COVID-19: 1 death, 69 new cases in London-Middlesex; record 86 people hospitalized: LHSC

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One death and 69 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in London-Middlesex on Monday as London Health Sciences Centre reported another record number of COVID-19 patients in their care, with nearly half in the ICU and at least one-third on ventilators.

Monday’s update brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 9,305, of which 8,003 have resolved, an increase of 121 from the previous day.

At least 195 deaths have been reported during the pandemic, with at least six this month. The most recent COVID-19-related death involved a woman in her 60s who was not associated with a long-term care or retirement home, the health unit said.

At least four of the last seven deaths that have been reported in the region have involved people in their 60s, according to the health unit.

As of Monday, at least 1,107 cases are considered active in the region.

Since the start of April, London and Middlesex has recorded at least 2,121 cases, making it the second-worst month for cases behind January, which recorded 2,332. A record 176 cases were recorded on April 13, according to revised numbers from the health unit.

The local seven-day rolling case average stands at 115 as of Monday, down from 124 the previous seven days, due largely to the three days that have been seen recently with fewer than 90 cases.

The local test positivity rate stood at 7.7 per cent as of the week of April 4, up from 5.9 the week prior, according to the most recent figures. Updated figures are expected this week.

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Of the 69 new cases, at least 65 are from London while four are from Middlesex County.

Those infected skew younger, with 15 involving people 19 or younger and 14 in their 20s. Meanwhile, 11 are in their 30s; four are in their 40s; seven are in their 50s; 12 are in their 60s; three are in their 70s, and three are 80 or older.

Exposure source data shows at least 26 are due to close contact while 15 have no known link and two are linked to travel. At least 26 cases have pending or undetermined exposure source data.

The number of variant cases (presumed and confirmed via genomic analysis) in London-Middlesex stands at 1,070, an increase of 133 from the previous day.

At least 1,068 of those cases are the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K., while at least two are the P.1 variant, detected in Brazil. The 113 new cases all involved the B.1.1.7 variant.

A reminder that the health unit recently changed how it counts variant cases to bring local reporting in line with the province.

Officials are now adding cases that are presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant into a single tally, along with cases which have undergone genomic analysis and confirmed to involve a variant.

  • Confirming a variant is a multi-step process. Positive COVID-19 cases undergo initial screening for spike protein mutations common to variants (N501Y, E484K, and K417N), and if found to have one or more, undergo further genomic analysis to determine the specific variant involved (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, or P.1) — a process that can take up to two weeks.
  • Since last month, however, the province has stopped conducting genomic analysis on cases which screen positive for just the N501Y mutation. Now, those cases are presumed to involve the B.1.1.7 variant, as that variant has only been associated with the N501Y mutation.
  • Cases that screen positive for either the E484K or K417N mutations are still being sent for genomic analysis as they have been associated with the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively.

[/infobox]

The number of cases that have screened positive for a variant-associated spike protein mutation, but which have not yet undergone genomic analysis, stands at 197, seven more than the day before. (This number will fluctuate up and down as cases are analyzed and moved to the main variant tally.)

Of that 197, at least 67 have screened positive for the E484K mutation. (Of that 67, at least 56 have been found to have both the E484K and N501Y mutations).

Another 130 cases have screened positive for N501Y, but have not been deemed ‘presumed’ B.1.1.7 cases as they have yet to be ruled out for the E484K mutation.

Variant positive and screened mutation cases have been accounting for more of the region’s recent case load — upwards of 44.4 per cent as of the week of April 4 and 53 per cent the week prior.

The health unit says people under 30 account for roughly 63 per cent of the 1,267 cases which have either been labelled a variant or have screened positive for a spike protein mutation.

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During Monday’s media briefing, Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, struck a more positive tone, but noted it was imperative that people continue to adhere to the provincial restrictions.

“We may be starting to turn the corner here in London and Middlesex, just 69 cases to report today. That’s less than half where we were about a week ago,” he said, adding a similar leveling off was being seen at the provincial level.

