The highest daily case count was on Dec. 31, 2021, when the MLHU reported 638 cases.
However, the active case tally is likely much higher due to capacity issues that have resulted in a change in strategy that focuses testing for those who work in high-risk settings or in hospitals. Anyone who develops any kind of respiratory symptoms is being asked by the health unit to treat it like COVID-19 and self-isolate as a result of contact tracing systems being overwhelmed.
London Health Sciences Centre, meanwhile, is currently caring for 59 inpatients with COVID-19 with 10 in critical care. There are five or fewer inpatients with COVID-19 in Children’s Hospital with zero in pediatric critical care.
Hospitalization figures are up from 25 patients with eight in critical care on Dec. 30. At that time, there were five or fewer inpatients in Children’s Hospital with COVID-19, with five or fewer in critical care.
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The most recent death was reported Dec. 30 and involved a man in his 70s who was not associated with a long-term care or retirement home, the health unit said. Further details were not provided, but MLHU data suggested the individual was fully vaccinated.
In total, there have been 21,784 confirmed cases since the onset of the pandemic, including 4,221 active cases (an increase of 139), 17,304 resolved cases (an increase of 404) and 259 deaths (unchanged).
As of Monday, the seven-day case average for London-Middlesex stood at 472.9, down from 524.7 last week.
As mentioned, London Health Sciences Centre is caring for 59 inpatients with COVID-19, with 10 in critical care.
There are five or fewer inpatients with COVID-19 in Children’s Hospital and zero in pediatric critical care.
LHSC is reporting that 210 of its staff members currently have COVID-19, up from 135 last Thursday.
There are currently two active outbreaks at LHSC. An outbreak at University Hospital in 7IP Clinical Neurosciences involves five or fewer patients and five or fewer staff members. An outbreak at Victoria Hospital’s B7-200 Adult Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit involves five or fewer patients but 15 staff members.
St. Joseph’s Health Care London reported 70 cases among staff, up from 32 last Thursday, as well as 25 patient/resident cases.
Among the patient/resident cases, 19 are related to outbreaks at Parkwood Institute and six are tied to an outbreak at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.
Global News initially reported a total of 95 staff cases by erroneously including the patient/resident cases in the tally. Global News regrets this error.
As of Tuesday, outbreaks are active at the following long-term care homes, retirement homes or hospitals:
- Babcock Community Care Centre, facility-wide, declared Dec. 31
- Chartwell London, Magnolia and Pinebrook areas, declared Dec. 18
- Chartwell Parkhill, Countryside Unit, declared Jan. 1
- Country Terrace, Nottinghill Unit, declared Dec. 28
- Dearness Home, in 5E, 5W, 4E, Oakdale and 2W, declared Dec. 29
- Earls Court Village, first and third floors, declared Jan. 2
- Elmwood Place, facility-wide, declared Dec. 27
- Extendicare, second and third floors, declared Dec. 24
- Henley Place LTC Residence, in Medway, Victoria and Fanshawe units, declared Dec. 29
- LHSC – University Hospital, 7IP Neurosciences, declared Jan. 1
- LHSC – Victoria Hospital, PICU, declared Dec. 31
- Longworth Retirement Residence, second floor, declared Dec. 25
- McCormick Home, Memory Lane and Evergreen units, declared Dec. 14
- McGarrell Place, facility-wide, declared Jan. 1
- Meadow Park Care Centre, facility-wide, declared Jan. 1
- Middlesex Terrace, third floor, declared Dec. 26
- Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, SM1 and MV5, declared Dec. 25
- Parkwood Institute Main Building, 3 Kent/Essex, declared Dec. 31
- Parkwood Institute Main Building, 3A-East, declared Dec. 23
- Parkwood Institute Main Building, 4 Bruce Elgin, declared Jan. 3
- Peoplecare Oak Crossing, White Pine, declared Dec. 31
- Sisters of St. Joseph, facility-wide, declared Dec. 24
- Village of Glendale Crossing, facility-wide, Lambeth, declared Dec. 25
- Westmount Gardens, Daisy Unit, declared Jan. 3
There are no active outbreaks at elementary or secondary schools, child-care or early years centres or post-secondary institutions in the MLHU’s jurisdiction as of Tuesday.
