As of Wednesday, there were 289 active cases (an increase of 14), 14,617 recoveries (an increase of 22) and 254 deaths (unchanged).
The most recent deaths were reported Dec. 7 and involved a man in his 50s not associated with a long-term care or retirement home and a man in his 80s associated with a retirement home.
The MLHU has confirmed the presence of the new Omicron variant in the region, detected in a large cluster of COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the health unit announced that genomic sequencing conducted on one of the cluster cases had confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the health unit says the number of cases associated with the COVID-19 cluster is at least 40, with 171 high-risk close contacts.
On Wednesday, the health unit confirmed to Global News that the child-care centre associated with the cluster is Kidzone.
The London District Catholic School Board previously confirmed that St. Marguerite in the White Hills neighbourhood, St. Nicholas in River Bend and St. Mary Choir and Orchestra in the Old East Village are tied to the cluster. All three schools are closed.
The Thames Valley District School Board, meanwhile, said “Princess Elizabeth Public School in London, and Delaware Public School in Delaware have identified close contact cases” but both schools remain open.
The rate of active cases continues to climb dramatically among those in the 0-11 age group.
For children under 11, there are 80 cases or 124.2 per 100,000 population. That’s up from 65 cases or 100.9 cases per 100,000 population on Tuesday, 56 or 86.9 cases per 100,000 population on Monday and 33 cases or 51.2 per 100,000 population on Friday.
The cohort with the next highest rate of active cases is the 18-24 age group, with 46 active cases or 87.1 per 100,000 population, up from 42 active cases working out to 79.6 per 100,000 on Tuesday.
Information on local variant of concern data can be found by visiting the health unit’s summary of COVID-19 cases on the Middlesex-London page and clicking on the “Case Status” tab.
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is caring for 12 inpatients with COVID-19 on Wednesday, with five or fewer in adult critical care or the intensive care unit.
There were five or fewer inpatients with COVID-19 in LHSC’s Children’s Hospital, with zero in pediatric critical care as of Tuesday.
Seven staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is reporting zero cases involving health-care workers.
The MLHU is not reporting any outbreaks at long-term care homes, retirement homes or hospitals but there are several outbreaks involving schools:
- Mountsfield Public School, declared Dec. 7
- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, declared Dec. 6
- Riverside Public School, declared Dec. 6
- St. Jude Catholic School, declared Dec. 7
- St. Marguerite d’Youville School, declared Dec. 3
- St. Mary Choir and Orchestra Catholic School, declared Dec. 5
- Tecumseh Public School, declared Dec. 3
- West Oaks French Immersion Public School, declared Dec. 4
A previous outbreak at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School declared Dec. 4 is listed as resolved as of Dec. 7.
There is also an outbreak, declared Dec. 6, at Kidzone Day Care Centre. The MLHU confirmed to Global News on Wednesday that Kidzone is tied to the Omicron cluster.
Additionally, an outbreak at Fanshawe College’s Merlin House residence, declared Nov. 28, and at Western University’s Saugeen-Maitland Hall residence, declared Nov. 27, are both ongoing.
The MLHU also announced Monday that there is an outbreak at God’s Favourite House, a church on Dearness Drive, connected to the potential Omicron cluster.
The following schools have active cases associated with them, according to the MLHU:
- A. B. Lucas Secondary School (one case)
- Blessed Sacrament Catholic School (one case)
- Byron Northview Public School (one case)
- Caradoc Public School (one case)
- Cedar Hollow Public School (one case)
- Covenant Christian School (one case)
- Delaware Central School (two cases)
- École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc (one case)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Public School (one case)
- London Christian High (one case)
- Lord Dorchester Secondary School (one case)
- Matthews Hall (one case)
- Mountsfield Public School (three cases)
- Northridge Public School (one case)
- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School (three cases)
- Princess Elizabeth Public School (one case)
- Riverside Public School (one case)
- Ryerson Public School (one case)
- Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School (two cases)
- Sir Arthur Currie Public School (one case)
- St. Andre Bessette Secondary School (one case)
- St. Anthony Catholic French Immersion School (one case)
- St. Jude Catholic School (two cases)
- St. Marguerite d’Youville School (five cases)
- St. Mary Choice and Orchestra Catholic School (one case)
- St. Nicholas Catholic School (three cases)
- St. Paul Catholic School (one case)
- Stoneybrook Public School (one case)
- Tecumseh Public School (three cases)
- West Oaks French Immersion Public School (four cases)
- Westmount Public School (one case)
- Woodland Heights Public School (one case)
The MLHU is reporting cases at several child-care and early-years centres in its jurisdiction:
- F. D. Roosevelt YMCA School Age in London, one case
- Kidzone Day Care Centre in London, two cases (outbreak declared Dec. 6)
- London Children’s Connection – Mountsfield Before and After School, one case
- St. Theresa YMCA Child Care, one case
- Wortley YMCA Child Care Centre, one case
The health unit says at least 333 cases have been reported since the start of the school year involving elementary and secondary schools, as well as child-care and early-years centres.
Vaccinations and testing
The MLHU provided updated vaccination data on Tuesday, covering up to the end of day on Dec. 4.
According to the MLHU, 90.5 per cent of residents aged 12 and older have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of Dec. 4 while 87.9 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Among the entire population aged five and over, 85.1 per cent of the population has had at least one dose while 81.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Vaccinations for those aged five to 11 began Nov. 26 in London and in just over a week, 23.5 per cent of that cohort have had their first dose.
As for the vaccination status of cases, the MLHU says unvaccinated individuals have accounted for 43.32 per cent of all cases (292 of 674) and 35.0 per cent of hospitalizations (seven of 20) since Oct. 27.
