COVID-19 hospitalizations in Windsor-Essex jump in last 5 days

In the last five days, the number of COVID-19 patients in Windsor-Essex hospitals has grown by 20, according to new data from the health unit in southwestern Ontario.

Need for care increases as hundreds of hospital staff off work to isolate

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have spiked in the Windsor-Essex region as the health-care system deals with the strain of staff off work, who are isolating or have tested positive for the virus. (Mike Evans/CBC)

In the last five days, the number of COVID-19 patients in Windsor-Essex hospitals has grown by 20, according to new data from the health unit in southwestern Ontario.

On Dec. 30, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) reported 18 COVID-19 patients, but as of Tuesday, that number jumped to 38 patients. Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of the level of disease in the community. 

This is happening as hospital staff remain off work due to the disease. As of Monday, more than 250 health-care workers across the region are isolating after developing symptoms, being in contact with a confirmed case or testing positive for COVID-19. 

In a news release Tuesday, WECHU reported 1,869 new cases of COVID-19 as of New Years Eve, according to new local data from the health unit. But since testing eligibility and contact tracing methods have changed as of the end of December, reported case numbers but the health unit are expected to be lower than actual COVID-19 cases in the community and may not accurately represent the burden of disease within the community. 

WECHU provided the following breakdown of the new cases:

  • Dec. 31: 352.
  • Jan. 1: 322.
  • Jan. 2: 287.
  • Jan. 3: 578.
  • Jan. 4: 330.

There are currently 2,289 active cases in the region. 

No new deaths have been reported. There have been a total of 495 deaths in the community. 

Nine schools or daycares are in outbreak. There are also eight community outbreaks, four long-term care or retirement homes in outbreak, and two workplaces in outbreak. 

Starting Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. ET, new provincial COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect. These include: 

  • Social gatherings are limited to five people indoors, 10 people outdoors.
  • 50 per cent capacity at stores, including malls, and personal care services. 
  • Restaurants, bars are closed to indoor dining, but remain open for patios or takeout. 
  • Moving schools to online learning until at least Jan. 17.

More mass vaccination sites open Wednesday

On Wednesday, Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Dr. Y Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility open as mass vaccination clinics. 

People will be able to book their first, second, third and booster shots at the sites. Both locations do not accept drop-ins. 

Nature Fresh will have appointments for Tuesday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Hotel Dieu's clinic will be available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m.


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