Schools and child care
No new COVID-19 cases have been reported involving schools and none were active as of Tuesday.
Students have been out of class for the winter break and were initially supposed to return to in-person classes Wednesday but the province announced on Monday that “all publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting Jan. 5 until at least Jan. 17.”
A total of 600 cases have been reported at local elementary and secondary schools since the start of the school year in September. In comparison, 351 were reported during the 12 months from September 2020 to August 2021.
Vaccinations and testing
The province revised its PCR testing eligibility in a bid to ease the burden on Ontario’s testing system amid the Omicron wave.
Publicly funded PCR testing is recommended for symptomatic people in high-risk groups. On its website, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has provided further information on what to do if you develop symptoms, test positive on a rapid test or PCR test or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
As of Jan. 1, 88.0 per cent of those five and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 82.3 per cent are fully vaccinated. Those figures are up from 87.6 per cent and 82.1 per cent, respectively, as of Dec. 25.
As for boosters, 25.4 per cent of those five and older have had a third dose as of Jan. 1.
Health unit data shows 43.64 per cent of hospitalized cases have involved people who were unvaccinated and 49.09 per cent involved fully vaccinated individuals. The rest involve those who were partially vaccinated or not yet protected by vaccination. Note that unvaccinated residents make up 12 per cent of the region’s five-and-older population.
On the health unit’s website, residents can find information on pop-up clinics, mass vaccination clinics and pharmacies, as well as guidance for anyone vaccinated outside of the province or country, transportation support for those in need and more.
Ontario is reporting 11,352 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as hospitalizations and those in ICUs continue to rise.
Ontario reported 1,290 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (up by 58 from the previous day) with 266 patients in intensive care units (up by 18).
Of the 11,352 new cases recorded, the data showed 1,647 were unvaccinated people, 445 were partially vaccinated people, 9,040 were fully vaccinated people and for 219 people the vaccination status was unknown.
For the regional breakdown, 2,480 cases were recorded in Toronto, 1,486 in Peel Region, 1,059 in York Region, 635 in Durham Region and 612 in Waterloo. All other local public health units reported fewer than 600 new cases in the provincial report.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health is reporting 15 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, with five cases in the ICU.
SWPH also reported a death on Tuesday, involving a man in his 70s from Elgin County.
SWPH is reporting:
- 7,725 cases (an increase of 169 from Monday but 1,504 from Dec. 24)
- 1,379 active cases (increase of 900 from Dec. 24)
- 6,232 resolved cases (an increase of 601 from Dec. 24, note that SWPH clears all cases after 10 days regardless of outcome)
- 114 deaths (an increase of three from Dec. 24)
There are active outbreaks at the following long-term care and retirement homes:
- Valleyview Nursing Home, St. Thomas, declared Dec. 23 and involving nine resident cases and six staff cases
- Woodingford Lodge, Woodstock, declared Dec. 28 and involving three resident cases and five staff cases
- Chartwell Oxford Gardens, Woodstock, declared Dec. 30 and involving three resident cases and one case under investigation
- Caressant Care Bonnie Place Retirement Home, St. Thomas, declared Dec. 30 and involving one resident case and six cases under investigation
- Caressant Care Bonnie Place Nursing Home, St. Thomas, declared Dec. 30 and involving four staff cases
- Elgin Manor, St. Thomas, declared Dec. 31 and involving four resident cases and one staff case
- Beattie Manor Retirement Residence, Wardsville, declared Dec. 31 and involving one resident case
- Extendicare, Port Stanley, declared Jan. 2 and involving one resident case and two staff cases
- Secord Trails, Ingersoll, declared Jan. 2 and involving two resident cases
- Chartwell Aylmer, Aylmer, declared Jan. 2 and involving three staff cases
There are currently no active outbreaks at local schools. More information on school cases can be found on the websites of the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board.
