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COVID-19: MLHU reports 5 new cases, 9 more recoveries Thursday

People wear face masks as they gather in a city park in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Jump to: HospitalizationsOutbreaksSchoolsVaccinations and testingOntarioElgin and OxfordHuron and PerthSarnia and Lambton


The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported five new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the local total to 12,525.

Nine more cases have resolved, bringing that total to 12,246, with 55 cases currently active. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 224.

The number of variant cases in the region has climbed by three to 3,442.

The health unit says the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first identified in the U.K., has accounted for nearly all of them — 3,345.

Read more: Ontario to officially move into Step 2 of reopening plan on June 30

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Eighty-six cases have been confirmed to involve the Gamma variant (P.1), first identified in Brazil. One case has also been confirmed to involve the Zeta, or P.2, variant — the other lineage identified in Brazil in October 2020.

Seven cases have been confirmed to involve the B.1.617 variant, first identified in India. Six are listed as being the Delta sub-lineage (B.1.617.2) and one the Kappa sub-lineage (B.1.617.1). Health officials believe the Delta variant will be the dominant variant in the region within four weeks.

Read more: MLHU set to expand 2nd-dose COVID-19 vaccine re-booking as Delta variant gains ground

Two cases have been confirmed to involve the Beta variant (B.1.351), first identified in South Africa.

A total of 11,339 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in London since the pandemic began, while 360 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 335 cases have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 158 in Thames Centre, 73 in Lucan Biddulph, 58 in Southwest Middlesex, 55 in North Middlesex, 15 in Adelaide Metcalfe and six in Newbury, while 126 cases have pending location information.

Hospitalizations

At least 10 COVID-19 patients are listed as being in the care of London Health Sciences Centre as of Thursday with fewer than five people in the intensive care unit.

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Fewer than five patients in acute care and fewer than five in the ICU are from outside of the region, the organization says. LHSC only provides specific numbers when they are above five in an effort to protect the privacy of patients.

Six staff at LHSC were positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday, a decrease of two from Wednesday.

Read more: London Health Sciences Centre announces more executive-level changes

The organization continues to deal with an outbreak at University Hospital, declared June 13, in 8TU – Transplant Unit that has been linked to an unspecified variant.

The outbreak is linked to fewer than five patients and fewer than five staff cases.

At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization reported no COVID-19 cases among its patients or staff.

Institutional outbreaks

No new outbreaks have been reported.

Just one is active in the region — the 8TU Transplant Unit outbreak at University Hospital mentioned above.

Declared June 13, it’s been linked to fewer than five patients and fewer than five staff cases.

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Schools

No new school-related cases have been reported and none are currently active, according to the health unit and local school boards.

Students have been in remote learning since April and are finishing the school year that way within a matter of days.

School-based one-day pop-up vaccine clinics at schools in the city and county began this week.

Vaccinations and testing

On Wednesday, the MLHU said it was set to receive its largest-ever delivery of vaccines over the weekend.

On Thursday, the health unit confirmed that it had expanded second-dose re-booking to anyone who received their first shot on or before May 30, providing that at least 28 days have passed between doses.

Information on second-dose re-booking eligibility and how to cancel appointments can be found on the health unit’s website.

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A number of local pharmacies are also offering first doses of mRNA vaccines. Some are also offering AstraZeneca as well but for second doses only.

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As mentioned in the Schools section, one-day pop-up community clinics will be held at select schools in the city and county starting this week. Locations, dates and times can be found on the Global News website.

As of June 19, the MLHU says 73.1 per cent of residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, those looking to get a COVID-19 test have several options.

The region’s main assessment centres, located at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, remain open and operating by appointment.

People can also be tested at MyHealth Testing Centre, at certain pharmacies and — if a student or staff member — at Fanshawe College and Western University.

The test positivity rate in the region stands at 1.2 per cent for the week of June 13, the most recent data available.

Ontario

Ontario is reporting 296 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as test positivity hit its lowest point since late September 2020. The provincial case total now stands at 531,278.

Test positivity for Thursday hit 1.1 per cent — the lowest test positivity since Sept. 25, when it was at one per cent. On Wednesday, the province reported 1.2 per cent.

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Read more: Ontario reports nearly 300 new COVID-19 cases as test positivity continues to drop

According to Thursday’s report, 95 cases were recorded in Waterloo, 35 in Toronto, 20 in Peel Region, 19 in Hamilton, 17 in Ottawa and 16 in Durham Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 15 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,099 as six more deaths were recorded.

Elgin and Oxford

Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported, bringing the region’s pandemic case total to 3,869, of which 3,757 have resolved, an increase of five from the day before.

The total number of deaths is unchanged at 83.

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At least 29 cases are active with 10 each in St. Thomas and Woodstock. Per-municipality case counts can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.

Two people are hospitalized but not in the ICU.

Read more: COVID-19 deaths in U.S. now mostly among people who aren’t vaccinated

The number of variant cases in the region now stands at 794, an increase of one from Wednesday according to the health unit. The vast majority, at least 740, involve the Alpha variant.

Those eligible can re-book their second appointment through the online booking portal or by phone at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9. The health unit is also still encouraging people to add their names to a same-day vaccination list.

Several pharmacies in the region are also continuing to offer Pfizer and Moderna shots.

The region’s test positivity rate increased to 1.5 per cent for the week of June 13, up from 0.9 per cent for the week of June 6.

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Huron and Perth

Huron Perth Public Health reported two more COVID-19 cases and one more recovery on Thursday, bringing the total to 1,885.

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Twelve cases are currently active, including three active variant of concern cases, while 1,816 cases are considered recovered and 57 people have died.

Case counts by municipality can be found on the health unit dashboard.

No one is currently in hospital with COVID-19, according to HPPH.

The total number of variant cases and cases that have screened positive for a mutation consistent with a variant is 306, unchanged from Wednesday.

Read more: COVID-19: Waterloo Region won’t join rest of Ontario in Step 2 of the provincial reopening

Health unit data shows more than 92,189 people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or about 72 per cent of Huron-Perth residents.

Currently, anyone who received a first dose of vaccine on or before May 30 can re-book their second appointment, as can other certain individuals.

There are no active outbreaks reported in the region.

The region’s test positivity rate fell to 1.0 per cent for the week of June 13, down from 1.2 per cent the week of June 6.

Sarnia and Lambton

Nine new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Lambton County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,580.

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Three recoveries were reported, bringing that total to 3,481. Sixty-two virus-related deaths have been reported, most recently on June 15.

The number of active cases stands at 37. According to Bluewater Health, seven patients in their care are confirmed to have COVID-19.

The region’s variant case tally stands at 630, the health unit says, unchanged from Wednesday.

Read more: Ontario’s top doctor to give update on province’s COVID-19 response

So far, nearly 72 per cent of adults in the region have had at least one dose of vaccine.

Second-dose re-bookings continue in the region for all residents aged 60 and older as well as residents whose first dose was on or before May 21.

Residents are asked to re-book using the health unit’s registration page. People can also call the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222, however, call volume is expected to be very high.

Some pharmacies are also continuing to offer Pfizer or Moderna shots.

No outbreaks are active.

The region’s positivity rate was 1.4 per cent the week of May 30. An updated figure is expected this week.

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–With files from Gabby Rodrigues, Sawyer Bogdan, Matthew Trevithick and Kelly Wang.

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