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MLHU marks fifth day with multiple COVID-19-related deaths

A nurse at Stormont Vail Health System pushes a hospital bed through hallways Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 in Topeka, Kan. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
A nurse at Stormont Vail Health System pushes a hospital bed through hallways Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 in Topeka, Kan. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
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The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting three new deaths linked to COVID-19, the fifth day in a row of multiple deaths.

The new deaths bring the region's total to 313, and the total for February so far to 13. There were 46 deaths in January, the second-highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. The highest, 71, was January 2021.

Friday's deaths include a man in his 50s not associated with a seniors' facility, and two more men in their 80s and 90s associated with a long-term care home.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers said Thursday the deaths should start to decline soon.

"We will see a decline in the number of deaths as the case counts come down, and so certainly the trends of the last few weeks are encouraging, not just for where we're heading broadly but also where we're heading in the number of deaths we will see."

He added that rates of COVID-19 in the community remain higher than any other time during the pandemic, and encouraged people to get vaccinated, keep social circles small, wear a mask and stay home if sick.

The London Health Sciences Center (LHSC) reports it is currently caring for 138 inpatients with COVID-19, down one in the last 24 hours. There are 26 patients in the Intensive Care Unit, five or fewer at Children's Hospital and the same number in pediatric Critical Care.

Of those with COVID-19 at LHSC, 86 are being treated for COVID-19 while 52 are being treated for other issues but have also tested positive.

The number of COVID-positive staff is down to 169 from 192 on Thursday. There are five active outbreaks at LHSC after one in University Hospital's 8-AC Unit was declared over.

At St. Joseph's Health Care, the number of workers who are positive has dropped by eight to 69, while the number of positive patients/residents has declined to six from 13. An outbreak at Parkwood Institute is ongoing.

REGIONAL COVID-19 COUNTS

Here are the most recently available lab-confirmed COVID-19 case counts from local public health authorities, though officials say testing eligibility rules make these an underestimate of actual cases:

  • Middlesex-London – 122 new, 1,670 active, 29,792 total, 27,809 resolved, 313 deaths (three new)
  • Elgin-Oxford – 146 new (two-day total), 605 active, 10,444 total, 9,697 resolved, 142 deaths (two new)
  • Grey-Bruce – 69 new, 197 active, 5,640 total, 5,404 resolved, 34 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 63 new, 5,190 total, 86 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 69 new, 291 active, 9,031 total, 8,629 resolved, 111 deaths (one new)

Ontario health officials are reporting a total of 2,634 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 517 in Intensive Care Units.

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