MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- In just over a week, the London region has set, tied and broken its record high for daily COVID-19 cases repeatedly, and Friday is no exception. The record was set amid news the vaccine could arrive in London in days.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 67 new cases, more than 10 per cent higher than the previous record of 58 set on Thursday.

The region had already set a new record high of 53 cases last week, and matched it twice this week.

Friday’s cases bring the total in the region to 2,322, with 1,875 resolved and 82 deaths, leaving 365 active cases.

During a virtual media briefing Thursday, MLHU Medical officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said the second wave continues to batter our community.

On a positive note, Ontario announced Friday that the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will be among the nearly 20 hospitals to receive the vaccine next.

The news comes as the number of active outbreaks at LHSC’s University Hospital dropped to five Friday, after the outbreak in the 10th Floor Epilepsy Monitoring Unit was declared over. In total outbreaks in five units have now been cleared.

LHSC is reporting a total of 76 patient and 77 staff cases associated with the University Hospital outbreaks, with no new cases in the past 24 hours and no new deaths, with that total holding at 17.

There are also two ongoing outbreaks in units at Victoria Hospital, and while there are fewer than five staff or five patient cases, LHSC is reporting a death associated with the outbreaks, the first connected to the outbreaks there.

That death was not included in the daily totals provided by the MLHU on Friday.

In terms of active cases, LHSC says there are 20 inpatients and 33 staff still positive for COVID-19 associated with all the outbreaks.

There are also ongoing outbreaks at four seniors’ facilities, five London-area schools and two residences at Western University.

Meanwhile Elgin and Oxford counties, the areas covered by Southwestern Public Health, were just three cases shy of beating the record 33 daily cases set on Thursday.

Here is where the cases stand in the region based on the most recent publicly available data, no new deaths were reported Friday:

  • Elgin-Oxford – 30 new, 160 active, 863 total, 692 resolved, 11 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – seven new, 39 active, 477 total, 411 resolved, 27 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – four new, 61 active, 762 total, 663 resolved, 33 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – six new, 34 active, 419 total, 385 resolved, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – six new, 62 active, 505 total, 423 resolved, 20 deaths

An outbreak in Listowel Memorial Hospital’s second floor medicine unit that started Wednesday with three patient and seven staff cases has grown to four patient and eight staff cases.

The hospital says it is working closely with Huron Perth Public Health to respond to the outbreak, with testing for all staff and doctors, limited admissions to the unit and new admissions being transferred to the hospital in Wingham.

Ontario added more than 2,000 new cases again Friday, surpassing 150,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.