MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- For the second day in a row, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 53 new COVID-19 cases, as a new hospital outbreak was declared.

It is the third time in less than a week the region has set or matched the record high daily COVID-19 case count. The record was initially reported last Thursday topping the previous record of 47 set a day earlier.

The new cases bring the total in the region to 2,174, with 1,776 resolved and 80 deaths leaving 318 active cases. No new deaths were reported.

A new outbreak was declared at the London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) Victoria Hospital on Tuesday in the C5-100 ENT/Burns/Plastics unit.

In an email to staff, LHSC said "an Alert Level 2 has been called," and the health unit and "all appropriate stakeholders" have been notified.

There is no word on how many cases are involved, but the hospital has not indicated that it is linked to the outbreaks in multiple units at LHSC's University Hospital.

As of Tuesday, LHSC is reporting a total of 77 patients and 82 staff have tested positive associated with the outbreaks. That’s an increase of three staff cases in the past 24 hours.

Of those, 36 patient and 47 staff are still active cases. To date, 16 deaths have also been associated with the outbreaks.

There are also ongoing outbreaks at seniors’ facilities including Chelsey Park, Country Terrace and McCormick Home, as well as six schools and two residences at Western University.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – 15 new, 128 active, 781 total, 643 resolved, 10 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – four new, 25 active, 456 total, 405 resolved, 26 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – three new, 51 active, 737 total, 648 resolved, 33 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – two new, 32 active, 402 total, 370 resolved, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 11 new, 55 active, 470 total, 395 resolved, 20 deaths

There was one new death in Elgin-Oxford, and the rising numbers have prompted St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital to suspend visiting hours.

As of noon Tuesday, the hospital says general visiting will end as “a precaution to keep patients, families and our health care teams safe as transmission rates rise and risk a crisis point for hospitals.”

The statement continues, “We recognize the impact of isolation for patients and families during this difficult time and we are doing everything we can to help patients and loved ones stay connected.”

That news comes as the province reported more than 2,000 new infections for the first time since the pandemic began.