London area information 400th COVID-19 demise

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The London-area health unit on Monday reported its 400th COVID-19 death, a deadly milestone more than two years after the pandemic began.

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June 13, 20225 days ago2 minutes read Samples to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at a laboratory in Surrey, BC on March 26, 2020. Photo by Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/File

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The London-area health unit on Monday reported its 400th COVID-19 death, a deadly milestone more than two years after the pandemic began.

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The death was registered over the weekend and announced by the Middlesex-London Health Unit on Monday. The latest death was a person in their 80s with no connection to a long-term care home, said health officer Alex Summers. The person had received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This pandemic is having a profound impact,” Summers said, adding that since the pandemic began, Canada has had 7 percent more deaths than expected before the pandemic.

“Our actions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 have paid off. This number would have been higher if it weren’t for the actions. . . everyone took so long day after day.”

The number of COVID-19 deaths has continued in the London area following an unprecedented spike in cases in January, a fifth wave of the pandemic sparked by the hyper-contagious Omicron variant. More than 30 COVID deaths have been reported in London and Middlesex County since April 1.

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The health unit distinguishes between deaths where COVID-19 was a cause or a contributing factor and those where the virus was incidental, Summers said.

“We have had people who have died from COVID but clearly have not died from COVID. They will not be classified as a COVID death,” Summers said. “If we report a COVID death, it is because COVID contributed to the death.”

January’s Omicron-powered fifth wave was the second-deadliest point of the pandemic in the London area, with more than 90 reported deaths.

Only the second wave of the pandemic, from late November 2020 to January 2021, was deadlier, with more than 110 COVID deaths. That wave, which has seen deadly outbreaks in multiple University Hospital units and local nursing homes, came as the first COVID vaccines were being given to long-term care residents and healthcare workers.

The first reported COVID-19 death in the London area occurred on March 27, 2020, weeks after the first wave began. Martin Postma, 74, from Strathroy fell ill after a month-long trip to Portugal. He was transferred to London University Hospital, where he later died.

The number of COVID patients at the London Health Sciences Center on Monday remained at levels similar to those of recent weeks. The hospital reported 20 patients admitted, with five or fewer in intensive care. Of those 20, six are in hospital for other reasons but have tested positive for the virus.

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