Vaccine appointments open for ages 50-plus in Windsor-Essex hot spots

Appointments for vaccinations against COVID-19 for people 50 and older in some neighbourhoods in Windsor-Essex are opening up, but health officials haven't yet received direction to expand the age range despite Ontario's new stay-at-home order.

Health unit hasn't been given advice to expand beyond age that group despite Ontario's new stay-home order

The targeted vaccine clinic at the WFCU Centre in Windsor is shown during a tour March 3. Ontario's latest stay-at-home order began Thursday, with hopes as more people are vaccinated, the incidence of COVID-19 cases drops. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)

Appointments for vaccinations against COVID-19 are now available for people 50 and older in hot-spot neighbourhoods in Windsor-Essex, but it's unclear when eligibility could expand beyond that age group, despite Ontario's new stay-at-home order.

As of Thursday, anyone meeting age criteria and living in one of seven postal codes — N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, or N9Y — can book an appointment or attend a mass vaccination clinic on the health unit's website or by calling.

You must provide ID with your address or a bill to prove you live in one of the eligible areas.

On Wednesday, the province announced plans to extend vaccine eligibility to those 18 and older in designated COVID-19 hot spots, with shots offered through mobile clinics and pop-up sites. The hotspots are located within 13 public health units across Ontario.

But in a subsequent statement on Thursday, the province only named Peel Region and Toronto as areas where mobile teams would be offering shots within hotspots for that age group.

These are the seven postal code regions identified in Windsor-Essex in southwestern Ontario that will be prioritized for vaccinations. (CBC News Graphics )

Theresa Marentette, CEO of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said that the ministry of health has not yet provided direction on the plan to vaccinate younger residents locally.

"If there is further direction regarding a different age group, then we will have to look at that. But the information I have is 50-plus at this time," she said at the health unit's daily briefing on Thursday.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, said there are currently no plans for pop up or mobile clinics to target the hot spots.

Marentette and Ahmed said they haven't heard about any changes to the region's vaccine allotment that would allow them to administer vaccinations to more people.

"Whatever we are doing, the vaccine supply is still the same," said Ahmed.

The health unit also announced 39 new cases of COVID-19:

  • 11 involve close contacts of cases that were previously identified.
  • Eight cases were community acquired.
  • 20 are under investigation.

There are 393 active cases overall. Since February, 198 confirmed or preliminary cases involving more contagious variants of concern have been identified.

There are 17 people in hospital with COVID-19, including five in intensive care.

Over 108,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date, and 98,879 people have received at least one dose.

There are six ongoing outbreaks, including one newly announced at St. Peter Catholic School that involves a variant of concern. The Tecumseh school has four active student cases in a class cohort that was dismissed on April 4, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board said in a news release Wednesday.

Outbreaks are also ongoing at Southwest Detention Centre, Victoria Manor and three workplaces.

One of the outbreaks, at an agriculture business in Kingsville, involves the B117 variant of concern, which originated in the U.K.

Ahmed said the case hasn't resulted in any major spread. He said the health unit is working with farms to ensure that precautions are in place to protect temporary foreign workers.

"Every time when we have a case we act immediately to contain it. So far it's been working," he said.

The other two outbreaks are occurring in manufacturing settings in Windsor and Lakeshore.

COVID-19 exposure identified

The health unit has issued a COVID-19 exposure notice for FreshCo at 8100 Wyandotte Street East.

The potential exposures are considered low-risk but anyone who entered the grocery store on the following dates is asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for two weeks after the date they visited :

  • March 23, 24, 26 and 28 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • April 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COVID-19 in Sarnia and Chatham-Kent

Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported within Lambton County; 119 overall are active. 

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported an increase of one new case; 56 cases are considered active.

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