MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 23 new COVID-19 cases in the region Thursday, a second day of double-digit totals.

The new cases push the region’s total to 1,413, with 1,226 resolved and 63 deaths leaving 124 active cases.

It is the second day in a row, and the sixth day this month, that more than 20 daily cases have been reported.

By comparison, the region only topped 20 daily cases twice in October, and prior to that, the region hadn’t seen a day with that many cases since April – when there were four days with 20 or more cases.

There is some question as to whether this trend of higher case counts could prompt the province to move the region from the yellow ‘protect’ to the orange ‘restrict’ level of COVID-19 guidelines. An announcement on potential changes is expected Friday.

The MLHU has declared a new outbreak of COVID-19 in a Western University residence, Saugeen-Maitland Hall, where eight people have reportedly tested positive and are now self-isolating.

On the positive side, the region’s long-term care and retirement homes remain clear of outbreaks, with the only two ongoing in units at the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) University Hospital.

As of Thursday, LHSC is reporting there are 11 inpatients and 15 staff who have been infected, four more cases since Monday.

Southwestern Public Health just managed to stay out of double-digit territory for a second day in a row, reporting nine new cases Thursday.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – nine new, 65 active, 475 total, 405 resolved, five deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – two new, 37 active, 603 total, 529 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – none new, 10 active, 392 total, 357 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – 12 new, 52 active, 254 total, 202 resolved, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – six new, 48 active, 254 total, 192 resolved, 14 deaths

Huron Perth Public Health reported another death associated with the outbreak at Cedarcroft Place Retirement Home in Stratford on Wednesday, where 43 residents and 18 staff have taken ill.

Ontario is reporting a total of 1,210 new cases Thursday, marking 14 days straight of quadruple-digit counts for the province.