- Officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported zero new deaths and 92 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases. It should be noted, however, that due to testing restrictions and widespread transmission, case counts are considered an under-estimate.
- At London Health Sciences Centre, 41 inpatients with COVID-19 are being cared for as of Wednesday. Of those, five or fewer are in adult critical care.
- LHSC reported 140 active staff cases on Wednesday, up from 130 Tuesday
- Ontario announced Wednesday that it will be lifting its mask mandate in many indoor public settings on March 21 and expects to lift all COVID-related directives and orders on April 27
London Health Sciences Centre reported Wednesday that it was caring for 41 inpatients with COVID-19, with five or fewer in adult critical care, compared to 42 last Wednesday, also with five or fewer in adult critical care.
LHSC says five or fewer of its COVID-19 inpatients are in Children’s Hospital, while zero are in pediatric critical care. Last week, there were five or fewer COVID inpatients in Children’s Hospital with five or fewer in pediatric critical care.
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Of the 41 inpatients with COVID-19, 15 are being treated for COVID-19 while 26 are being treated with COVID-19, meaning they were admitted for something other than COVID-19 but were found to have an incidental infection.
At least 140 staff cases are currently active at LHSC. Data was not available last Wednesday.
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, officials reported 54 active cases among health-care workers along with three patient or resident cases, all at Parkwood Institute’s Main Building. The same number of staff cases were reported last Wednesday but only two patient or resident cases were reported at that time.
Cases and testing
The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported no new COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday but added 92 cases. Last Wednesday, the MLHU reported one death and 79 cases.
Due to changes in eligibility for PCR testing, daily case counts are not considered a fully reliable reflection of COVID-19 activity in the region.
So far, there have been four deaths reported in March.
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The health unit says there have been 32,334 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. At least 592 are active (an increase of eight) while 31,389 have resolved (an increase of 83). A total of 353 deaths have been reported (unchanged).
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The test positivity rate for the week of Feb. 20 was 12.6 per cent, up from a revised 11.2 per cent the week prior. Updated figures are expected this week.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit says individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should consider themselves to be positive for COVID-19 and self-isolate.
The health unit has provided information on what to do if you develop symptoms, test positive on a rapid test or PCR test or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
LHSC officials announced on Monday that the Carling Heights Assessment Centre would begin offering COVID-19 therapeutics, including Paxlovid, on an outpatient basis to those at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, LHSC has one active outbreak in University Hospital’s U8 General Surgery 100/200/300, declared Feb. 28, involving 12 patient cases and 11 staff cases.
LHSC updates its outbreak data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless an outbreak is declared or resolved.
Additionally, the MLHU is reporting the following active institutional outbreaks:
- Ashwood Manor, facility-wide, declared Feb. 22
- Chelsey Park, fourth floor – A Wing, declared March 4
- Chelsey Park Retirement Community, facility-wide, declared March 4
- Horizon Place, facility-wide, declared Feb. 24
- Kensington Village Retirement, eighth avenue, declared Feb. 18
As of the end of day March 5, 90.8 per cent of residents five and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 87.5 per cent have had two — up from 90.7 per cent and 87.3 per cent, respectively, a week earlier.
For third doses, 50.2 per cent of people five and older have received a booster, up from 49.8 per cent a week earlier. Note that those aged 12 to 17 only became eligible for a third dose as of Feb. 18 and those under 12 are still not eligible.
For children aged five to 11, first-dose coverage stands at 60.1 per cent, up from 59.8 per cent a week earlier, while 42.7 per cent have received two doses.
Further information on vaccination in the MLHU’s region, as well as other COVID-19-related information, can be found on the health unit’s website.
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The province reported 751 people in hospital with COVID on Wednesday, with 241 in ICUs, compared to 847 in hospital with 273 in ICUs a week prior.
