16 new COVID-19 cases, 13 recoveries Thursday in Southwestern public health region

There were 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday in the Southwestern public health region.

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There were 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday in the Oxford and Elgin counties region.

With 13 more recoveries, the active case count in Elgin and Oxford County rose slightly to 115, up from 112 on Wednesday, Southwestern public health officials reported.

There have been 2,920 cases of the virus in the region to date while 69 people have died.

Thursday’s numbers were in line with roughly a week of increasing case totals. The number of active cases remained steadily more than 100 in early April for the first time since late February. The numbers came as the Ontario government sent the entire province into lockdown and imposed another stay-at-home order that came into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Among local municipalities, Woodstock leads with 39 recorded cases. St. Thomas has 24, while Ingersoll and Tillsonburg have  seven cases each.

Southwestern public health now records 113 cases of COVID-19 variants in the region, a large jump from the 95 cases recorded on Wednesday. Of those cases, 37 are ongoing.

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As of March 27 – the last date for which information is recorded on the public health dashboard – 1.9 per cent of the region’s residents were fully vaccinated. On March 31, health officials reported more than 20,000 people had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

People under 39 represent the largest shares of the area’s ongoing cases, with people under 19 years old representing 18 per cent of cases. People under 39 represent over half of the ongoing cases in Elgin and Oxford counties.

Close contact with a confirmed case is the leading way people in the area are contracting the virus. Some cases are still under investigation, while travel and workplaces have also played a role, according to the health unit’s exposure data.

There are currently five people in hospital with the virus, including two people in intensive care. There is one active institutional outbreak at Caressant Care Bonnie Place, which reports one staff case and one resident case.

COVID-19 tests administered at the area’s five testing sites jumped this week, with more than 800 people tested on Wednesday. That is the largest number of people tested in a single day since early March.

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