The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported 19 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday, though the total region’s case count increased by 18, likely the result of data cleanup involving a previously reported case.
The MLHU reported six new cases on Monday, eight cases on Sunday and five on Saturday. The region’s total case count stands at 12,697.
The number of recoveries increased by 25 for a total of 12,409.
Fifty-nine cases are active and the number of deaths remains at 229, with the most recent involving a partially vaccinated woman in her 80s reported last Thursday.
The total number of cases involving a variant of concern sits at 3,533, an increase of one from Friday.
The breakdown of known variant cases is as follows:
- 3,370 cases of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first identified in the U.K.
- 99 cases of the Gamma (P.1) variant, first identified in Brazil
- 58 cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, first identified in India
- two cases of the Beta (B.1.351) variant, first identified in South Africa
- one case of the Kappa (B.1.617.1) variant, first identified in India
- one case of the Zeta (P.2) variant, first identified in Brazil
There is also one case listed only as B.1.617 and one case listed as B.1.617.3.
Associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers said Monday that the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the region.
A total of 11,462 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in London since the pandemic began, while 372 have been in Middlesex Centre and 334 in Strathroy-Caradoc.
Further information can be found on the health unit’s Summary of COVID-19 Cases in Middlesex-London page.
The London Health Sciences Centre says it is caring for six inpatients with COVID-19, with fewer than five in the intensive care unit, as of Monday.
In an effort to protect the privacy of patients, LHSC only provides specific numbers when there are more than five.
LHSC is not reporting any patients from outside of the region.
There are currently zero LHSC employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization reports one case involving a health-care worker and no cases among patients or residents.
The MLHU is not reporting any institutional outbreaks, however, there is an outbreak tied to indoor gatherings at Christ Embassy Church at 1472 Dundas St. in London.
As of last Thursday, six cases have been associated with the outbreak.
Vaccinations and testing
The MLHU will begin accepting walk-ins for first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine at its mass vaccination clinics from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, beginning Tuesday.
Currently, the MLHU is accepting walk-ins for first doses only.
Summers added Monday that Pfizer vaccine is available at all MLHU-operated clinics while Moderna will be available at its Western Fair Agriplex and North London Optimist Community Centre mass vaccination clinics in London, at its Caradoc Community Centre mass vaccination clinic in Mount Brydges, as well as at pop-up clinics operated by Middlesex-London Paramedic Services.
When asked if people will have the choice of vaccine, Summers said “to the best of our ability, when the inventory is available — and we anticipate that it will be — there will be an opportunity for Pfizer or Moderna.
“We want you to get vaccinated and we will do our best to make sure that that can happen.”
Summers also addressed anyone on the fence about getting vaccinated, stressing that the vaccine is “profoundly safe.”
“Millions of Canadians and hundreds of thousands of people in our community have rolled up their sleeves already and the results speak for themselves,” he said.
“And it’s effective. Essentially, the only people getting infected with COVID-19 right now are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. And everyone who’s getting severely ill, hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 is unvaccinated.”
The health unit says 77.8 per cent of residents age 12 and older have had at least one dose, while 46.3 per cent have had two doses.
Information on how to book and cancel appointments can be found on the health unit’s website.
Information on local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the province’s website.
Several pop-up walk-in clinics are scheduled throughout the region. A full list can be found on the health unit’s website.
The health unit is also encouraging anyone with a second dose scheduled for the latter half of August or later to try to reschedule it for July.
Anyone looking to test to see if they have COVID-19 can find information about locations of testing sites on the health unit’s website.
The test positivity rate in the region was 1.0 per cent for the week of July 4, down from 1.3 per cent for the week of June 27.
Ontario is reporting 130 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 548,347.
According to Monday’s report, 16 cases were reported in Waterloo Region, 18 in Toronto, 14 in Hamilton and 17 in Peel Region.
Ontario reports 130 COVID-19 cases, 0 deaths
All other local public health units reported fewer than 10 new cases in the provincial report.
The death toll in the province remains at 9,294 as no new deaths were recorded.
The province says 80 per cent of adults in Ontario have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 63 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Elgin and Oxford
The total number of cases reported by Southwestern Public Health sits at 3,928 on Monday, an increase of 13 from Friday.
Two more cases are now resolved, bringing that total to 3,824. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 84, with the most recent involving a man in his 80s from Oxford County reported last Wednesday.
There are 20 confirmed active cases. Per-municipality case counts can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.
