LONDON, ONT -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 79 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, nearly half of Monday’s amount and far from the record setting numbers from last week.

The drop is in line with a provincial trend Tuesday there were five new deaths reported.

The deaths include three women in their 80s, a man in his 80s, and a woman in her 90s.

Of the five deaths, three are associated with a long-term care home.

The province also had a sharp drop in new cases with numbers being below the 3,000 mark for the first time in days, however the infection rate remains high at more than 7 per cent.

While a drop in cases is welcome news it comes as Ontario released new modelling data which suggests that daily deaths with double by February as hospitals become overrun.

Without significant interventions health officials expect the daily death toll to rise from near 50 a day by mid January to 100 a day by the end of February.

At 1 p.m. Premier Doug Ford would be announcing new lockdown measures in an effort to slow the rate of infection.

Regionally Sarnia Lambton has seen the biggest jump in cases with 170 new cases reported. There are currently 248 active cases in Sarnia-Lambton.

Maple Manor in Tillsonburg continues to be ravaged by an outbreak that has infected almost every resident and dozens of staff.

As of Tuesday 11 people had died because of the outbreak at the facility. Of 103 residents, 80 remain positive while there are 48 staff infected as well.

Here are the numbers for the rest of the region:

  • Elgin-Oxford – 64 new, 365 active, 1,825 total, 1,425 resolved, 35 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – two new, 187 active, 1,123 total, 894 resolved, 36 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – nine new, 53 active, 603 total, 550 resolved, no deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 170 new, 248 active, 1,224 total, 1,118 resolved, 28 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 41 new (over two days), 106 active, 888 total, 758 resolved, 24 deaths

Huron-Perth’s data is updated daily at 1:30 p.m.

Provincially health officials are reporting a one-day drop in the number of new COVID-19 with fewer than 3,000 new cases, but the positivity rate remains high.

The province reported 2,903 cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday after eight consecutive days of case numbers over the 3,000 mark.

With files from CTV Toronto.