Windsor-Essex health unit asks for more support as COVID-19 cases rise

More than a dozen new staff members will join the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's team of COVID-19 chasers and managers as the region continues to see a spike in cases. 

There are 51 new cases Friday

The health unit is looking to bring on more staff members as workloads rise with increasing cases. (Vince Robinet/CBC)

More than a dozen new staff members will join the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's team of COVID-19 investigators and managers as the region continues to see a spike in cases. 

During the health unit's daily briefing Friday, chief nursing officer Theresa Marentette said they are reaching out to the Ministry of Health for additional support and hiring at least 17 new staff members to join their COVID-19 team.

This outreach for additional help comes as the region reports 51 new cases Friday. 


Of these, 22 are close contacts of a confirmed case, six are community acquired, three are travel related, two are agri-farm workers, two are local healthcare workers and 16 are under investigation. 

"The strain is the increase in numbers, the ability to reach cases within 24 hours and all contacts within 24 and 48 hours," Marentette said. 

There are 354 active cases in the region. Fourteen people are in hospital, including two in the ICU. 

The local COVID-19 death toll rose to 78 Thursday as the health unit reported that a Windsor man in his 60s died in hospital from the disease. 

In total, the region has 15 outbreaks across four different sectors. 

There are seven workplace outbreaks, including: 

  • Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. 
  • One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. 
  • One in a Leamington place of worship. 
  • One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. 
  • One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. 

Two community outbreaks are still active, one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. 

Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.

Begley now has 49 cases, 40 are students and nine are staff members. W. J. Langlois has five cases. 

The outbreak at Begley is still under investigation and public health officials say they are not yet sure how many cases involving family members of students have resulted from the outbreak. 

There are four long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak. 

Other homes in outbreak include:

  • Riverside Place in Windsor has 17 resident cases and two staff cases. 
  • Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case.
  • Lifetimes on Riverside in Windsor with five resident cases and four staff cases. 
  • Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases. 

Local mask order rescinded

Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Friday he is rescinding the local masking order put in place by the health unit as they believe that the provincial order is enough. 

Ahmed said people have expressed confusion over all the orders administered, so the removal of the health unit's might make it more clear. 


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