“The numbers really have been spiking almost straight up for weeks, and over the last few days, you’ve seen that spike start to reduce. Still seeing cases over 4,000 a day at the provincial level, but that’s not a major jump, as we have been seeing previously… All of that pointing to the fact that the lockdown, shut down, stay-at-home measures are making a big difference and that people are following them.”

Asked why people under 30 were still accounting for so many cases, given post-secondary students have finished their semester, Mackie said it would take some days for that group’s case numbers to decline related to people moving back home.

“We’re certainly seeing less there than we were a week or two ago, and part of that is people moving out of the community,” he said, adding it also may be due to changes in behavioor as a result of outbreaks and calls for younger people to stay home.

“That said, you know, we’re probably diagnosing cases from activity that happened days or weeks ago, so we will see those numbers continue on for some time.”

It remains to be seen whether the N6A postal code, which covers part of Western University’s campus, off-campus student neighbourhoods and about half of Old North, as well as much of the downtown core and Richmond Row, will be designated a COVID-19 hot spot by the province, opening it up to more resources, such as vaccine doses.

Statistically speaking, the postal code is a definite COVID-19 hot spot, with at least 31.5 per cent of cases there coming back positive as of April 10, the most of any postal code in the province, according to the most recent data from the non-profit health research firm ICES.

Second on the list is the M9M postal code in North York West under Toronto Public Health, which recorded a 27.29 per cent positivity rate as of April 10. That area has been designated a hot spot by the province.

Last week, London Mayor Ed Holder said the province has “heard very clearly” that London should be recognized as a hot spot.

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At least 8,287 cases have been confirmed in the City of London since the pandemic began, while 311 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 277 cases have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 120 in Thames Centre, 60 in Lucan Biddulph, 53 in North Middlesex, 52 in Southwest Middlesex, 14 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.

At least 129 cases have pending location information.

Hospitalizations

A record 86 people with COVID-19 were listed as being in the care of London Health Sciences Centre as of noon on Monday, according to Dr. Adam Dukelow, LHSC’s chief medical officer — an increase of 21 from LHSC’s previous update on Friday.

At least 53 are from London and Middlesex, while the remaining 33 are from out of the region, Dukelow said. All of the non-local patients received by LHSC over the last week or two have come from the GTA, he said.

At least 39 patients are being cared for in critical/intensive care, an increase of 11 from Friday’s update. Of those, at least 30 are currently on ventilators, and at least 23 ICU patients are from out of the London-Middlesex region.

“This is the highest amount of COVID-19 positive patients we have ever cared for, and I want to thank each and every staff member and physician at LHSC for their contribution to care for these patients,” Dukelow said during Monday’s media briefing.

Our teams are tired, but they continue to dig deep and provide the best possible care for their patients.”

At least 12 cases are active among LHSC staff, three more than Friday.

Dukelow said LHSC continues to anticipate receiving more COVID-19 patients locally and from other centres in the province.

“(We’ve) provided education to our providers on the emergency standards of care in the event they need to be activated by the province, we have redeployed our own staff within LHSC, and we are beginning to receive staff from other hospitals,” he said.

Dukelow said at least 675 medical, surgical, and ICU patients were in their care at both University and Victoria hospitals on Monday, meaning COVID-19 patients make up roughly 12.75 per cent that total.

LHSC has opened at least 18 additional ICU beds to meet capacity and is looking to open more, he said. Factoring in those beds, the organization’s critical care capacity is sitting around 70 per cent at both University and Victoria hospitals.

“We will continue to receive, likely, between two and five patients from the GTA for the duration of the week, on a daily basis, as well as our own local patients,” Dukelow said.

Hospitals across Ontario have been ramping down non-essential and non-urgent medical procedures this week to ensure they have the capacity to care for COVID-19 patients as infections keep rising, including among younger Ontarians.

Dukelow said LHSC’s surgical capacity is expected to be between 50 and 60 per cent of normal levels this week as the organization opens up more medical beds for COVID-19 patients, and to free up staff to help open new ICU beds.

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At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, meanwhile, no active COVID-19 cases were reported at St. Joseph’s Hospital, however at least seven cases are active elsewhere in the organization.

