COVID-19 levels high but trend heading downward, say health officials
LONDON, ONT. -- Data released over the past week indicates lockdown measures are working, according to Dr. Chris Mackie. But the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s chief medical officer says it’s too early to celebrate.
“We’re still at very high levels, higher than we were anytime before Dec. 2020. But the trend is in the right direction, and that makes a big difference.”
Data released Monday shows the incidence rate has been in a steady decline since the first week of January when Middlesex-London had an incidence rate of 140 per 100,000 people.
As of Jan. 17 that number has dipped to 56.4. However, deaths related to the last surge are continuing with 11 people losing their life over the past two days.
Middlesex County Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson hopes the downward trend continues.
“We need to celebrate the numbers that we’re experiencing now, but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” she says.
There is also good news in terms of vaccinations, as the health unit is hoping to have all of the long-term care homes finished by the end of the week.
“We expect to complete our vaccination campaign of long-term care homes, specifically focusing on residents, so all of the residents in long-term care homes in Middlesex and London will be vaccinated by the end of the day on Jan. 23,” says Mackie.
And the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) announced during Monday’s media briefing they will be opening up more operating room capacity on Wednesday.
According to LHSC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Dukelow, University Hospital will open two more ORs, while the Victoria ccampus will open three additional rooms.
“This will bring University Hospital to 11 of 14 rooms or approximately 75 per cent operating room capacity, Victoria Hospital will move to just under 90 percent operating room capacity.”
London Mayor Ed Holder also had positive news to share in terms of enforcement of the ‘stay at home’ orders.
“It was a very quiet weekend from a bylaw enforcement perspective. Officers attended numerous retail business premises, and all were compliant. In addition a number of storm ponds were proactively inspected, and all of those were clear.”
According to Mackie, testing delays have also come down from previous weeks, with 80 per cent of tests having results completed within two days of being taken.