CBC Windsor July 2 COVID-19 update: 3 new confirmed cases

Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex on Thursday July 2.

Two cases are among agri-farm workers, one is a community case

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. (Vince Robinet/CBC)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) provided provide a COVID-19 update Thursday morning, announcing three new cases in the region. 

Two cases are among workers in the agri-farm sector, while one is a community case. 

Today's numbers bring the region's total confirmed COVID-19 case count up to 1,614. 

Two long-term care homes are currently experiencing an outbreak — Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor and Extendicare Tecumseh.

Windsor's epidemic curve as of July 2, 2020. (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)

Additionally, four agricultural workplaces are experiencing an outbreak — two in Kingsville and two in Leamington. 

WECHU CEO and chief nursing officer Theresa Marentette delivered Thursday's briefing, as medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed was unable to attend due to personal reasons.

WATCH | Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's July 2 COVID-19 briefing:

Health unit provides additional detail about Essex County farm under new Section 22 order

On Wednesday, Ahmed issued an order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, effectively shutting down an Essex County farm where 191 workers tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. 

As per the directive, the farm's owner/operator has been ordered to ensure that workers isolate and stop working "until further direction."

Additionally, the facility has been prohibited from hiring contract workers to replace those employees currently in isolation, according to Marentette.

WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette calls some of the comments made by those who opposed the sites 'hard to read.' (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

The health unit didn't specify the farm by name. 

The new Section 22 order comes approximately one week after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a three-point plan to better support the province's agri-farm workers, which includes a provision allowing positive asymptomatic workers to continue working outdoors in isolation.

During Thursday's briefing, Marentette explained that the province's guidelines were issued based on farms associated with a limited number of asymptomatic workers.

"In this particular farm, it's not a limited a amount, it's a substantial amount," she said, adding that the order was put in place to protect workers and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 

In terms of other farms potentially receiving similar orders, Marentette said "every farm scenario is a little different," saying that Ahmed, as medical officer of health, will make the "best decision for the protection of the workers in our community."

Marentette said the health unit is working with both the Essex County farm in question, as well as the provincial Health Ministry, to make sure that "everything is in place to isolate appropriate and allow the health unit to follow up with everyone."

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton

As of July 2, a total of 285 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, with 257 of those cases having been resolved. 

Twenty five people have died and the local health unit reports that a single facility is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. 

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent

As of July 2, a total of 158 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the region, with 155 of those cases having been resolved. 

A total of one person has died. There are currently no facilities experiencing an active COVID-19 outbreak. 

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