LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 129 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, the second day in a row of cases above the 100 mark, but no new deaths.

Over the last two days the Middlesex-London region has added more than 250 new cases as the province implemented a new stay-at-home order.

The region now has a total of 7,952 cases, with 992 active, 6,770 resolved and 190 deaths. There are nine confirmed B.1.1.7 variant cases and 498 have screened positive for a variant of concern.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says the high case numbers but lack of new deaths is something to take note of.

"…the 129 cases day, zero deaths in this area - those two statistics together are remarkable. We are seeing case counts virtually as high as we have every seen, very close to the peaks of wave two and accelerating upwards quickly, the death count remains very low. Hopefully that continues, we know that it will increase from the zeros that we're getting now as we go into this third wave, but we anticipate that it will increase a lot less.'

He says the fact that people are getting vaccinated, and that the right people are getting vaccinated, are the reason deaths are likely to remain lower than in previous waves of the pandemic.

As of Thursday, officials were expecting to surpass 100,000 vaccine doses being administered in the region - that is in the range of 20 per cent of the population of Middlesex-London having received their first vaccine dose.

For more information about vaccine eligibility, please follow this link.

And London Mayor Ed Holder added, after speaking directly with Premier Doug Ford, he expects to see an expansion in the number of pharmacies offering the vaccine very soon.

"I've been assured a significant increase in our region will soon be announced. As well it's my understanding these pharmacies will be spread out across all quadrants of the city, providing easier access for those who qualify."

Meanwhile the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says it is handling eight staff and 27 inpatients positive for COVID-19, with 13 in intensive care.

As of Wednesday seven ICU patients at LHSC are from other regions.

There are outbreaks at two health care facilities, one long-term care home, and five elementary and secondary schools.

Ashely Oaks Elementary School is closed due to widespread COVID-19 exposure.

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:

  • Elgin-Oxford – 16 new, 115 active, 2,936 total, 2,752 resolved, 69 deaths, 95 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – 23 new, 129 active, 1,747 total, 1,574 resolved, 39 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – seven new, 27 active, 1,446 total, 1,368 resolved, 51 deaths, 25 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – three new, 63 active, 871 total, 804 resolved, three deaths (fourth death was resident who acquired and was treated outside of region), 63 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 15 new, 119 active, 2,955 total, 2,784 resolved, 52 deaths (one new), 174 variants

Lambton Public Health has now opened registration for the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone age 60 and older, as well as adults with higher risk health conditions. For more details click here.

Ontario reported more than 3,000 cases for the third straight day, and 19 more deaths.

The 3,295 infections logged Thursday are up from the 3,215 reported on Wednesday and the 3,065 reported on Tuesday.