MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 84 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, a slight drop from the previous day's total, as another lockdown looms.

On Wednesday, 97 new cases were added, a daily high not seen since mid-January. The highest single-day total for the entire pandemic was 148 cases reported in early January at the peak of the second wave.

The London region now has 7,176 cases, with 6,424 resolved and 188 deaths (none new), leaving 564 active cases. There are eight confirmed variant cases and 206 that have screened positive.

Daily case counts have surged in the region since the weekend, when 75 cases were reported on Sunday, and the entire province is moving into a lockdown.

Active outbreaks continue at three seniors' facilities and two schools, as well as at four Western University residences – Elgin Hall, Ontario Hall, Saugeen-Maitland Hall and Medway-Sydenham Hall where an new outbreak has been declared.

As the province reports a record number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, the London Health Sciences Centre says it has 10 staff and 21 inpatients positive for COVID-19, but five or fewer are in intensive care.

On a positive note, several pharmacies in Middlesex-London and Elgin-Oxford are set to begin offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults over 55.

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities, no new deaths were reported:

  • Elgin-Oxford – eight new, 90 active, 2,835 total, 2,676 resolved, 69 deaths, 75 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – 13 new, 87 active, 1,655 total, 1,524 resolved, 39 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – five new, 15 active, 1,422 total, 1,357 resolved, 50 deaths, 13 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – 12 new, 65 active, 827 total, 758 resolved, four deaths, 46 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – nine new, 178 active, 2,859 total, 2,631 resolved, 50 deaths, 133 variants

After the time between vaccine doses was extended, Lambton Public Health says it is in the process of contacting anyone whose second appointment needs to be rescheduled.

Across Ontario, nearly 2,600 new cases were reported for the first time in more than two months.