area, down from three new infections on Wednesday. Southwestern Public Health’s total caseload has now increased to 4,241. The total number of resolved cases stands at 4,105 and there are 50 known active cases locally.

Provincially, the daily number of COVID-19 cases jumped over 650 after hitting a five week low a day earlier.

Public health officials said there were 677 new cases on Thursday. That is up from the 463 infections logged on Wednesday, 574 cases recorded on Tuesday, and 610 cases on Monday.

Of the 677 new cases identified on Thursday, 433 were among unvaccinated individuals, 41 were people who were partially vaccinated, 148 were fully vaccinated individuals, and 55 had an unknown vaccination status.

Regions with the most new cases over the past 24 hours were Toronto with 136, Peel Region with 76, York Region with 73, and Windsor-Essex and Durham Region with 39 each.

The province’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now sits at 581,908.

According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, Ontario identified three new case of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant over the past 24 hours for a total of 146,455. Cases of the P.1 (Gamma) variant and B.1.351 (Beta) variant were unchanged at 5,229 and 1,502. There were 144 new cases involving the B.1.617 (Delta) variant for a total of 17,738.

Seven additional deaths related to the virus were reported on Thursday, including one that occurred more than a month ago. It was added to the provincial total as part of a data cleanup. The province’s death toll is currently 9,677.

At hospitals in Ontario, there are 307 people with COVID-19 on general wards, an increase of eight from the previous day. The number of people in the intensive care unit went up by six to 193 and there are 168 people on ventilators – an increase of six from Wednesday.

Of those on general hospital wards with COVID-19, 127 are not fully vaccinated and 34 have received both doses.

The number of resolved cases rose by 676 to 566,386. There are currently 5,845 known active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 37,630 COVID-19 tests were processed. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 1.9 per cent.

The province has administered more than 21.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Wednesday night. There are more than 10.3 million people in Ontario who have now received the second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.

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