More than a dozen new COVID-19 cases in London region, hospitals face mask shortage

Health officials in the London region are still seeing more COVID-19 cases as hospitals are just days away from running out of masks needed to protect health care workers.

On Friday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) confirmed 13 more cases, bringing the total here to 92.

There were no new deaths reported, with the number of deaths in the London region sitting at three.

At London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), 19 patients with COVID-19 have been admitted to its two hospitals. Six of them are in critical care at Victoria Hospital and five at University Hospital.

Earlier this week, workers at the London Health Sciences Centre were told to wear surgical masks at all times while in the hospital, but were also told they’d only get two masks per shift, unless the masks got soiled. 

In a letter to nurses sent by the Ontario Nurses Association and obtained by CBC News, the situation with N95 respirators, which protect against small particles and are worn during surgery and around patients suspected of or diagnosed with having COVID-19, is even more dire.

There is just a seven-day supply of N95 1870 masks, an 11-day supply of N95 8210 masks and just over a month supply of N95 1860 masks. 

St. Thomas, Oxford County cases

New cases were also reported by Southwestern Public Health in St. Thomas and Oxford County on Friday.

A St. Thomas man in his 50s and an Oxford County woman in her 60s have tested positive for the virus.

Ontario reported 462 new cases and 14 new deaths Friday as there are now 3,255 confirmed cases across the province.