Two patient cases are active and four staff cases are active as a result of an active outbreak at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building. One staff case is also active within SJHCL that is not related to an outbreak.

At least 447 people in London-Middlesex have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 during the pandemic, including 78 in intensive care, the health unit says.

Outbreaks

No new institutional outbreaks have been declared or resolved.

One outbreak is currently active at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building in its G5 area.

A previous outbreak at the facility, in its G2 and H2 areas, was declared resolved over the weekend.

St. Joseph’s Health Care London says at least six cases, two patient and four staff, are active as a result of the outbreaks at Parkwood.

No outbreaks are currently active at any local long-term care or retirement home, the health unit says.

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A non-institutional workplace outbreak remains active at Cargill’s London meat processing facility.

The outbreak had been linked to as many as 92 cases as of late last week. The surge in cases has prompted production at the plant to be halted temporarily.

An outbreak also remains active at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre.

At least 15 inmate cases were listed as active at the jail as of Friday. At least four staff cases were active at the jail as of early last week. Updated numbers are expected Tuesday.

The outbreak has been linked to at least 49 inmate and 34 staff cases since it was declared on Jan. 18.

Prior to that, EMDC had only seen two inmate cases.

Details on the Western University outbreaks can be found below.

Schools

At least three new school cases and one new school outbreak have been reported at local schools, while an outbreak at a Western-affiliated student residence has ended.

One new school case was reported involving Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, according to the Thames Valley District School Board late Sunday.

Elsewhere, one case each has been reported involving École élémentaire catholique Frère André and St. Bernadette Catholic School, according to the health unit.

They’re among 26 cases active involving local schools. A full list can be found on the MLHU website.

The case at École élémentaire catholique Frère André, it’s second currently active case, prompted an outbreak declaration on Sunday, according to the health unit.

Elsewhere, outbreaks remain active at:

  • East Carling Public School
  • Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School
  • Providence Reformed Collegiate
  • St. Francis School
  • St. Anne’s Catholic School

At least 338 cases associated with elementary and secondary schools have been reported in London-Middlesex during the pandemic, according to the health unit.

Schools return from spring break this week with students moving to online learning for the foreseeable future due to the surge in cases across the province.

Another 48 cases have been reported involving child care and early years settings.

At least nine are active at such settings, with five alone linked to Faith Day Nursery, where an outbreak was declared on April 13.

Elsewhere, one active case each has been associated with Blossoms Early Childhood Education – East; La Ribambelle – St. Jeanne D’Arc; London French Day Care Centre Inc.; and Stoneybrook Early Childhood Learning Centre – London Bridge.

Meanwhile, an outbreak declaration remains active at Kidorable Child Care Centre from April 8, however no cases are currently active there.

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In post-secondary, outbreaks remain active in eight student residences linked to Western University, with one now resolved.

The outbreak was located at King’s Commons at the Western-affiliated King’s University College and was declared on April 8. It had been tied to at least seven cases.

One new outbreak was declared active over the weekend at London Hall, linked to six cases.

The outbreaks together (including the now resolved King’s Common outbreak) have been linked to more than 190 cases.

Local health officials said last week that fewer cases were being reported in relation to the residence outbreaks as students have largely returned home following the completion of the semester.

Updated case figures for the active outbreaks are as follows:

  • London Hall – 6
  • Ontario Hall – 8
  • Essex Hall – 12
  • Elgin Hall – 15
  • Delaware Hall -19 + 1 from out of area who did not get tested
  • Perth Hall – 28
  • Medway-Sydenham Hall – 33
  • Saugeen-Maitland Hall – 54 + 3 probable cases who have not yet been tested.

“All of the Western outbreaks have been identified with variants of concern, all with the (N501Y spike protein mutation) and most of them negative for the E484K mutation,” Mackie said.

Vaccinations and Testing

More than 125,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in London and Middlesex so far, according to local health officials.

People aged 60 and older continue to be eligible to receive a shot at one of the region’s three operating mass vaccination clinics, and eligibility is set to be expanded again soon, with an announcement expected later this week, according to Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health.

So far, roughly 80 per cent of people over 80 have received a vaccine, while at least 73 per cent of people aged 75-79 had gotten a shot. Updated tallies are expected this week.

