MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 39 new cases of COVID-19 and one new related death on Wednesday.

This is the first rise in cases in the past seven days, but remains far below the highest case counts of the pandemic's second wave.

The region has now seen a total of 5,527 cases, with 3,764 resolved and 173 deaths, leaving 1,590 active cases.

The death, a woman in her 80s, is associated with a long-term care home.

There are ongoing outbreaks at 10 area long-term care or retirement homes, and in units at the London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) University Hospital and Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.

As of Wednesday, LHSC is reporting 17 inpatients, four in critical care, and 16 staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

No additional details on the numbers were available Wednesday as the health unit is transitioning to a new case and contact management system. Regular reporting is expected to resume on Friday.

However, the MLHU has released plans for the mass vaccination of residents across the region and is seeking feedback.

During a virtual media briefing, MLHU Medical Officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said vaccinations at high-risk retirement homes were on track to be completed Wednesday, with long-term care home residents already complete.

Southwestern Public Health is handling outbreaks at 12 seniors’ facilities in Elgin and Oxford counties.

Fortunately, no new cases or deaths were reported among the most serious outbreaks at Maple Manor Nursing Home in Tillsonburg, PeopleCare Tavistock and Woodstock's Caressant Care Retirement Home.

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

Elgin-Oxford – six new, 184 active, 2,240 total, 2,001 resolved, 55 deaths

Sarnia-Lambton – two new, 97 active, 1,790 total, 1,657 resolved, 36 deaths

Haldimand-Norfolk – two new, 83 active, 1,296 total, 1,170 resolved, 38 deaths

Huron-Perth – six new, 113 active, 1,181 total, 1,030 resolved, 38 deaths (two new deaths)

Grey-Bruce – one new, 22 active, 625 total, 603 resolved, no deaths

Ontario recorded fewer than 1,700 infections Wednesday, the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in more than two months.