Windsor·Video

CBC Windsor's March 30 COVID-19 update: 44 confirmed cases

Here's a look at what's happening in our area on Monday, March 30.

There are now 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our area

CBC Windsor brings you the latest local update on COVID-19 in our area. 18:49

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said Monday morning there are now 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex. That's a jump of 19 from Sunday. 

Part of the reason for the increase in numbers seen locally is due to a large amount of tests coming back, said officials. 

"We expected that increase because of our backlog of tests," said chief medical officer Dr. Wajid Ahmed, adding that tests should now return within 24 to 48 hours — but those with stronger symptoms in intensive care are prioritized.

Ahmed urged the public to continue self-isolation and physical distancing measures until numbers decrease. 

"The number of cases is increasing, the level of them coming into contact with someone else is high," said Ahmed. 

Most of these new cases were of people who have remained in self-isolation and were tested last week or the week before, said Ahmed. 

Of those cases, 60 per cent are male. Half of the cases are between the ages 40 and 59. The health unit is currently waiting on information about how many of the individuals are health-care workers in Michigan. 

Watch the health unit's Monday, March 30 update: 

Over the weekend ten in-patients in Windsor Regional Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 after efforts were made to overcome a backlog of tests for the virus.

Five of the 10 patients are at the Ouellette Campus, three are at the Metropolitan Campus and two have been discharged. Three of the patients are in critical care on ventilators to help them breathe.

"All three of them... deteriorated very quickly,"  said Wassim Saad, chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital.

"As soon as one of those patients starts to require oxygen, they are involved very quickly and [we] may even intubate the patient and take them to the ICU sooner than you would an average person.

Here's what's happening in Windsor-Essex.

More positive cases in Windsor-Essex

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will no longer be providing individual case details as the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the community grows. 

Instead, it said it will be focusing on overall numbers for our region by age, gender and travel history wherever the information is available. 

The number of positive cases grew to 25 on Sunday.

Five of those new cases belong to people in their 40s but a majority of those cases detected in Windsor-Essex County are people in their 60s.

Four deaths in Sarnia-Lambton attributed to COVID-19

Four people have died from COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, according to Bluewater Health. 

The Lambton region has 28 positive cases as of Sunday.

Chatham-Kent cases

There were six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Chatham-Kent area as of Sunday. 

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."

Meanwhile, more than 100 staff members at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance hospitals are in self-isolation after the March Break holiday.

"We have 100 staff and 17 physicians who are currently on self-isolation at home," said Lori Marshall, president and CEO at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Marshall said there are about 1,400 staff members employed at the hospitals in Chatham and Wallaceburg, and 250 physicians.

"We're currently experiencing lower occupancy levels because we've been doing everything that we can to help patients to be discharged home or to other alternative settings, and we've also really curtailed our elective surgeries," Marshall said. "We've been able to cope without having those staff present."

Canadian nurse working at Detroit hospital: 'We are fighting a war'

Jenna Meloche knows what it's like to deliver what could be a final message from a family member to someone struggling to breathe because of COVID-19. 

"A family member said to me 'I want you to go into my husband's room and I want you to say in his ear that his family loves him and we miss him and just be strong," said Meloche, a registered nurse who works at Henry Ford hospital in Detroit. 

She's one of thousands of health-care workers who live in the Windsor, Ont. area and cross the border into Michigan to treat people with COVID-19 in what is quickly becoming a "hot spot" for the coronavirus in the United States. 

"A lot of our patients die without the support of their family around them because of what's going on and I think that's a very important thing for people to know: we are not over-reacting, this is not a joke," said Meloche. 

There were nearly 5,500 cases reported statewide Sunday.

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