One person is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to SWPH.
The number of variant of concern cases increased by 10 to 859, with 762 of those listed as the Alpha variant, 50 the Beta variant and 47 the Delta variant.
There were no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.
The region’s test positivity rate was 1.2 per cent for the week of July 4, up from 0.6 per cent for the week of June 27.
As of July 13, SWPH says 76.1 per cent of its residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose and 46.8 per cent have had two doses.
All individuals aged 12 and up are eligible to re-book their second appointment through the online booking portal or by phone at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9.
The health unit is also still encouraging people to add their names to a same-day vaccination list.
Several pharmacies in the region are also continuing to offer COVID-19 vaccine.
Huron and Perth
Huron Perth Public Health reported seven new cases and six recoveries from Saturday to Monday, bringing the total case count to 1,929 with 1,860 recoveries, 57 deaths and 12 active cases.
The number of confirmed variant cases is unchanged from Friday at 335.
HPPH reports that one person is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
Case counts by municipality can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.
There are no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.
The region’s test positivity rate was 0.6 per cent for the week of July 4, down from 0.9 per cent for the week of June 27.
HPPH’s vaccine dashboard reported that 75.5 per cent of those age 12 and older have had at least one dose, while 53.9 per cent are fully vaccinated, as of Monday.
Sarnia and Lambton
Lambton Public Health reported two new cases and four recoveries over the weekend, bringing the total to 3,630 on Monday, with 3,561 resolved.
There are currently four active cases. The number of deaths is unchanged at 65, as is the number of variant cases at 669. The most recent death was reported last Wednesday and involved someone in their 20s.
According to Bluewater Health, one patient in their care is confirmed to have COVID-19. There are no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.
The region’s test positivity rate was 0.95 per cent for the week of July 4, up from 0.8 per cent for the week of June 27.
Residents can book and re-book COVID-19 vaccine appointments using the health unit’s registration page. People can also call the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222.
Some pharmacies are also continuing to offer Pfizer or Moderna shots.
Lambton Public Health says 74.8 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 58.7 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.
—With files from Global News’ Jessica Patton.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
U.S. vaccination rate hits the highest pace in weeks – CTV News
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday that 816,203 additional doses were administered, the fifth straight day the agency recorded more than 700,000 shots in arms. That brings the total number of doses administered to 346,456,669, according to the CDC numbers released Sunday.
The seven-day average of administered doses is now 662,529 per day, the highest average since July 7.
Additionally, Sunday was the third day in a row that the seven-day average of people getting their first shots topped 400,000. The last time that metric was over 400,000 was the July Fourth weekend.
That’s still less than a quarter of the peak in mid-April, when nearly 2 million people were getting their first shot each day.
If the U.S. picked up vaccinations to the April pace, it would take only a month and a half to reach all eligible people.
Per CDC data released Sunday, 168.4 million people are fully vaccinated, or 49.6% of the U.S. population. Among vaccine-eligible Americans — meaning those who are 12 and older — 58.1% are fully vaccinated.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, hopes the recent surge in cases driven by the Delta variant is changing the minds of the vaccine hesitant, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. Collins noted that in the last two weeks, vaccination rates have increased 56% nationally.
“This may be a tipping point for those who have been hesitant to say, ‘OK, it’s time,'” Collins said. “I hope that’s what’s happening. That’s what desperately needs to happen if we’re going to get this Delta variant put back in its place.”
Overall, the seven-day average of people becoming fully vaccinated each day is at 247,385 people per day.
Twenty states have now fully vaccinated more than half of their residents, including Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state, as well as Washington, DC.
On the other hand, the states with the lowest percentage of their population vaccinated are Alabama and Mississippi, which have 34% and 35% of their residents vaccinated, respectively.
Correction: An earlier version of this story and headline gave the wrong timing for when the doses were administered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the additional doses Sunday, but it’s not clear when they were all administered.
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Delta spreads 'like wildfire' as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker – CTV News
LOS ANGELES —
With a new wave of COVID-19 infections fuelled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide, disease experts are scrambling to learn whether the latest version of coronavirus is making people – mainly the unvaccinated – sicker than before.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Delta, first identified in India and now dominant worldwide, is “likely more severe” than earlier versions of the virus, according to an internal report made public on Friday.
The agency cited research in Canada, Singapore and Scotland showing that people infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients earlier in the pandemic.