Of the 751 in hospital, 46 per cent were admitted because of COVID while the rest were admitted for another reason but also tested positive for the virus. Of the 241 in ICUs, 82 per cent were admitted because of COVID.
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Ontario also reported 1,947 new lab-confirmed cases through that is an underestimate when considering widespread transmission and limited testing.
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Twenty-seven more virus-related deaths were also reported for a pandemic total of 12,618 to date.
However, the province said that starting Friday it will exclude deaths where a person whose COVID-19 infection did not cause or contribute to their death.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health issues updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, barring holidays.
The health unit reported no new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and 61 additional lab-confirmed cases from Monday’s total. Last week, SWPH reported no deaths and 33 cases.
There were seven COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, with four in intensive care, compared to five hospitalizations with four ICU inpatients a week ago.
The test positivity rate for the week of Feb. 20 was 13.1 per cent, up from 11.7 per cent the week prior.
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SWPH reported on Wednesday:
- 11,417 cases (an increase of 61 cases from Monday)
- 213 active cases (an increase of 13 from Monday)
- 11,055 resolved cases (an increase of 182 from Monday; note that SWPH clears all cases after 10 days regardless of outcome)
- 149 total deaths to date (unchanged)
The most recent death to be reported was Feb. 25 and involved a woman in her 60s from Oxford County.
Health unit officials reported one active institutional outbreak at Chartwell Oxford Gardens in Woodstock. Declared March 2, it involves eight resident cases and three staff cases.
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As of March 7, 80.9 per cent of those aged five and older in the region had received two doses of the vaccine, while 83.6 per cent have had at least one dose.
Further information on where and how to get vaccinated can be found on the health unit’s website. The health unit encouraged people to join its Same-Day Vaccination List, which offers any leftover doses due to cancellations or no-shows.
Huron and Perth
On Wednesday, Huron Perth Public Health reported one patient in hospital due to COVID-19, with zero cases considered active. Last Wednesday, the health unit reported four COVID inpatients with three cases considered active.
In total, HPPH has reported 5,773 cases (an increase of 27) and 94 deaths to date (unchanged.)
For the week of Feb. 20, the test positivity rate was 7.7 per cent, down from 9.0 per cent the week prior.
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HPPH reported 712 total cases among health-care workers since March 2020, an increase of three from Tuesday.
As of March 6, 84.2 per cent of residents aged five and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 81 per cent have received two.
Third-dose coverage stands at 52.3 per cent of those five and older. It should be noted, however, that those under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for a third dose, and those aged 12 to 17 only became eligible for a booster dose as of Feb. 18.
Information on how and where to get a vaccine can be found on the health unit’s website.
Sarnia and Lambton
Bluewater Health reported seven patients in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with one in the ICU. Last Wednesday, Bluewater Health had six COVID inpatients with one in the ICU.
The region’s average ICU occupancy sat at 63 per cent for the week of Feb. 27, up from 50 per cent for the week of Feb. 20, health officials said.
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Lambton Public Health releases case information on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The health unit reported two deaths and 43 cases on Wednesday, for a total of 128 deaths and 9,957 cases.
Two active outbreaks have been reported in “congregate settings,” at St. Francis Advocates in Port Franks and Trillium Villa long-term care home in Sarnia. Both were declared Feb. 25 and involve fewer than five cases among residents and fewer than five cases among staff or visitors.
The test positivity rate for the week of Feb. 20 was 14.7 per cent, down from 18.1 per cent the week prior.
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Among area residents aged five and older, 83 per cent have had at least one dose of vaccine, 80 per cent have had two doses and 49 per cent have had a third dose. Note that those under 12 are not currently eligible for a third dose.
Residents can book and re-book COVID-19 vaccine appointments or find information on vaccine availability at pharmacies using the health unit’s registration page. People can also contact the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222.
Those who are able to get vaccinated on short notice are encouraged to sign up for Lambton Public Health’s daily Vaccine Standby List.
— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues and Matthew Trevithick
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