MLHU reports lowest COVID-19 case count since August
The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting two new COVID-19 cases Monday and no new deaths.
The region has not seen a single-digit daily count in a week, and Monday's count drops the seven-day moving average to 10.3, a rate not seen in over two months.
MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said while the fourth wave is not over, the declining numbers are 'incredibly' positive.
"We continue to see the seven-day moving average decline and we had our lowest case count yesterday, just two cases, since the very beginning of August, before the fourth wave."
The region now has a total of 14,293 cases and 243 deaths, with 13,946 cases resolved leaving 104 active. There are 4,280 cases with a variant of concern and 188 that are mutation positive.
Still, Mackie said it's not time to remove masks just yet, "In places around the world, even highly vaccinated places where that's happened you've seen additional waves of COVID, and in some cases, you know those waves have overwhelmed the health care system and caused many deaths so it’s not time yet to remove the masks. It's time to make sure everybody gets fully vaccinated."
Of the cases with an episode date in the past six weeks, 73.7 per cent of cases have been among the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or those not yet protected by vaccination. The same group accounts for 66.7 per cent of hospitalizations and 75 per cent of deaths.
While it is moving slower than many would like to see, Mackie said he still believes the region will still reach a 90 per cent vaccination rate.
"I don't think we have reached the point where everyone who is going to be vaccinated has been vaccinated…I think we're going to get to 90 per cent. I think the Christmas season, with children getting vaccinated, we'll get some of the parents who haven't had the shot yet."
He said the vaccine mandate is encouraging more people to get vaccinated, and the third dose for seniors will also likely encourage a few more.
Meanwhile, the London Health Sciences Centre is dealing with 10 patients with COVID-19, with five or fewer in adult critical care, and the same number in Children's Hospital and in pediatric critical care.
There are ongoing outbreaks at two schools in the region including; St. Kateri Catholic School and Providence Reformed Collegiate. An outbreak at the former Ryerson Public School has been declared over.
Despite concerns that the first case at Ryerson was a supply teacher exposed to multiple classes, only one additional case was found, and Mackie credited the fact that the teacher was double-vaccinated in helping prevent spread.
An active outbreak also continues at Elgin Manor in St. Thomas.
As of Monday, all Ontario residents can now download their enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificates, which include a QR code.
REGIONAL COVID-19 COUNTS
Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:
- Elgin-Oxford – 30 new (two-day total), 88 active, 4,513 total, 4,336 resolved, 89 deaths
- Grey-Bruce – two new, 22 active, 2,373 total, 2,324 resolved, 23 deaths
- Haldimand-Norfolk – seven new (two-day total), 20 active, 2,984 total, 2,909 resolved, 48 deaths
- Huron-Perth – 40 active, 2,275 total, 2,170 resolved, 66 deaths
- Sarnia-Lambton – 24 new (two-day total), 78 active, 4,072 total, 3,924 resolved, 70 deaths
Across Ontario, health officials reported 373 new COVID-19 cases.