MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 33 new cases in the region Monday and two deaths connected to the University Hospital outbreak.

The cases mark the second-highest daily count since the pandemic began in March, with the highest being 36 cases reported Nov.8. The four highest days have all been this month.

It also marks seven days in a row of double-digit daily case counts. November has now seen 22 days of double-digit cases.

The total number of cases in Middlesex-London now stands at 1,616, with 1,381 resolved and 67 deaths, leaving 168 active cases.

One new death, a woman in her 80s, is associated with the ongoing outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) University Hospital

During a virtual media briefing, MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said another death, not reported Monday, but which will be included in Tuesday’s numbers, is also connected to the outbreak.

As of Monday, LHSC is reporting 33 inpatients and 36 staff currently testing positive for COVID-19.

Mackie says in total the outbreak has now been linked to 80 cases and four deaths, including 17 of Monday’s cases – 11 of which are among patients and staff and six among their close contacts.

With outbreaks ongoing in six units at University Hospital new precautions are being introduced as of Tuesday,

Ambulatory or outpatient activity is being reduced to only urgent and emergent appointments, procedures and diagnostic services - with all other clinic appointments being rescheduled as virtual appointments where possible.

Any patient whose appointment or procedure is impacted will receive direct communication from their care team.

LHSC's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Dukelow is reassuring patients that all COVID-19 precautions are being followed carefully, and that the hospital is doing everything it can to contain the outbreak.

“Certainly we regret these measures are necessary, but they are the next steps in a tiered outbreak response, in collaboration with Dr. Mackie and his team. With the ultimate goal of curbing transmission within the hospital, as well as protecting the health and safety of our community.”

Dukelow added that approximately 3,000 staff and physicians are being tested as a one-time prevalence test for anyone in contact with University Hospital.

Outbreaks are also ongoing in a unit at the Parkwood Institute and two residences at Western University, Perth Hall and Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – six new, 70 active, 555 total, 479 resolved, six deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – three new, 48 active, 658 total, 573 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – three new, 16 active, 410 total, 369 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – nine new, 50 active, 336 total, 286 resolved, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 15 new, 52 active, 333 total, 263 resolved, 18 deaths

Huron Perth Public Health is reporting one new death Monday, a day after issuing a new Section 22 order to help ensure those told to self-isolate or quarantine can be ticketed if they do not comply.

Changes to levels under the COVID-19 framework announced Friday are now in effect, with Lambton Public Health moving to yellow-protect, Haldimand-Norfolk moving to orange-restrict and Windsor-Essex is moving to red-control.

Across Ontario, more than 1,700 new infections were reported Monday, and eight new deaths.