- Officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported no new deaths and 60 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
- At London Health Sciences Centre, 27 inpatients with COVID-19 are being cared for as of Thursday. Of those, five or fewer are in adult critical care.
- LHSC reported 167 active staff cases on Thursday, up from 155 on Wednesday.
- The MLHU announced Thursday that it will continue to ask visitors and clients to wear masks at its facilities and clinics, even once the provincial mask mandate lifts in most settings on Monday. Clients who choose not to wear a mask will be seen in an isolated area by health unit staff wearing a mask and eye protection.
London Health Sciences Centre reported Thursday that it was caring for 27 inpatients with COVID-19, a decrease of two from Wednesday, with five or fewer in adult critical care.
LHSC says five or fewer of its COVID-19 inpatients are in Children’s Hospital, while zero are in pediatric critical care.
Of the 27 inpatients with COVID-19, 12 are being treated for COVID-19 while 15 are being treated for something other than COVID-19 but were found to have an incidental infection.
At least 167 staff cases are currently active at LHSC, up from 155 the day before.
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, officials reported 55 active cases among health-care workers along with one patient or resident case in the Parkwood Institute’s main building.
Cases and testing
On Thursday, the MLHU reported 60 new lab-confirmed cases but no deaths.
So far in March, there have been seven COVID-19-related deaths in the region.
Due to changes in eligibility for PCR testing, daily case counts are not considered a fully reliable reflection of COVID-19 activity in the region.
The health unit says there have been 32,906 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. At least 674 are active (an increase of one) while 31,816 have resolved (an increase of 62).
A total of 354 deaths have been reported (unchanged).
The test positivity rate for the week of March 6 was 17.5 per cent, up sharply from the revised 11.5 per cent a week prior. This also marks the first increase in the rate since early January.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit says individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should consider themselves to be positive for COVID-19 and self-isolate.
The health unit has provided 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.
Also on Thursday, the MLHU announced that, even beyond March 21 when a mask mandate from the province will lift in most settings, it will continue to ask visitors and clients to wear masks at its facilities and clinics. Medical grade masks will be provided to them, the health unit said.
Clients who choose not to wear a mask will be seen in an isolated area by health unit staff wearing a mask and eye protection.
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LHSC has one active outbreak in the entire floor of University Hospital’s U8 General Surgery, declared Feb. 28, involving 13 patient cases and 15 staff cases.
LHSC updates its outbreak data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless an outbreak is declared or resolved.
Additionally, the MLHU is reporting the following active institutional outbreaks:
- Chelsey Park, fourth floor – A, B and C wings, declared March 4
- Chelsey Park Retirement Community, facility-wide, declared March 4
- Middlesex Health Alliance (Four Counties – acute care nursing unit), declared March. 12
A previous outbreak at Horizon Place, facility-wide, declared Feb. 24, was listed as resolved as of March 16.
As of the end of day March 12, 90.8 per cent of residents aged five and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (unchanged from a week prior), while 87.7 per cent have had two (up from 87.5 the week prior).
For third doses, 50.5 per cent of people five and older have received a booster, up from 50.2 per cent a week earlier. Note that those aged 12 to 17 only became eligible for a third dose as of Feb. 18 and those under 12 are still not eligible.
For children aged five to 11, first-dose coverage stands at 60.3 per cent, up from 60.1 per cent a week earlier, while 44.4 per cent have received two doses.
Further information on vaccination in the MLHU’s region, as well as other COVID-19-related information, can be found on the health unit’s website.
The province reported 644 people in hospital with COVID on Thursday, with 199 in ICUs. Last Thursday those figures were 742 and 244, respectively.
Of the 644 in hospital, 47 were admitted because of COVID while the rest were admitted for another reason but tested positive for COVID. Of those in the ICU, 75 per cent were admitted because of COVID.
Ontario also reported 2,398 lab-confirmed cases on Thursday, though that is an underestimate of the true widespread transmission of the virus due to testing restrictions.
Nineteen more virus-related deaths were also added, bringing the pandemic total to 12,307.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health issues updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, barring holidays.
The health unit reported one new COVID-19 death on Wednesday and 34 additional lab-confirmed cases.
The death involved a man in his 90s from Oxford County, not associated with any outbreak.
There were four COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, with one in intensive care.
The test positivity rate for the week of Feb. 27 was 10.4 per cent, down from a revised 11.5 per cent the week prior.
SWPH reported on Wednesday:
- 11,553 cases (an increase of 34 from Monday with one case removed due to data cleanup)
- 210 active cases (a decrease of 11)
- 11,190 resolved cases (an increase of 43; note that SWPH clears all cases after 10 days regardless of outcome)
- 153 total deaths to date (an increase of one)
Health unit officials reported one active institutional outbreak at Chartwell Oxford Gardens in Woodstock. Declared March 2, it involves 10 resident cases and three staff cases.
As of March 14, 81 per cent of those aged five and older in the region had received two doses of the vaccine, while 83.7 per cent have had at least one dose.
Further 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.
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Huron and Perth
Global News is awaiting Thursday’s data from Huron Perth Public Health.
On Wednesday, Huron Perth Public Health reported one patient in hospital due to COVID-19 with an active case and 24 new lab-confirmed cases in the community.
In total, HPPH has reported 5,892 cases (an increase of 24) and 95 deaths to date (an increase of one).
For the week of Feb. 27, the test positivity rate was 7.9 per cent, up from 7.7 per cent a week prior.
HPPH reported 741 total cases among health-care workers since March 2020, an increase of 10 from Monday.
There are currently four active outbreaks:
- Listowel Memorial Hospital, declared March 12 and involving nine patients
- Spruce Lodge long-term care home in Stratford, declared March 12, involving four residents
- Goderich Place retirement home in Goderich, declared March 14, involving six residents and three staff members
- an unidentified outbreak at a congregate living facility
As of March 14, 84.2 per cent of residents aged five and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 81.1 per cent have received two.
Third-dose coverage stands at 52.5 per cent of those five and older. It should be noted, however, that those under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for a third dose, and those aged 12 to 17 only became eligible for a booster dose as of Feb. 18.
Information on how and where to get a vaccine can be found on the health unit’s website.
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Sarnia and Lambton
Bluewater Health reported fewer than five patients in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 as of Thursday with one in the ICU.
The region’s average ICU occupancy sat at 38 per cent for the week of March 6.
Lambton Public Health releases case information on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The health unit reported two deaths and 35 cases on Wednesday, for a total of 131 deaths and 10,059 cases.
Only one congregate setting outbreak remains active, at Vision Nursing Home long-term care home in Sarnia. It was declared March 7 and involves 10 resident cases and fewer than five staff or visitor cases.
The test positivity rate for the week of Feb. 27 was 11.6 per cent, down from a revised 13.4 per cent for the week of Feb. 20.
Among area residents aged five and older, 83 per cent have had at least one dose of vaccine, 80 per cent have had two doses and 49 per cent have had a third dose. Note that those under 12 are not currently eligible for 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’ Gabby Rodrigues
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