On the first day of the province's stay-at-home order, new COVID-19 cases in London and Middlesex County remained in the triple-digits.
The Middlesex London Health Unit logged 129 new infections on Thursday, up slightly from 126 the day before. The back-to-back triple digit days come as case numbers across the region have steadily risen for the past two weeks. Public health officials reported 43 new infections on March 25 and 84 one week later on April 1.
The region's total number of cases is now 7,952. There are now 498 screened positive for a variant of concern and nine identified as the B.1.1.7 variant.
No COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded since the weekend, leaving the local death toll at 190.
Resolved cases have increased to 6,770 and active cases in the region are nearing 1,000.
There are ongoing outbreaks at two area health care facilities, one long-term care home and four schools. The health unit confirmed an outbreak at Ekcoe Public was deemed resolved on Wednesday. Widespread exposure to the virus led the Thames Valley District school board to have to temporarily close Ashley Oaks Public. Students there will learn remotely Thursday and Friday before taking their spring break next week. Thames Valley also reported COVID-19 cases at two more London schools on Thursday, Kensal Park French Immersion and East Carling.
Western University has six residences listed in outbreak - Essex Hall, Delaware Hall, Elgin Hall, Medway-Sydenham Hall, Ontario Hall, and Saugeen-Maitland Hall.
There are currently 27 patients with COVID-19 at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Thirteen of those individuals are listed in the intensive care unit. The hospital confirmed earlier this week it had taken in seven ICU patients from the Toronto area and Thunder Bay.
On a positive note, London and Middlesex were slated to hit a milestone in the effort to vaccine its population. Neil Johnson, the LHSC's chief operating officer, tweeted Thursday that by the end of day the region's mass vaccination clinics will have given the shot to more than 100,000 people.
There was a slight jump in new cases reported Thursday in Elgin and Oxford counties. Southwestern Public Health reported 16 new infections, up from nine the previous day. The latest numbers bring the region’s total case count to 2,936. There has not been a COVID-19 related death in the two counties in nearly two weeks, leaving the death toll at 69. Resolves cases in the region have increased to 2,752. There are 115 known active cases. Caressant Care Bonnie Place in St. Thomas is the only long-term care facility with an outbreak. To date, more than 13,600 Oxford and Elgin county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For the third consecutive day, Ontario's daily COVID-19 cases were above 3,000.
There were 3,295 infections reported across the province on Thursday, up from 3,215 the previous day and 3,065 on Tuesday.
Toronto had the highest number of new infections of any city in the province over the past 24 hours with 933. Peel recorded 649, York Region had 386, Durham had 165, and Ottawa reported 160.
The continued surge of cases came as the province entered the first day of a month-long stay-at-home order. The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and requires Ontarians to remain at their homes except for trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, medical appointments or to perform work that cannot be done remotely. Non-essential retailers are closed to in-person shopping, but can offer curbside pickup. Different from previous lockdowns in the province, big box stores are limited to selling only essential items such as food, household cleaners, health and personal care items and pet supplies.
Ontario’s total case count now sits at 374,112.
Nineteen additional deaths were reported on Thursday. The province’s death toll is now 7,494.
At hospitals in Ontario, there are 1,417 patients with COVID-19. Of those, 525 are in intensive care (a new record high) and 331 are on ventilators.
The number of resolved cases rose to 338,559. There are currently 28,059 active cases of the virus in Ontario.
In the last 24 hour period, 63,846 COVID-19 tests were processed. That is up from 49,889 tests on Wednesday. Ontario’s positivity rate is roughly 6 per cent.
The province has administered 2,834,784 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since Wednesday. There are 326,360 people in Ontario who have received their second dose of the vaccine to be considered fully inoculated.