18 new cases of COVID-19 in Middlesex-London Thursday, mixing vaccines approved

The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and no deaths. There were 40 recoveries posted, with 194 active cases in the region.

There are now 194 active cases in the region

A pharmacist in London, Ont., holds a vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Colin Butler/CBC)

Recent developments:

What's the latest situation for the London region?

There were 18 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Middlesex-London Health Unit on Thurday and no deaths.

The latest recovery data shows 40 individuals are no longer infected since Wednesday. There are 194 active cases in the region, down from 376 a week ago.

There have now been 12,300 cases of COVID-19 in Middlesex-London since the pandemic began. The majority of those were in London (11,104), followed by Middlesex Centre (360) and Strathroy-Caradoc (330).

The seven-day average for daily cases in the region continues to decline to 25.

The latest data from London Health Science Centre shows there are 31 patients being treated for COVID-related illnesses in London hospitals, including 11 in critical care.

There are fewer than five staff who have tested positive for the virus and are in quarantine.

Province approves mixing vaccines

A vial of AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine sits on a tray along with an empty syringe and an instant-read thermometer at a London, Ont., pharmacy. (Colin Butler/CBC)

Ontarians who received a first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can get a second dose or opt to get Pfizer or Moderna as their second dose, the province said Thursday.

"Both second-dose options available to individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are safe and provide strong protection against COVID-19 and will count as a completed series," the province said in a news release.

"These second dose options will be provided at the recommended 12-week interval."

Starting Friday, June 4, anyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine at least 12 weeks ago and wishes to get a second dose of the same can contact the pharmacy or physician who provided the first dose.

COVID-19 beyond the region and across Ontario

Southwestern Public Health posted four new COVID-19 cases in Elgin-Oxford Thursday and no deaths. The number of active cases in the region dropped to 43, with 12 in Tillsonburg, 10 in St. Thomas and six in Woodstock.

Huron Perth Public Health also reported four cases and no deaths. There are 44 active cases in Huron-Perth.

Meanwhile, there were 870 new COVID-19 cases across Ontario, along with 10 more deaths.

There are currently 729 patients with COVID-related illnesses in hospitals, including 546 in critial care. Of those, 370 require a ventilator to breathe.

Also announced Thursday is residents of long-term care homes who are fully vaccinated can leave their residences for day and overnight trips starting June 9.