MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 80 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, as all adults 40 and over became eligible for the vaccine.

The region now has a total of 11,426 cases and 210 deaths, with 10,410 cases resolved leaving 806 active. There are 2,323 cases with a variant of concern -- largely the B.1.1.7 variant.

All adults 40 and over can now book a COVID-19 vaccine through the region's mass vaccination centres, just days after the province halted first doses of AstraZeneca at area pharmacies that were being offered to the same age group.

The bookings include appointments at the region's fourth mass vaccination centre at the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre, which is set to open on May 25.

Pending provincial confirmation, vaccination is expected to expand to adults over 30 on May 20, and to adults over 18 on May 27 and to youth 12-17 on May 31.

During a virtual media briefing Thursday, both MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie and London Mayor Ed Holder praised those who got the AstraZeneca shot.

"If you received an AstraZeneca vaccine, I'd like to say thank you, we want you to know you did the right thing. This vaccine is highly effective, you not only protected yourself, you protected other people and you saved lives in the process," Holder says.

Mackie echoed those sentiments, saying "It was a great decision and remains a great decision." He added that the new data that prompted the province to halt the use of AstraZeneca, "doesn't really materially change the risk level."

At the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), there are 63 inpatients with COVID-19, with 33 in intensive care. Out-of-region cases account for seven patients in acute care and 23 in the ICU.

There are four active outbreaks at London-area seniors' facilities and two in child-care centres.

One person has died in connection with an outbreak at the Caressant Care Nursing Home in Woodstock that has affected four residents and six staff.

Southwestern Public Health is also handling an outbreak at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, which now involves 14 patient and five staff cases as well as one death.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – 16 new, 132 active, 3,608 total, 3,398 resolved, 78 deaths (one new), 619 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – 13 new, 46 active, 1,269 total, 1,217 resolved, six deaths, 319 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – two new, 206 active, 2,506 total, 2,254 resolved, 41 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 20 new, 87 active, 1,691 total, 1,549 resolved, 55 deaths (one new), 168 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – seven new, 90 active, 3,369 total, 3,223 resolved, 56 deaths, 483 variants

Ontario surpassed 500,000 cases Thursday, adding more than 2,700 new infections.