CBC Windsor August 6 COVID-19 update: 5 new cases today

Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex on Thursday, August 6.

Wednesday saw lowest new case count since March 25

Wednesday saw only one new case of COVID-19 reported. On Thursday, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said he hopes the rate stays low and the region can enter the next stage of reopening. (REUTERS)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported five new COVID-19 cases in our region Thursday, marking two days in a row of relatively low numbers.

One of the new cases is in a farm worker and two cases were contracted through community spread. Another two cases have ties to Michigan — one person a health-care worker in the state and another case linked to travel there. 

On Wednesday, the health unit reported just one new case of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex. That's the lowest daily case count since March 25, when no cases were reported for that day.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said Thursday he hopes the spread of the virus remains low so that the region — the last in Ontario to do so — can move into Stage 3 of reopening. 

"It gives me hope that we're getting a lot closer to Stage 3 and I'm very optimistic for an announcement next week," Dilkens said on CBC Radio's Windsor Morning

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says he's optimistic Windsor-Essex will move into the next stage of reopening soon. (City of Windsor)

The Ontario government decides when an area is able to enter the next stage of reopening, in consultation with local public health and criteria including "virus spread and containment, health system capacity, public health system capacity and incidence-tracking capacity."

Stage 3 means roughly 90 per cent of businesses can reopen, including indoor dining.

"It will make a lot of difference for businesses like restaurants who can't have people inside," said Dilkens. 

"We want to keep everyone safe ... but we need to start ramping up the economy as well so folks who have their life savings in businesses can survive as well."

The health unit reported five new cases on Thursday and just one on Wednesday. (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)

Windsor-Essex still has the highest rate of the disease per capita in the province. 

Overall there have 2,356 confirmed cases of the disease in the region and 2,006 of those cases are resolved. In total 71 people have died. Six people are in hospital and three in the ICU. Another 260 people are self-isolating. Another 10 cases are listed on the health unit's website as "unknown." 

There are 13 workplaces currently under a COVID-19 outbreak in Windsor-Essex. The health unit has not specifically named any of the workplaces because the organization only does so if there is a risk to the community. 

Augustine Villas retirement home in Kingsville remains under a COVID-19 outbreak after three staff members tested positive for the disease. 

Windsor-Essex Catholic board preps for September

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board held a virtual board meeting Wednesday evening to provide details on its back-to-school agenda for September amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the meeting, plans for mental health supports, before and after school childcare programs, special education needs and mask-wearing protocol were discussed, among many other topics. 

Though the plan is being made public, the board said that additional details are still being worked out and changes can still be made. Since the region hasn't entered Stage 3 like the rest of the province, the board said Ontario Premier Doug Ford or Ministry of Education could alter the plans for the region.

WATCH | The health unit's COVID-19 update for August 6:

Some of the changes WECDSB will be implementing for the new school year:

  • All staff and students will be required to do a daily self-assessment prior to entering the school.
  • Anyone experiencing any symptoms of illness will have to stay home.
  • Physical distancing measures will be in place: no hand holding or hugging will be allowed 
  • Furniture and desks will be spaced out as far as possible.
  • High school students will be divided into two cohorts — A and B.
  • High school students will attend school on a two week alternating schedule:
  • Three days in the first week and two days in the next week.
  • On the days that students are not in school, they're expected to do online learning.
  • Masks will also be required for students from grades 4 to 12 -- but they can take it off during recess times, which will be staggered.
  • Parents won't be allowed inside the schools, except in cases of emergency.
  • Parents can always opt to have their kids learn from home only as indicated by the Ministry of Education.

The other three school boards in our area have not released plans yet. 

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton

Lambton Public Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. There have been 319 total cases in the region. 

Overall, 25 people in Lambton County have died after testing positive for COVID-19. Another 271 people have recovered from the disease. 

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent

Chatham-Kent's health unit reported a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases in the region over the last week, and a second death has occurred due to COVID-19 in the region. 

A Chatham-Kent woman in her 50s died at Windsor Regional Hospital. 

"CK Public Health provides our condolences to the family and friends of this individual," said a spokesperson for the health unit.

As of Wednesday, Chatham Kent Public Health reported 299 cases for the region, with 220 recovered. Three people are in hospital and one workplace is in outbreak. 

The region entered Stage 3 of reopening July 17.

One workplace in the region is currently considered to have an active outbreak of COVID-19.