Southwestern reports 13th COVID-19 death

Southwestern Public Health on Thursday, Dec. 31, reported its 13th death linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The health unit stated the death involved a man in his 90s from Oxford County.

The number of confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in the Southwestern Public Health region jumped by 71 on Thursday, Dec. 31, to a new ongoing total of 295, up from 263 the previous day, when 29 new cases were recorded.

As of Thursday, 19 persons were reported hospitalized with COVID-19, six of them in intensive care units.

Just over 100 of the ongoing cases currently are from two long-term care homes in Tillsonburg and Tavistock.

An outbreak involves 31 residents and 20 staff at Maple Manor in Tillsonburg and 32 residents and 18 staff at People Care in Tavistock.

On Thursday, Aylmer and area increased to 55 ongoing cases from 50 the previous day, St. Thomas and area to 58 from 49, Southwold to eight from five and West Elgin to four from two.

Bayham saw a decrease to eight cases from nine and Central Elgin to four from six.

In Oxford, Tillsonburg and area rose to 67 cases from 61, East Zorra-Tavistock to 33 from 24, Woodstock and area to 31 from 27 and Norwich to 12 from 10.

Blandford-Blenheim dropped to four cases from five, Ingersoll and area to to four from six and South-West Oxford to three from four, while Zorra remained steady at five cases.

The infection rate in the Southwestern region currently stands at 139.5 cases per 100,000 of population, up from 124.4 on Wednesday.