Windsor

Omicron variant case reported in Windsor-Essex, 3 more lives lost

The omicron variant has been reported in Windsor-Essex, public health reported on Tuesday. Three more people have died due to the disease including a woman in her 20s.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported a case of the variant Tuesday

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported three more people have died locally due to COVID-19, including a woman in her 20s. One case of the omicron variant has also been reported in the community. (Mike Evans/CBC)

The omicron variant has been reported in Windsor-Essex, public health reported on Tuesday.

According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), one case of the variant has been detected in the region. 

"The emergence of omicron serves as a reminder of how quickly things continue to change during the pandemic," Nicole Dupuis, the CEO of WECHU, said in a statement.

"As we fully expect omicron will become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the coming weeks the importance of getting vaccinated with first, second, or third doses as soon as possible cannot be over-emphasized."

Ontario announced two weeks ago that it had detected Canada's first two omicron cases. Since then, the variant has come to represent about 11 per cent of infections, according to the province's expert pandemic advisory panel, and has begun spreading in local communities.

The province's top doctor has said he expects omicron will become dominant within weeks. 

WATCH | Ontario science advisor says omicron will take new measures:

What worked before will work again in fight against omicron, says Ontario science adviser

10 months ago
Duration 8:57
Though he expects a 'massive wave' of omicron cases, Dr. Peter Jüni, the head of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, says strategies that worked earlier in the pandemic will work again against omicron.

Canada's chief public health officer said Monday there is evidence of community spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant and new COVID-19 cases are expected to "rapidly escalate" in the coming days.

Dr. Theresa Tam said there is "great spread potential" with omicron and the situation in Canada is a "few days or maybe a week" behind the U.K. — where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country is dealing with a "tidal wave" of new infections, with the caseload doubling every two or three days as the variant takes hold.

"We know how to work together to flatten that curve and we need to do that pretty rapidly, starting now," Tam said. "As with other waves of the pandemic, rapid action and reducing contact [are] key to preventing that very sharp peak."

44 new cases locally, woman in her 20s and two others died

Amid the report of the new variant discovered locally, WECHU is also reporting 44 new COVID-19 cases for the region and three more people have died due to the disease. 

One person was a woman in her 20s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s have also died. 

Thirty-four people are in local hospitals with the disease. 

Although one case of omicron was reported, the dominant variant of concern in the region is the delta variant with 3,837 cases reported locally. 

WECHU reported the first case of the omicron variant in Windsor-Essex Dec. 14, 2021. (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)

There are 22 workplace and community outbreaks within the community. 

Chartwell Royal Oak Long Term Care Residence and Country Village Health Care remain under outbreak. As of Tuesday, Sun Parlor Home for Senior Citizens is also under an outbreak.

Seven schools are also under an outbreak:

  • Stella Maris Catholic School.
  • Dr. David Suzuki Public School.
  • St. Anne French Immersion Catholic School.
  • Margaret D. Bennie Public School.
  • Leamington District Secondary School.
  • Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic School.
  • Hugh Beaton Public School.

According to WECHU, when a case is identified at a school or child-care centre, an investigation is launched to determine if others may have been impacted. 

If there's evidence of the virus spreading, a dismissal of classes or cohorts will take place. This may also include bus cohorts or extracurricular program cohorts. 

However, having a dismissal does not always mean there is an outbreak. More information can be found here. 

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton

Sarnia has 82 active cases, an increase of five new cases, and five outbreaks Tuesday, according to Lambton Public Health. 

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported an increase of 18 new cases Tuesday. There are 11 people in hospital with the disease. 

With files from John Paul Tasker and Holly McKenzie-Sutter, the Associated Press

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