London-area reports 2 deaths and a dip in COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday

London Health Sciences Centre is reporting two fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday as the number of intensive care patients dropped to 21. The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported the death of a woman in her 70s and a man in his 60s.

There are 132 inpatients with COVID-19 at London Health Sciences Centre

An empty wheelchair sits outside the emergency department at University Hospital in London, Ont. (Colin Butler/CBC)

The Middlsex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported two additional deaths with COVID-19 on Friday.

The health unit says a woman in her 70s who was fully vaccinated and a man in his 60s who was unvaccinated have died with the virus. There have now been eight COVID-related deaths in the region in January, including five people who were vaccinated and three people who were not.

The COVID-19 death toll since the pandemic began is now up to 267.

The MLHU posted 253 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, though the actual number of cases in the community is estimated to be much higher as testing is being prioritized for high-risk people and places.

There were 780 recoveries, with 3,132 known active cases in Middlesex-London, a drop of 30 per cent since Monday.

COVID-19 hospitalizations slightly down

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) reported 132 patients were being treated for the virus on Friday, down by two from the previous day. The number of patients in ICU also fell to 21.

Of those patients, the hospital network reported Friday:

  • 78 patients were being treated specifically for COVID-19.
  • 54 patients tested positive for the virus when admitted for other health issues.

Six patients have been admitted to Children's Hospital, down by two from the previous day. There were five or fewer in pediatric critical care, according to the hospital. The number of LHSC staff members who recently tested positive for COVID-19 fell by three to 509.

There are three ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks within the hospital network, including:

  • A9 Inpatients 100 and 200 Corridors at University Hospital (14 patients, 10 staff).
  • Clinical Neurosciences Unit at University Hospital (18 patients, five or few staff with 16 potential cases).
  • Adult Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Victoria Hospital (seven patients, five or fewer staff, 10 potential cases).

COVID-19 across the region and beyond

Southwestern Public Health has reported 118 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with one additional death. There are 1,129 ongoing cases in the region, including 342 in Woodstock, 304 in St. Thomas, 111 in Ingersoll and 72 in Aylmer.

The health unit says 27 people are being treated for the virus in hospital in Elgin-Oxford, including seven in critical care.

Huron Perth Public Health posted 88 new COVID-19 cases. There are 1,262 active cases in the region. Six out of nine patients in hospital in the region are being treated for the virus.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations across Ontario continue to climb to a new high of 3,814 on Friday, including 527 in critical care.

The province announced immunocompromised people can now book a 4th dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Fourth doses have already started to be administered in long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings.

The Ontario Ministry of Health also reported 42 more COVID-19 deaths across the province, pushing the toll to 10,522 since the pandemic began.