STEGH overflowing with patients; another COVID death

St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital reported late Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 5, that it is running at 120 percent over its in-patient capacity of 65 beds.

Those hospital wards are supposed to house just 65 patients.

As of Thursday morning, the hospital has 14 COVID-19 patients in beds, with five of them, all unvaccinated, in STEGH’s intensive care unit.

Also on Thursday morning, Southwestern Public Health announced that an Elgin woman in her 80s had become the 177th COVID-related fatality in Elgin, St. Thomas and Oxford. Three similar deaths had been reported earlier in the week.

Despite new restrictions imposed by the Ontario government on who can get testing for COVID–19, the health unit recorded 137 new confirmed cases in its region on Thursday, up from 106 the previous day.

The health unit is tracking 1,436 ongoing cases of COVID-19 among residents, up from 1,401 on Wednesday.

A total of 12 long-term care and nursing homes are experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 among staff and residents. The worst-hit currently is Valleyview Nursing Home in St. Thomas, with 10 residents and 17 staff testing positive for the virus.

The rate of ongoing cases in the Southwestern area stands at 678.5 cases per 100,000 of population, up from 662.4 on Wednesday.

Locally, ongoing confirmed cases by municipality include 390 in St. Thomas and area, 74 in Central Elgin, 53 in Aylmer and Malahide, 35 in Dutton Dunwich, 30 in West Elgin, 16 in Bayham, nine in Malahide and seven in Southwold.

Across Ontario, the province recorded 20 deaths related to COVID-19 on Thursday.

A total of 2,279 Ontarians are hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 2,081 Wednesday, and 319 are in intensive care units, up from 288.