35 COVID-19 hospitalizations, zero deaths within the London space

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The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the London area remained steady on Thursday.

The London Health Sciences Center (LHSC) confirmed it has 35 inpatients with the virus in its care as of Wednesday. Local COVID-19 hospitalizations have hovered in the mid-30s for the past two weeks, with the exception of a single day spike that saw the number surge to over 40 on Tuesday.

Of the 35 people in the hospital, 16 are being treated for COVID-19 and 19 for other illnesses, but they have also tested positive.

ICU admissions related to the virus have risen to six in the past 24 hours. COVID-19 patients in the care of Children’s Hospital rose from zero to five or fewer on Thursday, including five or fewer children listed in pediatric critical care.

The hospital network said it currently has 77 infected staff, just as reported on Wednesday. A week ago, 128 employees had tested positive.

Two more outbreaks were reported at the University Hospital. The North End facility now has ongoing breakouts in U7 Cardiology, U6 CVT and in U7 Clinical Neuroscience.

The Middlesex London Health Unit recorded 30 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, up from 57 on Wednesday. Daily case counts are believed to underestimate community spread as the provincial government restricted eligibility for PCR testing in late December. The total number of on-site cases since March 2020 is now 37,997, according to the health unit.

No other deaths related to the virus were recorded, taking the local death toll to 391.

The number of closed cases is up to 37,236. There are currently 370 known active cases in the region, up from 399 a week ago.

Southwestern Public Health, the health unit for Elgin and Oxford counties, does not update the COVID-19 cases dashboard on Thursdays. The next update will be released on Friday.

Provincially, there was a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

A total of 1,005 COVID-positive people were admitted to Ontario hospitals on Thursday, down 77 from the previous day. It’s the first day this week that hospital admissions due to the virus have fallen. Last week at this time there were 1,207 hospitalizations.

The provincial breakdown of hospitalizations reported Thursday shows that 42 percent of those hospitalized are being treated for COVID-19 and 58 percent are being treated for other reasons, but have also tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the latest figures released by the province, 154 people with COVID-19 are in intensive care units across the province, down by six since Wednesday.

Public health officials said there were 1,217 new cases in Ontario as of Thursday. But public health officials have warned that daily case numbers are seen as an underestimate of the spread of the virus as the provincial government continues to restrict who is eligible for a free PCR test.

The total number of cases in the province since the pandemic began now stands at 1,298,778.

Twenty more deaths related to the virus were reported Thursday, bringing the death toll to 13,195. The province said all of the recent deaths have occurred within the past month.

The number of closed cases increased by 1,748 to 1,273,085.

13,542 COVID-19 tests have been processed in the last 24 hours. Ontario’s positivity rate is now 8.4 percent, up from 9.6 percent a week ago.

The province has administered 33,284,045 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday night. Provincial data shows that 93.1 percent of Ontarians aged 12 and older received one dose of the vaccine, while 91.3 percent received a second dose. More than 7.3 million first booster shots have been administered.