In interviews with Reuters, disease experts said the three papers suggest a greater risk from the variant, but the study populations are limited and the findings have not yet been reviewed by outside experts. Doctors treating patients infected with Delta described a more rapid onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and in many regions an overall increase serious cases.
But the experts said more work is needed to compare outcomes among larger numbers of individuals in epidemiologic studies to sort out whether one variant causes more severe disease than another.
“It’s difficult to pin down increase in severity and population bias,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist at the UK’s Warwick Medical School.
In addition, it is likely that the extraordinary rate of Delta transmission is also contributing to a greater number of severe cases arriving at hospitals, the experts said.
Delta is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu, according to the CDC report.
Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego, said the clearest indication that the variant may cause more severe disease comes from the Scotland study, which found that Delta roughly doubled the risk of hospitalization compared to an earlier version.
The majority of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus in the United States are occurring in people who have not been vaccinated. But there is evidence that the shots are less effective in people with compromised immune systems, including the elderly.
For vaccinated, otherwise healthy individuals, the odds are that if they contract COVID-19 they will only experience asymptomatic or mild disease, said Dr. Gregory Poland, infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic.
“But they can pass it on to family members and others who may not be so lucky,” Poland said. “We have to be vaccinated and masked or we will, for the fourth time now, endure another surge and out of that will come worse variants.”
The rate of severe illness, especially in regions where vaccination rates are low, is again straining healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
“This is like a wildfire, this is not a smouldering campfire. It is full-on flames right now,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control at Colorado’s UCHealth.
Research from China suggesting that the Delta variant replicates much faster and generates 1,000 times more virus in the body compared to the original strain highlights the biggest danger of this new wave, Barron said.
“It is hard to tell if they are more sick because of the Delta variant or if they would have been more sick anyway,” she said.
Other doctors said patients infected with Delta appear to become ill more quickly, and in some cases with more severe symptoms, than those they treated earlier in the pandemic.
“We are seeing more patients requiring oxygen sooner,” said Dr. Benjamin Barlow, chief medical officer at American Family Care, a 28-state chain of urgent care clinics.
At his clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, Barlow said that around 20 per cent of patients are testing positive for COVID-19, compared with two to three per cent a few weeks ago. Patients are assessed at that time for potential hospital admission and oxygen support.
David Montefiori, director of the Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine Research and Development at Duke University Medical Center, said the Delta variant is more infectious and leads to faster onset of illness – particularly for the unvaccinated.
“Frankly there’s a severity that comes from this variant that is a little more severe,” Montefiori said on a webcast last week. “It’s not just easier to transmit, it makes you sicker.”
(Reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles, Josephine Mason in London and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Daniel Wallis)
COVID-19: Canada to receive 2.3 million Pfizer vaccine doses this week – GuelphToday
OTTAWA — The federal government is expecting to receive more than 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, as public health officials brace for a potential fourth wave of infections.
Ottawa has already received more than 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, enough to fully immunize all eligible Canadians.
As of Tuesday, the federal government had 6.7 million COVID-19 vaccines in its national reserve, an amount that provinces and territories can draw from if they need more doses.
The new COVID-19 vaccine shipments come as Canada’s top doctor warns that the country could be headed towards a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases if public health restrictions are lifted before vaccination rates pick up.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr. Theresa Tam said an updated national modelling for the pandemic trajectory suggests that the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 could drive a fourth wave of infections.
“The trajectory will depend on ongoing increase in fully vaccinated coverage and the timing, pace and extent of reopening,” Tam said.
“While some resurgence is expected as measures are eased, this updated model shows that if we maintain current levels of community-wide contacts, we would expect to see a modest increase in cases.”
Tam said the country could see a high increase of COVID-19 infections if reopening continues quickly before enough people are fully immunized.
“We could expect to see a sharp resurgence by the end of the summer,” she said.
She said the new forecast “reaffirms the need to take a cautious approach to relaxing public health measures to remain vigilant and responsive to signs of resurgence and to continue to increase first and second dose vaccine coverage.”
Canada reported an average of 640 new cases over the past seven days, she said, which is still 93 per cent lower than the peak of the third wave.
As of Friday, 80.3 per cent of those eligible had received a first dose, while 63.7 per cent are now fully vaccinated.
Tam said the country has made “great progress” on vaccinating those who are eligible over the last month, but there is a need to increase numbers of vaccinated even more.
“This means increasing fully vaccinated coverage above 80 per cent across all age groups and particularly in younger age groups where most of the transmission is occurring.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
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