High COVID-19 rates move Windsor-Essex closer to province's red zone
Public health unit has reported 133 new cases since Monday
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 42 new cases for the region Wednesday.
Based on some current data, including the case rate and how quickly the virus is reproducing, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Windsor-Essex technically qualifies for the province's 'control' red category.
But Ahmed said that by Friday, when the province typically announces changes, these numbers can shift and there is other data the province looks at before moving a region into another category.
"Based on the numbers, I think it's pretty evident that we are [in the red category], but as I said the qualitative data would also be taken into consideration and we'll see what the province decides," said Ahmed.
Currently, Windsor-Essex is in the 'restrict' orange category.
Of Wednesday's 42 new cases, 19 are close contacts of a confirmed case, five are agri-farm workers, one is a local health care worker, two are travel related to Michigan, two are community acquired and 14 are under investigation.
There are 341 active cases in the region. Eighteen people are in hospital, including five in the ICU.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) announced one new community outbreak Wednesday, at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor. A community outbreak at Riverplace Residence in Windsor was declared Tuesday.
There are three workplaces with outbreaks, two in Leamington's agriculture sector and another at a place of worship in Leamington.
Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — remain in outbreak.
Begley now has 43 cases, 35 are students and eight are staff members. W. J. Langlois now has five cases.
The outbreak at Begley is still under investigation and public health officials say they are not yet sure how many community cases, in student family members, have resulted from the outbreak.
There are five long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak. Riverside Place in Windsor reported a spike in new cases Tuesday with 17 residents and two staff members testing positive.
Other homes in outbreak include:
- Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case.
- Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor with two staff cases.
- 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.
WECHU also issued potential exposure notices for two additional places this week:
- RIA Financial at 54 1/2 Erie St. S. in Leamington on Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 7: 30 p.m., Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Deer Run Church at 1408 Deer Run Rd. in Leamington on Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The potential exposures are considered by the health unit to be low risk, however anybody who visited these locations on the days and times listed are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
Several charges issued this month
This month, WECHU said it will be cracking down on those who don't comply with COVID-19 rules and will start issuing charges.
On Wednesday, chief nursing officer Theresa Marentette said since Nov. 1 the health unit has issued seven charges, most of which are related to non-compliance with masking or physical distancing.
University launches COVID-19 web page
The University of Windsor launched a COVID-19 web page Monday that lists the number of active cases on campus.
The school has had a total of eight cases to date, six of which are resolved. All of the cases occurred in November.