Cases high for second day in Middlesex-London, SWPH up again

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 27 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, while Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) saw 29 new cases.

On Wednesday, there were 22 new cases in Middlesex-London and 13 in Elgin and Oxford counties, the areas covered by SWPH.

Middlesex-London now has a total of 14,934 cases and 252 related deaths (none new), with 14,514 cases resolved leaving 168 active. The seven-day moving average climbed to 18.9 from 18 on Wednesday.

Of the cases with an episode date in the past six weeks, 50.4 per cent are among the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or those not yet protected by the vaccine. The same group also accounts for 57.9 per cent of hospitalizations and 71.4 per cent of deaths.

The London Health Sciences Centre says it is caring for 18 inpatients with COVID-19, four fewer in the last 24 hours, while the number of cases in in adult Critical Care dropped by one to eight.

Outbreaks are ongoing at two post-secondary residences: Western University's Saugeen-Maitland Hall Residence and Fanshawe College's Merlin House Residence.

The MLHU says it will begin taking appointments for booster doses, for which the province expanded eligibility on Thursday, starting on Dec. 13. They are also available through pharmacies and primary care providers.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers is encouraging people to get their third shot, although he recognizes uptake will not be as high for booster doses as for first and second doses.

Meanwhile SWPH is reporting 29 new cases Thursday in Elgin and Oxford counties, more than double the 13 reported Wednesday. Currently, eight patients are in hospital, down from 12 on Wednesday, and five are in Critical, two more in the last 24 hours.

The majority of active cases are in St. Thomas, which has 54 active cases, followed by Woodstock with 29 and Tillsonburg with 25.

Active outbreaks continue at the Aylmer Retirement Residence and at Caressant Care Bonnie Place in St. Thomas.

Five schools in the region are in outbreak including; St. Joseph's Catholic School, Westfield Public School and Glendale High School, all three of which are in Tillsonburg, Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion Public School in St. Thomas and Woodstock Christian School.

REGIONAL COVID-19 COUNTS

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:

  • Elgin-Oxford – 29 new, 169 active, 5,411 total, 5,143 resolved, 99 deaths (one new)
  • Grey-Bruce – nine new, 48 active, 2,550 total, 2,475 resolved, 23 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 108 active, 3,491 total, 3,319 resolved, 56 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 12 new, 69 active, 2,580 total, 2,442 resolved, 70 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 10 new, 43 active, 4,394 total, 4,274 resolved, 77 deaths

An outbreak at Bluewater Health in Sarnia has finally been declared over, with fewer than five staff and the same number of patients affected.

Ontario health officials reported 959 new COVID-19 cases across the province Thursday and seven more deaths.