Roughly 6.8 per cent of tests in the region were coming back positive as of the week of Dec. 12.
As of Jan. 2, 76.3 per cent of those aged five and older in the region had received two doses of the vaccine, while 81.2 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.
The health unit encouraged people to join its Same Day Vaccination List, which offers any leftover doses due to cancellations or no-shows.
Huron and Perth
Huron Perth Public Health is reporting eight patients with COVID-19 currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 and complications of COVID-19 infection (including some whose COVID-19 infection may have resolved), six of which involve individuals with an active COVID-19 infection.
There were 13 health-care workers with active COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.
In total, HPPH reported:
- 3,890 total cases (an increase of 488 from Dec. 31)
- 925 active cases (an increase of 404 from Dec. 31)
- 2,890 recoveries (an increase of 83 from Dec. 31)
- 75 deaths to date (an increase of one from Dec. 31)
Due to changes in who can access publicly funded PCR tests, HPPH is no longer reporting case counts by municipality.
There are 12 active outbreaks reported by HPPH, including seven at long-term care or retirement homes:
- Hillside Manor, Perth East, declared Dec. 31 and involving two staff cases
- Kingsway Lodge, St. Marys, declared Jan. 3 and involving one resident case and three staff cases
- Queensway Nursing home, Bluewater, declared Dec. 31 and involving one resident case and one staff case
- Wildwood Care Centre, St. Marys, declared Dec. 27 and involving five staff cases
- Exeter Villa, South Huron, declared Jan. 2 and involving one resident case and two staff cases
- Maplewood Manor Retirement Home, Huron East, declared Dec. 30 and involving one resident case and one staff case
- Seaforth Manor Retirement Home, Huron East, declared Jan. 2 and involving two staff cases
HPPH is reporting five outbreaks at congregate living settings but no further details were provided.
As of Jan. 4, 82.9 per cent of residents aged five and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 78.0 per cent are fully vaccinated. Third-dose coverage stands at 31.0 per cent.
The region’s test positivity rate was 3.8 per cent for the week of Dec. 12. An updated figure is expected this week.
Information on how and where to get a vaccine can be found on the health unit’s website.
Sarnia and Lambton
Bluewater Health reported 27 patients in hospital with confirmed COVID-19, up from 16 on Monday.
On Tuesday, Lambton Public Health reported:
- 6292 total cases (an increase of 692)
- 1,322 active cases (an increase of 547)
- 4,886 resolved cases (an increase of 144)
- 84 deaths to date (unchanged)
The region’s seven-day incidence rate was 788.1 on Jan. 3, up from just 83 on Dec. 30.
LPH reported eight active outbreaks as of Wednesday, up from three on Dec. 30, the most recent update.
Seven of the outbreaks involve long-term care or retirement homes:
- Trillium Villa in Sarnia, declared Jan. 3 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
- Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia, declared Jan. 1 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
- Afton Park Place in Sarnia, declared Dec. 31 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
- Sumac Lodge in Sarnia, declared Dec. 31 and involving nine resident cases and fewer than five cases among staff/caregivers
- Fiddick’s Nursing Home in Petrolia, declared Dec. 30 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
- Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, declared Dec. 29 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
- Rosewood Retirement Village in Sarnia, declared Dec. 26 and involving fewer than five residents and fewer than five staff/caregivers
The other outbreak involves an unidentified workplace with two cases, declared Dec. 20.
A previously reported outbreak at Errol Road Public School, declared Dec. 23 and involving fewer than five cases, was listed as over as of Dec. 31.
The test positivity rate was 6.8 per cent for the week of Dec. 12, the most recent data available, up from 3.6 per cent for the week of Dec. 5.
Roughly 80 per cent of area residents have had at least one dose while 76 per cent have had two doses. Twenty-one per cent have had a third dose, health unit data shows.
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 Kelly Wang and Gabby Rodrigues