104 people hospitalized with COVID-19, two more deaths Friday

Two more people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, while another 104 people are in hospital with the disease.

Windsor health unit media briefings happening only on Thursdays moving forward

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. (Mike Evans/CBC)

Two more people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, while another 104 people are in hospital with the disease. 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) say the latest local victims were two women — one in her 60s and one in her 80s — who were not members of long-term care or retirement homes in the region. No other details were provided. 

There have now been 508 local deaths to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex. 

WECHU is also reporting there are 104 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 17 people in intensive care. 

The health unit recorded 270 new cases of COVID-19 for Windsor-Essex Friday, but due to the lack of available testing and provincial changes to case and contact management, this number continues to be lower than is accurate.

There are currently 24 long-term care and retirement homes under outbreak in Windsor-Essex, along with outbreaks at 29 community settings. 

Windsor Regional Hospital is currently experiencing outbreaks at four separate units, and Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare is also seeing outbreaks at two units. 

Health unit scales back on media briefings

 WECHU is scaling back the frequency of its question-and-answer sessions with the media, that for the last few months, have occurred on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

As of next week, officials will only make themselves available on Thursdays.

CEO Nicole Dupuis said it's because of changes in the information available about COVID-19 after testing was limited by the province, and daily case counts and information are inaccurately low. 

"Part of our conversation is around our data and our numbers related to COVID, and just with the change in the management of COVID-19 in the community and what information we're actually able to share, we just don't have the frequency of information to share that we have had in the past," Dupuis said during a media briefing Thursday. 

Acting medical officer of health, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, said he's hopeful the province will update its metric system when it comes to reporting on how the virus is tracking across the public health districts in Ontario. 

Nesathurai said the number of people hospitalized with the disease, or the growth in the presence of the coronavirus in waste water are good indicators of the "burden of disease" on the community. 

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

Lambton Public Health reported Friday another person has died due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 94 people.

As of Thursday, Chatham-Kent Public Health reported 18 people hospitalized with the disease in the community. 

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