Of the nine COVID-19-related deaths reported in the last six weeks, five involved individuals who were unvaccinated, one involved someone partially vaccinated and three involved someone who was fully vaccinated.
On the health unit’s website, residents can find information on pop-up clinics, mass vaccination clinics and pharmacies; guidance for anyone vaccinated outside of the province or country; transportation support for those in need; and more.
Anyone looking to be tested for COVID-19 can find information about the locations of testing sites on the health unit’s website.
The latest COVID-19 test positivity rate in the region was 3.1 per cent for the week of Nov. 28, up from 2.1 per cent for the week of Nov. 21.
The province reported 1,009 cases Wednesday, of which 421 involved unvaccinated individuals.
According to Tuesday’s report, 124 cases were recorded in Toronto, 92 in Ottawa, 82 in Simcoe Muskoka, 75 in Windsor-Essex, 69 in the Kingston area, and 50 each in Hamilton and in York Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 50 new cases.
Eight more deaths were also reported.
For those aged 12 and older, 87.4 per cent are fully immunized. For those five to 11, 23.6 per cent have had their first dose.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health reported two deaths on Wednesday, in addition to two deaths on Tuesday, one death on Monday and three deaths reported last week.
In total, on Tuesday, SWPH reported:
- 5,579 total cases (an increase of 20 cases)
- 199 active cases (a decrease of four)
- 5,275 resolved cases (an increase of 22)
- 105 deaths to date (an increase of two)
Wednesday’s deaths involved a man in his 50s from St. Thomas and a man in his 70s from Oxford County.
Tuesday’s deaths involved a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s, both from Elgin County. The death reported Monday involved a man in his 70s.
Three deaths were reported last week, involving a woman in her 70s reported in the Dec. 3 update, a woman in her 50s in the Dec. 2 update and a woman in her 80s in the Nov. 29 update.
Further details can be found on SWPH’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Of the 199 active cases in the region, 99 were in Elgin County (including 55 in St. Thomas and 29 in Aylmer) and 100 were in Oxford County (including 38 in Woodstock and 31 in Tillsonburg).
Eleven people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with four in the ICU as of Wednesday.
An outbreak at Caressant Care Bonnie Place in St. Thomas declared Nov. 28 is ongoing. It now involves five resident cases and seven staff cases.
The region’s test positivity rate was 5.3 per cent for the week of Nov. 28, down from 5.9 per cent for the week of Nov. 21.
As of Dec. 7, 75.5 per cent of those aged five and older in the region were fully vaccinated while 79.3 per cent have had at least one dose.
Information on where and how to get vaccinated can be found on the health unit’s website.
Huron and Perth
On Wednesday, Huron Perth Public Health reported:
- 2,627 total cases (an increase of seven)
- 59 active cases (a decrease of nine)
- 2,498 recoveries (an increase of 16)
- 70 deaths to date (unchanged)
The most recent death was reported Nov. 29 and involved a community member connected to a workplace outbreak, according to a spokesperson for the health unit.
Among the 59 active cases, 21 were reported in North Perth and 10 in Perth East.
Full case counts by municipality can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.
There were six people hospitalized with COVID-19 and zero active cases involving health-care workers as of Tuesday.
HPPH has six active outbreaks involving four schools, one child-care centre and one workplace:
- An outbreak at Perth Care for Kids in West Perth, declared Dec. 6, involves two students.
- An outbreak at North Perth Westfield ES in North Perth, declared Nov. 30, involves nine students and one staff case.
- An outbreak at North Perth Westfield Before and After Program, declared Nov. 29, involves two students.
- An outbreak at Elma Township Public School in North Perth, declared Nov. 23, involves 26 students.
- An outbreak at North Perth Spinrite Child and Family Centre in North Perth, declared Nov. 22, involves three child cases.
No further information was provided about the workplace outbreak.
As of Dec. 6, 81 per cent of residents aged five and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 77 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The region’s test positivity rate was 2.9 per cent for the week of Nov. 28, down from 3.6 per cent for the week of Nov. 21.
Information on how and where to get a vaccine can be found on the health unit’s website.
Sarnia and Lambton
On Wednesday, Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported:
- 4,446 total cases (an increase of one)
- 55 active cases (a decrease of 10)
- 4,313 resolved cases (an increase of 11)
- 78 deaths (unchanged)
The most recent death was reported Friday, Dec. 3.
As of Wednesday, there are four COVID-19 patients in the care of Bluewater Health.
LPH is reporting five active outbreaks:
- an outbreak at St. Anne Catholic School declared Dec. 3 and involving seven cases
- an outbreak at St. Bartholomew’s Early Childhood Learning Centre declared Dec. 3 and involving five cases
- an outbreak at Generations Day Care – St. Philip Site, declared Nov. 28 and involving fewer than five cases.
- an outbreak at an unidentified workplace declared Dec. 6, involving two cases.
- an outbreak at an unidentified workplace declared Nov. 28, involving two cases.
The test positivity rate for the week of Nov. 28 was 3.9 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent the week before.
Among area residents aged five and older, 79 per cent have had at least one dose while 75 per cent have had two doses. Six per cent have had a third dose.
Residents can book and re-book COVID-19 vaccine appointments or find information on vaccine availability at pharmacies using the health unit’s registration page. People can also contact the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222.
Those who are able to get vaccinated on short notice are encouraged to sign up for Lambton Public Health’s daily Vaccine Standby List.
— with files from Global News’ Matthew Trevithick and Gabby Rodrigues