MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 49 new COVID-19 cases and one death Thursday -- a 24-year-old man.

The death marks the first in the region since Friday, and MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says it's a reminder that everyone should get vaccinated, no matter their age.

"It really was a shock this week to see another death in such a young person…really just brings home the importance of getting young people vaccinated. Folks if you are a young person or you know somebody who is, please make sure that we can get as many young arms down to the clinics as soon as possible."

Eighteen-year-old Owen Brandies died earlier this month. He was the second COVID-19-related teen death in the region, and his family has confirmed he had no pre-existing conditions. An investigation into the most recent young death is ongoing.

The case count is in line with Wednesday's total of 46 cases. It is the fifth straight day of counts below 50.

The region now has a total of 12,126 cases and 218 deaths, with 11,476 cases resolved leaving 432 active. There are now 2,946 cases with a variant of concern and another 365 that are mutation positive.

For the week ending May 22, the most recently available data, Middlesex-London had a percent positivity rate of 5.6 per cent, compared to 6.2 per cent for Ontario over the same period. The rate marks an increase from the previous week when local positivity was 4.5 per cent and had been declining steadily for five weeks.

The London Health Sciences Centre is currently caring for 36 inpatients with COVID-19, of which 11 are in the Intensive Care Unit. Out-of-region transfers accounts for fewer than five patients in acute care and fewer than five in the ICU.

There are three ongoing outbreaks at London-area seniors' facilities, one in a school and one in a child-care setting.

An active outbreak at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital continues, with 19 cases and three deaths to date, though no new cases or deaths were reported Thursday.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – 10 new, 74 active, 3,761 total, 3,607 resolved, 80 deaths, 761 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – four new, 28 active, 1,340 total, 1,305 resolved, seven deaths, 381 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 51 active, 2,625 total, 2,523 resolved, 45 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – four new, 36 active, 1,780 total, 1,687 resolved, 57 deaths, 246 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – three new, 37 active, 3,463 total, 3,366 resolved, 60 deaths, 565 variants

Ontario health officials are reporting 1,135 new cases Thursday, while positivity dropped significantly from 5.2 per cent Wednesday to 3.6 per cent Thursday.