MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19 and two new related deaths on Monday.

The cases bring the cumulative total in the region to 5,470, with 3,731 resolved and 170 deaths, leaving 1,579 active cases.

Monday's numbers also mark the fifth consecutive day of declining daily case counts, after the region reported 86 cases on Jan. 20.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says this is the first time in a month the numbers have been this low.

"The shutdown that went into place Dec. 26, that shutdown is definitely having an effect here, and the lockdown…will start to play out in the numbers now as well, so that will be definitely part of what you're starting to see here."

The two deaths, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 90s, were both associated with a long-term care home, and bring the total deaths at seniors' facilities to 94.

There are ongoing outbreaks at 13 area long-term care or retirement homes, and at the London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) University Hospital and Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.

No patients are involved in the ongoing outbreak at University Hospital which has so far impacted nine staff, while outbreaks in two units at LHSC's Victoria Hospital were declared over on Saturday.

LHSC says there are currently 15 inpatients, including six in critical care, and 21 staff members who are positive for COVID-19.

The health unit says vaccinations at long-term care homes were completed Sunday and vaccinations at high-risk retirement homes are underway and expected to be completed by Wednesday.

When vaccinations of residents at all long-term care and high-risk retirement homes are complete, just over 6,000 residents, in addition to 10,000 health-care staff who went to the vaccine clinic at Western Fair, will have been inoculated.

Mackie says, "Things are really moving in a positive direction in terms of getting those high-risk folks protected in our area."

Southwestern Public Health is reporting outbreaks at 12 seniors’ facilities in Elgin and Oxford counties.

The most serious is at Maple Manor Nursing Home in Tillsonburg, where 85 residents and 52 staff have been affected and 20 people have died.

Meanwhile at PeopleCare Tavistock, 46 residents and 36 staff have tested positive and there have been nine deaths.

Here is where the cases stand in the region based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Elgin-Oxford – nine new, 249 active, 2,221 total, 1,918 resolved, 54 deaths (one new death)
  • Grey-Bruce – two new, 25 active, 675 total, 650 resolved, no deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 12 new, 159 active, 1,782 total, 1,588 resolved, 35 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 142 active, 1,291 total, 1,106 resolved, 38 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 36 new, 137 active, 1,173 total, 1,000 resolved, 36 deaths

Huron Perth Public Health continues to deal with a major outbreak at Caressant Care Nursing Home and Retirement Home in Listowel, which has a total of 106 cases. Meanwhile another large outbreak at Exeter Villa was declared over on Sunday.

Ontario is reporting fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, as Canada marks one year since the first case was reported in the country.