“We, unfortunately, still are seeing deaths in the population aged 60 to 69, where the vaccine campaign has only recently begun to get shots, and some people haven’t been able to sign up yet,” Mackie said.

He added that appointment slots remain available, and urged people 60 and older to book a spot.

Eligible residents are asked to visit the local vaccine booking website or call 226-289-3560 to book an appointment at one of the region’s three mass vaccination clinics. Online appointments are encouraged due to the high call volume.

More information on eligibility can be found on the MLHU’s website.

Mackie noted that expected reductions in vaccine weren’t expected to impact plans to open eligibility to more groups of people, nor were they expected to result in the temporary closure of a vaccination clinic, however “if we saw further reductions, it might.”

Incoming Pfizer-BioNTech doses are expected to fall by 3,500 next week compared to last week, or roughly 25 per cent, Mackie said.

However, he added, the health unit was seeing a bump in doses this week in recognition of the work MLHU has done to vaccinate urban Indigenous populations.

“We’ve been reporting that work up to the province and the province has recognize the work and is, sort of, reimbursing with additional vaccine allocation for this week,” Mackie said.

Meanwhile, Mackie said that the Moderna vaccine saw “minimal contribution” to the local vaccination campaign, and that doses have been “pretty flat at this point,” meaning a major shipment delay to Canada won’t have a major impact.

“We do get a bit of Moderna, and it helps with things like vaccinating in hospitals where the hospital can hold that vaccine in their refrigeration system for some time, which you can’t do with Pfizer,” he said.

“But Moderna is unpredictable. The deliveries are almost always delayed… the allocation of Moderna here is small as well, so it’s not as big a factor.”

Last week, officials announced that the North London Optimist Community Centre clinic, which had been administering Moderna, would pivot to Pfizer as a result of the expected delivery delay.

Mackie says local officials understand that vaccine doses need to go to where they’re needed most, and that other communities in Ontario have much higher COVID-19 rates.

At the same time, it is somewhat frustrating. We do have much more capacity in this community to vaccinate than the vaccines that are coming here.”

According to the health unit, scheduled second doses are expected to come into play more in the month of May, raising some concern that fewer first doses may be given should vaccine supply not be increased to make up the difference.

“The upside… is that we do expect a lot more Pfizer, in particular, to come on board May and June. So, if the national procurement goes as expected, then the second doses required will be dwarfed by the new incoming doses, and we’ll be able to proceed apace with vaccinating people for first doses.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday a contract with Pfizer for eight million additional doses of its vaccine, with the first four million arriving in May. Two million more doses will come in June and July, respectively, and Pfizer is also moving another 400,000 doses from the third quarter into June.

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Meanwhile, people 55 and older also remain eligible to get the AstraZeneca shot at a participating pharmacy. People 40 and older will be eligible starting Tuesday.

A full list of participating pharmacies can be found on the province’s website. Residents are asked to book a spot with the pharmacies themselves.

“My advice to everybody is to seek vaccine wherever and however you can. All of the vaccines are on the scale from very good to excellent. They’re all very safe,” Mackie said, adding people shouldn’t wait to become eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

“We will not be able to open up to all… Middlesex-London residents over age 16 any time soon. We still have people with high-risk health-care conditions to go through…. We still have people who can’t work from home, as another category in phase two.”

Meanwhile, the region’s two main assessment centres, at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, remain open and operating by appointment.

The local test positivity rate stood at 7.7 per cent as of the week of April 4, up from 5.9 the week prior, according to the most recent figures. Updated figures are expected this week.

Ontario

Ontario is reporting 4,447 new cases of COVID-19 today and 19 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 1,299 new cases in Toronto, 926 in Peel Region, and 577 in York Region.

She also says there are 233 cases in Ottawa and 227 in Hamilton.

Today’s data is based on nearly 42,900 tests completed.

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The Ministry of Health reports that 2,202 people are hospitalized, although it notes that more than 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data.

There are 755 people in intensive care units and 516 on a ventilator.

Ontario says 66,897 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the province since Sunday’s report for a total of 3,904,778 given out so far.

