The number of Elgin, St. Thomas and Oxford residents hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased to eight, two of them in intensive care units, as of Wednesday, July 13, up from none the previous week.
Southwestern Public Health on July 13 also revealed that the number of new cases confirmed during the last week was 132, compared to 62 the week before that.
The health unit was tracking 156 ongoing cases as of July 13, up from 95 on July 6.
In response to questions from the Express, the health unit noted Wednesday that as of Wednesday, the dominant stain of COVID-19 across Ontario from the most recent data in late June was the new BA.5 variant at 41.6 percent, followed by BA.2.12.1 at 33.4 percent and BA.4 at eight percent.
A week earlier, the BA.5 cases had accounted for 25.9 percent of all Ontario cases.
SWPH expected that local results, when genome sequencing of a sampling of cases was completed, would show similar results.
Of the ongoing cases on July 13, 69 were in Woodstock, 38 in St. Thomas, six in West Elgin, five in Aylmer and Malahide, five in Central Elgin, two in Dutton-Dunwich and one in Bayham.
The rate of Southwestern residents testing positive for COVID-19 had risen to 8.84 per 100,000 as of June 29, the most recent data available, compared to 6.01 as of June 22.