MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 47 new COVID-19 cases Monday, a sharp decline from weekend totals.

On Saturday, 103 new cases were reported, while 89 were reported on Sunday.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says an outage in the provincial reporting system likely contributed to the lower number.

"You can be assured that there were actually more than 40 cases that were diagnosed yesterday, just that our lab system wasn't able to report them directly, because of that provincial data system outage."

The region has now seen a total of 10,623 cases, with 9,508 resolved leaving 913 active cases.

Meanwhile the number of variant cases has risen to 1,619 cases, with most being the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the U.K. Another 274 cases are mutation positive.

The new death, a man in his 80s not associated with a long-term care or retirement home, brings the total number of deaths to 202.

For the week ending on April 24, the most recent data available, the weekly percent positivity for Middlesex-London was 6.8 per cent, compared to 9.2 per cent for Ontario.

Active outbreaks are ongoing at three schools and two child-care centres, while only one residence at Western University – Perth Hall – remains in outbreak.

Mackie also encouraged anyone who is eligible to book a vaccine apppointment to do so as soon as possible, as they expect a high volume of bookings when eligibility is expanded on Thursday.

"The volume of booking on that date, on Thursday, is likely to lead to some various forms of frustrations from people having trouble navigating the website or their browser issues or whatever."

At the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), there are 94 inpatients positive for COVID-19, with 35 in critical care. Of the total, out-of-region transfers account for nine patients in acute care and 23 in critical care.

Meanwhile, LHSC's Pathology and Laboratory Medicine team is now able to screen for variants of concern, the hospital announced Monday.

Dr. Mike Kadour (PhD), chief laboratory officer at LHSC said in a statement, “It helps to uncover where the variants are spreading and at what rate, which allows the province and local public health units to adapt measures and respond accordingly.”

All COVID-19-poitive sample in southwestern Ontario will now be tested for variants and the information reported to the public health unit involved. This does not affect how individuals obtain their personal test results.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – 44 new (weekend total), 140 active, 3,450 total, 3,234 resolved, 76 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – 10 new, 293 active, 2,335 total, 1,996 resolved, 41 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – five new, 29 active, 1,584 total, 1,502 resolved, 53 deaths, 107 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – three new, 73 active, 3,262 total, 3,133 resolved, 56 deaths, 400 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – three new, 56 active, 1,209 total, 1,148 resolved, five deaths, 282 variants

Across Ontario, fewer than 3,500 new infections were reported, but the positivity rate climbed for a second day.