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Elgin and Oxford

Fifty-seven new coronavirus cases were reported Monday by health officials in Elgin-Oxford in what is their first update since Friday.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 3,197, of which 2,935 have resolved, an increase of 65 from Friday. At least 72 deaths have been reported during the pandemic, most recently on April 15.

At least 190 cases are currently active in the region, including at least 70 in St. Thomas, 40 in Woodstock, and 24 in Tillsonburg, according to the health unit.

At least five people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. None are in intensive care. At least 141 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 48 in ICU.

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The number of variant cases identified in the region currently stands at 270, an increase of 37 from Friday.

Of those, at least 251 have been either confirmed through genomic analysis to be, or are presumed to be, the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. At least 83 are active.

Cases are presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant if they screen positive for only one specific spike protein mutation, named N501Y. The B.1.1.7 variant has been associated with only this mutation.

  • According to Public Health Ontario, the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant has been associated with the N501Y spike protein mutation, while variants B.1.351 and P.1, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, have been associated with mutations N501Y, E484K and K417N.
  • As a result, any specimens screening positive for just N501Y are presumed by the province to involve the B.1.1.7 variant and aren’t being sent for further genomic testing.
  • Specimens that screen positive for either the E484K or K417N mutations will undergo genomic testing. [/infobox]

The health unit says at least 19 cases have screened positive for the E484K mutation and are still undergoing genomic analysis. Of those, at least six are still active.

More than 32,000 residents have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine as of April 11, the most recent figures available. New stats are expected later this week.

Eligible residents are asked to visit the area’s vaccine booking site or call 226-289-3560 to book an appointment at one of the region’s two operating mass vaccination clinics. One is open in St. Thomas and one in Woodstock. A third is planned for Tillsonburg.

Eligibility information can be found on the health unit website.

At least 10 pharmacies are also doling out doses of the AstraZeneca shot to people 55 and older as part of a provincially run pilot. People 40 and older will be eligible starting Tuesday. Appointments should be made directly with a participating pharmacy.

Further details are expected this week on the local distribution of vaccines in the N5H postal code after it was designated a COVID-19 hot spot two weeks ago. The distinction means it is prioritized for more vaccine doses and health officials are able to immunize younger age groups.

The region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Joyce Lock, said last week the the health unit would be working “intensively” within N5H to get doses to those 50 and older as part of the province’s hot spot plan.

Officials have said they are also still working out details of Premier Ford’s announcement to have people 18 and older in hot spots eligible to get a shot.

The province has said the 18-plus rollout would start with the hardest-hit neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel and expand to other regions later based on local numbers.

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At least one new case has been reported, located at St. Mary’s Catholic  high school in Woodstock, according to the London District Catholic School Board.

Full lists of active cases within Elgin-Oxford can be found on the websites of the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board.

Meanwhile, two outbreaks remain active in the region.

One is located at Metcalfe Gardens in St. Thomas and is linked to two staff cases. The other, at Caressant Care Bonnie Place, also in St. Thomas, is linked to three resident and two staff case.

The health unit says a total of 689 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 576 have been in St. Thomas, 488 in Aylmer and 384 in Tillsonburg.

Elsewhere, 219 cases have been in Norwich, 176 in Bayham, 150 in Ingersoll, 125 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 77 in Central Elgin, 75 in Blandford-Blenheim, 69 in Zorra, 62 in South-West Oxford, 34 in Dutton/Dunwich, 27 in Southwold, 24 in West Elgin and 17 in Malahide.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 3.0 per cent as of the week of April 4, up from 2.1 per cent a week earlier. New numbers are expected this week.

Huron and Perth

Fourteen new coronavirus cases were reported in Huron-Perth, local health officials said Monday in their first update since Friday.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 1,528, an increase of just 13. One previously confirmed case was reassigned to a different health unit. The health unit says at least 1,427 cases have resolved, an increase of 19 from Friday.

Seven of Monday’s new cases were reported in North Perth, while four were from ACW, and one each from North Huron, Stratford, and West Perth.

