Delta variant cases start to rise

Southwestern Public Health reported four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Elgin, St. Thomas and Oxford on Wednesday, June 23, up from two the previous day.

The number of ongoing cases being tracked by the health unit stands at 32, up from 30 the previous day.

Southwestern also disclosed that to date, five cases involving the “Delta” variant, first identified in India, of COVID-19 had been confirmed in its region, an increase of three from Tuesday. It’s considered much more contagious and more likely to result in severe symptoms than the original strain.

The number of ongoing cases being tracked in St. Thomas and area increased to 11 on Wednesday from nine on Tuesday, while Aylmer and area, Central Elgin and Southwold remained at one case each.

In Oxford, ongoing cases stayed the same across the board, with 10 in Woodstock and area, three each in East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra and one each in Blandford-Blenheim and Tillsonburg and area.

Two Southwestern area residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from one on Tuesday.

The infection rate for the region stands at 15.1 cases per 100,000 of population, up from 14.2 on Tuesday.

Across Ontario, 255 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday, down from 298 on Tuesday.