News update

NEWSCAST - Thursday, December 17, 2020

Ashley Hyshka




  • Middlesex-London is reporting 58 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, and one new death. London remains in the red - or control - tier of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

  • The outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre University Hospital continues, as 23 inpatients are currently positive for COVID-19 and 31 staff members have also tested positive. 

  • The Middlesex London Health Unit reported that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be arriving within London in a matter of days, with the first doses likely being offered to long-term care homes and retirement homes. A small number of doses will be available during the first shipment, which will be enough to vaccinate about one-third of staff at each home. The vaccines will be administered at only one site, due to its ultra-cold storage requirement. 

  • Ontario reported a record-breaking 2,400 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, including 23 new deaths. The COVID-19 hotspots are the locked down regions of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex.



  • A unique study led by Western University researchers is showing the equality gap faced by trans and non-binary Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic - data which was previously unknown. Led by Greta Bauer and Ayden Scheim, the Trans PULSE survey revealed that one in ten respondents said they avoided COVID-19 testing or care when they thought they needed it, and 40 per cent indicated that the avoidance was due to fear of discrimination. Ten per cent of those surveyed also reported that when they did seek these services, they did face discrimination.



  • The spirit of giving was in full effect Thursday morning, as Virgin Radio’s ‘One Stop Holiday Drop’ turned out to be a massive success. Several hundred Londoners showed up in vehicles to drop off donations for Toys for Tots and local food banks, including the London Fire Department who donated a truckload of toys. Hosted by local Virgin Radio morning show hosts Jeff Kelly, Laura Geddes and Backstage Ben, Kelly said quote, “It’s a two-for-one combo drive thru that was created so we could keep up social distancing but then help Londoners. So far it has exceeded every expectation we have. We’re just blown away.”

  • Meanwhile throughout the province, the Ontario Hospital Association is calling on the provincial government to implement and quote, “robustly” enforce a four week-long lockdown for any health authority currently in, or potentially being placed in, the “red” zone of the provinces COVID-19 framework. This call to action comes as new infections and hospitalizations continue to skyrocket each day, and the threat of Ontario’s hospitals becoming overwhelmed is nearing its tipping point. Six regions are currently in red, including Middlesex-London, Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.



  • Today, London will see cloudy skies and a high of minus three degrees, feeling like minus seven with the windchill, with a risk of scattered flurries in the evening. Overnight, cloud cover will continue and the temperature will drop to minus five, feeling like minus nine with the windchill. Tomorrow will see sunny skies, and a high of one degree. Over the weekend, the mercury will drop and there is a risk of mixed precipitation, so remember to bundle up.