At least 49 cases are currently considered active in Huron-Perth, with 15 of them in North Perth and nine in Stratford. At least one person is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the number of cases that have screened positive for a spike protein mutation consistent with a coronavirus variant is at 44, up by six from Friday.

At least 18 of those cases have been have been confirmed through genomic testing to be, or are presumed to be, the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K., according to Public Health Ontario.

The remaining cases are still pending.

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The health unit says at least 34,104 vaccine doses have been administered in the region as of April 16. The tally includes first and second doses.

As of late Monday morning, appointment slots were booked up from April 13 to May 1 at local vaccine clinics. Times had opened for May 4 to 8, but were expected to fill up quickly.

More information on the local vaccine campaign can be found on the health unit’s website. Those looking to book an appointment are asked to do so via the local booking system or by calling 1-833-753-2098.

People aged 55 and older are also able to receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the province’s ongoing pharmacy immunization program. Those 40 and older will be eligible starting Tuesday.

Local health units are not directly involved in the pharmacy initiative, and residents are asked to contact the pharmacies directly. A list of local participating pharmacies can be found on the province’s website.

No new institutional outbreaks have been declared and none resolved. Two are currently active, both at unnamed workplaces in the region.

No new school cases have been reported. At least six are currently active in Huron-Perth, with two associated with F.E. Madill Secondary school, and one each at Jeanne Sauvé Catholic Elementary School, Shakespeare Public School (no school exposure), Stratford District Secondary School (no school exposure), and St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School.

At least 606 cases have been reported in Perth County, with 375 in North Perth and 140 in Perth East, while at least 498 have been reported in Huron County, with 109 in South Huron and 105 in Huron East.

Stratford has reported at least 186 in total, while St. Marys has seen 38.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.5 per cent the week of April 4, up from 0.8 the week earlier. Updated numbers are expected later this week.

Sarnia and Lambton

Only one new COVID-19 case was reported in Lambton County on Monday, the lowest single-day increase the region has seen since early February.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 3,120, of which 2,967 have resolved, an increase of 10 from the previous day.

At least 99 cases are listed as active. Six COVID-19 patients were in the care of Bluewater HEalth as of Monday, the same as the day before.

At least 268 variant cases have been identified in Lambton County.

Of those, at least 216 have been either confirmed through genomic analysis to be, or are presumed to be, the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K., according to the province.

  • According to Public Health Ontario, the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant has been associated with the N501Y spike protein mutation, while variants B.1.351 and P.1, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, have been associated with mutations N501Y, E484K and K417N.
  • As a result, any specimens screening positive N501Y and negative for E484K are presumed by the province to involve the B.1.1.7 variant and aren’t being sent for further genomic testing.
  • Specimens that screen positive for either the E484K or K417N mutations will undergo genomic testing. [/infobox]

The remaining 50 cases have either screened positive for the E484K mutation and are undergoing genomic analysis, or they have screened positive for N501Y but their E484K status is unknown.

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At least 35,443 COVID-19 doses had been administered in Lambton as of early last week, the most recent figures available. An updated tally is expected Tuesday.

Officials have said that, due to lower vaccine supply, an average of about 5,000 doses are being administered per day, well below the potential 15,000.

Currently, people 60 and older are eligible to receive a shot at a local mass vaccination clinic, along with specified groups outlined in the province’s three-phase rollout.

Eligibility information can be found on the health unit’s website.

Eligible residents are asked to contact the health unit at 519-383-8331, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by visiting the health unit’s website.

Multiple pharmacies in Lambton are also continuing to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to those 55 and older as part of the province-run pilot program. Residents are asked to book appointments with the pharmacies directly.

It’s not clear how many new school cases may have been reported.

The Lambton-Kent District School Board paused public reporting of new cases during the spring break, and says it won’t report new cases during the remote learning period.

No new cases were reported by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

Figures can be found on the websites of the Lambton-Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

No new outbreaks have been declared and only one is active, located at an unspecified workplace and linked to eight cases. The outbreak was declared April 7.

The health unit says the county’s test positivity rate was 2.8 per cent the week of April 4, up from 2.4 the previous week, but down from 3.3. the week before that.

At least 140,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Lambton.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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