Region sees dramatic drop in new and active cases, one new death
LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting just 26 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, a tie for the second lowest daily report since March, but a glitch in the system may be the reason for the drop.
The report Monday continues a downward trend over the weekend where 55 cases were reported Saturday and 47 on Sunday.
The region also saw 26 cases reported on May 9, prior to that there had not been a daily report that low since March 22, when 20 cases were recorded.
However, MLHU Medical Officer of Health says the low number is not accurate.
"Unfortunately…the provincial program that tracks COVID cases and reports them from the labs to local health went down at a quarter to six yesterday in the afternoon and we do usually get many cases that are reported through the lab systems in the evening."
He says officials expect to see a bump in Monday's total that will be reported on Tuesday.
The new death was a woman in her seventies not associated with a long-term care or retirement facility.
Her death brings the regional death toll to 213, however hospitalizations continue to decrease along with active cases.
As of Monday there have been a total 11,624 cases with 10,739 resolved cases. There are now 672 active cases in the region.
There are 2,575 cases with a variant of concern, the majority being the B.1.1.7 variant. There are an additional 300 cases with a probable variant mutation.
Meanwhile, Mackie reported that a death over the weekend of a person over the age of 80 was someone who had their first dose of the vaccine more than 14 days prior, but was not fully vaccinated.
"We know that this is not a surprise, the most important reminder in that case, is that it's so important to maintain the COVID prevention measures, other than vaccination...you absolutely need masking, distancing and avoiding unnecessary gatherings."
This is the second such death in the region, where someone over 80 has died even after receiving their first vaccine dose, but Mackie says the rate of death in those over 80 and not vaccinated is "much, much higher."
Starting Tuesday all adults over the age of 18 in Ontario can book a vaccination appointment.
The MLHU announced Saturday that the region had crossed 200,000 doses administered over the weekend.
High-risk health care workers can call 226-289-3560 to re-book their second vaccination dose for earlier than the originally scheduled four-month interval. A list of who is eligible can be found here.
The health unit will also work with local school boards when youth ages 12-17 become eligible to be vaccinated, which is expected by the end of May.
The health unit is also keeping both the Carling and Oakridge assessment centres open this holiday Monday, with Carling open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oakridge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 24. Only phone booking will be closed for the day, with online booking still available.
At the London Health Sciences Centre, there are 51 inpatients with COVID-19, with 24 in intensive care. Out-of-region cases account for 10 patients in acute care and 19 in the ICU.
There are four active outbreaks at London-area seniors' facilities and one in a child-care centre.
Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:
- Elgin-Oxford – 36 new. 124 active, 3,668 total, 3,466 resolved, 78 deaths, 666 variants
- Grey-Bruce – 23 since Friday, 44 active, 1,294 total, 1,244 resolved, six deaths, 325 variants
- Haldimand-Norfolk –33 since Firday, 143 active, 2,553 total, 2,364 resolved, 41 deaths
- Huron-Perth – 33 since Friday, 87 active, 1,730 total, 1,588 resolved, 55 deaths, 214 variants
- Sarnia-Lambton – 33 since Friday, 88 active, 3,410 total, 3,265 resolved, 57 deaths, 514 variants
Across Ontario, there were fewer than 2,200 cases reported for the second straight day.
Health officials logged 2,170 infections Monday, while the seven-day average for number of cases reported now stands at 2,352.
A week ago, that number was 3,016.
With files from CTV Toronto.