There were nine new cases and another COVID-related death in the Elgin and Oxford counties region reported Thursday.
Public health officials said an Oxford County woman in her 80s was the region’s 65th death from COVID-19.
There was also one new institutional outbreak: One resident was confirmed with the virus at the Aylmer Retirement Residence. While the outbreak at Caressant Care Woodstock is ongoing, now new COVID cases have been added in recent days.
With eight recoveries mostly offsetting the new infections, the active case count in the Southwestern public health region ticked up slightly to 61.
There are currently four people in hospital with the virus, including two patients in intensive care.
Woodstock is currently home to 25 of the area’s active cases, while St. Thomas and Tillsonburg have 10 each and Ingersoll is reporting six. Six other small municipalities are reporting one or two cases each.
Dr. Joyce Lock, medical officer of health for Elgin and Oxford, said Wednesday the region will likely remain in the province’s red-control level two weeks before numbers are reassessed, despite promising trends in area case counts.
Lock also encouraged all residents with even one mild symptom of COVID-19 to get tested for the virus. Testing is the only way to know exactly how much of the virus is circulating in the community, she said.
Lock also said the area has updated its school decision tree for parents, and is encouraging the close contacts of people who have been exposed to stay home as much as possible except for essential outings. Children must be screened before school every day, she added.
Southwestern public health also unveiled vaccine information lines for residents on Wednesday with pre-recorded information about vaccination efforts. Residents can reach the lines at 519-631-4125 (Elgin) or 519-533-4560 (Oxford) or go online to swpublichealth.ca/covid19vaccine.