MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and the first death in the region since mid-June.

The death, a 91-year-old man, is associated with an outbreak at the Extendicare long-term care home and brings the total number of deaths in the region to 58.

Of those, 38 deaths have been associated with seniors’ facilities, which also account for 212 cases in total.

During a virtual press conference Thursday, London Mayor Ed Holder offered his condolences to the man’s family and reminded everyone to remain vigilant to protect themselves and their loved ones.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie called the death, “very unfortunate news” and added, “It’s a tough thing, I’m sure the family is going through a lot right now and it’s a reminder how serious this is.”

There are eight ongoing outbreaks at area long-term care and retirement homes, though the cases are reportedly among staff who were asymptomatic. Two outbreaks were declared over earlier this week

Staff are being tested regularly under provincial guidelines, but Mackie says the testing isn’t foolproof.

The nine new cases bring the total in the region to 1,018, with 866 resolved, leaving 94 active cases.

Thursday marks the third day the region has held to single-digit case counts after a local weekend surge that brought 48 new cases in three days and amidst consistently high provincial numbers.

Here is where the cases stand in other area regions based on the most recent publicly available data, note none are reporting any new deaths in recent weeks:

  • Sarnia-Lambton – one new, three active, 351 cases, 323 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Elgin-Oxford – six new, 12 active, 285 cases, 268 resolved, five deaths, one ongoing outbreak
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, nine active, 501 total cases, 455 resolved, 32 deaths, one ongoing outbreak
  • Huron-Perth – none new, four active, 140 total, 131 resolved, five deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – one new, seven active, 157 total, 150 resolved, no deaths

Across Ontario, there were more than 700 cases for a fourth day in a row, with 783 new infections reported Thursday.