MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- For the second day in a row, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting both a single-digit COVID-19 case count and no deaths.

Five new cases were reported Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total in the region to 6,033, with 5,695 resolved and 181 deaths leaving 157 active cases.

Until this week, the last time the region saw a single-digit count was back on Nov. 23, 2020 when nine cases were reported.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says, "We have some tremendous numbers on the COVID front...single digits is where we couldn't have dreamed of being, even a couple of weeks ago. These are all very encouraging statistics. We hope to continue that downward trend."

Still, he acknowledged that the long weekend and test processing times may have contributed to the decline in case numbers.

The new low for 2021 comes as the region emerges from the province-wide stay-at-home order into the red-control zone under the COVID-19 response framework.

Elgin-Oxford also reopened in red, while Huron-Perth, Sarnia-Lambton and Haldimand-Norfolk reopened in orange-restrict and Grey-Bruce in the yellow-protect zone.

One new school case was reported late Monday at the Thames Valley District School Board's Huron Park Secondary School.

There are two ongoing school outbreaks in the London region, at Caradoc North Public School and Clara Brenton Public School, while six area seniors' facilities remain in outbreak.

Three outbreaks continue at Elgin and Oxford county institutions, however for the fourth day in a row Southwestern Public Health is reporting no new cases or deaths at the two most hard-hit facilities, Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock and PeopleCare Tavistock.

There are also ongoing outbreaks at seven long-term care or retirement homes in Lambton County, while an outbreak at the Sarnia Jail has now infected 34 inmates and four staff.

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

  • Elgin-Oxford – five new, 85 active, 2,441 total, 2,292 resolved, 64 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – two new, 21 active, 1,384 total, 1,319 resolved, 39 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – four new, 24 active, 687 total, 662 resolved, one death
  • Sarnia-Lambton – three new, 85 active, 1,961 total, 1,831 resolved, 45 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 15 new (over three days), 34 active, 1,302 total, 1,219 resolved, 49 deaths

Huron Perth Public Health is dealing with its first school-related COVID-19 case since the return to school on Feb. 8.

One case has been reported at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Wingham and one class has been closed down.

The province is reporting fewer than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 both Monday and Tuesday after no reporting was made available on Family Day.