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CBC Windsor's COVID-19 April 2 update: 128 cases in Windsor-Essex

Here's a look at what's happening in our area on Thursday, April 2.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reports 128 cases of COVID-19 in the region

CBC Windsor brings you the latest local update on COVID-19 in our area. 22:16

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported there are now 128 cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex as of Thursday morning.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said people in our area with a cough and other symptoms have a high probability of having COVID-19, and those individuals should contact Telehealth Ontario for an assessment and immediately self-isolate. To date, 1,237 people have been tested for COVID-19 and 268 tests are pending.

The health unit also announced there is a third outbreak at Lifetimes on Riverside long-term care home in Windsor-Essex, as a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. Ahmed said some residents are being "investigated" for the virus. 

"Typically what happens in a home if we know there are respiratory symptoms or someone has an infection the likelihood of someone catching it is much higher," he said.

Ahmed said those working in long-term care homes with outbreaks should not be working at other facilities. 

Watch the health unit's April 2 update:

Ahmed said his team are currently looking into the jump in the number of cases seen for the region this week. He said many of the cases were from older test results that were delayed before a London test facility opened. 

Ahmed said people with "mild symptoms" will not be a priority for testing to not overburden the health-care system. He said a positive test is less important for those individuals, as it is to self-isolate and take precautionary measures immediately when you show symptoms. 

Here's what's happening in our area:

Outbreak at Windsor-Essex long-term care facilities 

On Wednesday, the health unit confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at two long-term care facilities in the region.

Two confirmed cases were reported among staff working at Country Village Homes in Woodslee, Ont., as well as one confirmed case among the staff at the Amica Riverside seniors' home in Windsor. 

On Thursday, Amica Riverside said the health unit also confirmed that a resident in the facility has tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to Amica, the resident is currently in hospital receiving treatment, and was previously self-isolating in their suite since March 21. 

In a media release published Wednesday evening, the health unit explained that new directives from the Ontario Ministry of Health mean that even a single lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 among "a resident or a staff member is considered a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak for a facility."

Both Country Village Homes and Amica Riverside have implemented appropriate outbreak management protocols, while staff continue to wear personal protective equipment. 

Residents and staff at both facilities have been informed. 

One person has died in Windsor-Essex

On Wednesday, Windsor Regional Hospital reported the first death due to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex. 

The deceased was a man in his 80s with underlying chronic conditions. He was admitted to hospital with respiratory issues and died in the ICU Monday night. The man had recently travelled to Michigan. 

"It is sad. It is making the risk more real and people not realizing the potential impact of what they are facing — they should open their eyes now," said Ahmed. 

Ahmed said models and projections of deaths, like those posed in the U.S. Tuesday by President Donald Trump, are hard to predict. 

"I think it's no secret, people will die. It's a matter of how many will die and how many will be saved because of these measures," said Ahmed, adding that the Canadian government is taking the pandemic very seriously. "It is us that will save us ... any death that we can save, that is a gift to our community."

At least 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Sarnia seniors' home

Landmark Village seniors' home in Sarnia, Ont. is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak with at least six confirmed cases, including four deaths connected to the facility as of Wednesday.

Lambton Public Health said it's unclear how the coronavirus was first brought into the retirement home.

"So far we cannot connect that link," said Dr Sudit Ranade, medical officer of health in Sarnia-Lambton.

The health unit in Sarnia-Lambton reported 59 confirmed cases and six total deaths in the region. 

Chatham-Kent cases

Chatham Kent Public Health reports there are nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region as of Thursday.

As of Monday evening, Chatham-Kent medical officer of health Dr. David Colby confirmed that the region's first confirmed COVID-19 case — a man in his 50s — has made a full recovery. 

"He has done wonderfully," Colby wrote in a media release published Monday. "He has satisfied every quarantine measure that was put in place to prevent the spread of the infection."

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