Windsor-Essex seeing slight resurgence in COVID-19 cases: health unit

Four new COVID-19 deaths have occurred in Windsor-Essex, and 23 new cases were reported on Friday

Dr. Wajid Ahmed said case increase partially fueled by outbreaks at shelters

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU's medical officer of health, reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and four additional deaths. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Windsor-Essex has seen a slight increase in COVID-19 cases that is partially being driven by recent outbreaks at shelters for the homeless, according to the public health unit.

But even if those outbreaks hadn't occurred, local case counts remain high, said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County.

In the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's daily briefing on Friday, Ahmed said the region still meets the criteria to be in the red "control" zone of restrictions, the second-highest tier in the province's public health framework.

The region entered that zone on Tuesday.  The effects of the loosened public health restrictions after two months of lockdown won't be fully felt for a few weeks, Ahmed said.

"Unless we start to see [daily] cases between 10 and 20, on a consistent basis, only then we will go below the red zone," he said.

Ahmed presented his weekly epidemiological report on Friday, which showed the region remains in the "very early stages" of flattening the curve, and deaths are starting to show early signs of stabilizing.

The weekly case rate was 58.1 per 100,000 for the week ending Sunday, Ahmed said. That's up from the previous week's total of 46.1.

The increase was party due to the outbreaks at the Downtown Mission and Salvation Army, he said.

As of the week ending on Feb. 13, 2.9 per cent of 8,283 tests conducted came back positive.

On Friday, the health unit reported the deaths of four more residents of Windsor-Essex as well as an increase of 23 COVID-19 cases.

Three of those who died, two women in their 80s and one in her 90s, were residents of long-term care. The other person who died was a man in his 80s who lived in the community.

Two of the new cases are outbreak related, eight are close contacts of confirmed cases, two were community acquired and 11 are under investigation.

There are 301 active cases in the region, and 12,719 people have tested positive since the pandemic began.

Overall, 368 residents have died due to COVID-19. There are currently 36 people in hospital, including six in ICU.

More than 10,600 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the health unit's figures.

11 active outbreaks

The number of local outbreaks is continuing to decline, Ahmed said in his report.

There are 11 currently active. They include two at Windsor Regional Hospital and, two at shelters serving the homeless population, the Downtown Mission and Salvation Army.

Outbreaks are active at two workplaces — one in Windsor's manufacturing sector and one in Leamington's agriculture sector.

There are five active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities:

  • Franklin Gardens in Leamington, with 38 resident cases and 17 staff cases.
  • Regency Park in Windsor, with 25 resident cases and 15 staff cases.
  • Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 48 resident cases and nine staff cases.
  • Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 43 resident cases and 10 staff cases.
  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 176 resident cases and 142 staff cases.

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

 Health officials reported six new COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent on Friday, and 21 cases are active overall. Nine people have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

In Sarnia-Lambton, 12 new cases were announced on Friday. Ninety-five of the region's 1,993 cases are active and 46 people have died after contracting COVID-19.

Public exposure notices

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit issued COVID-19 exposure notifications for several locations on Thursday. The exposures are considered low risk, the health unit said, but people who visited the following locations at the the times below are asked to monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the exposure date:

  • Remark Fresh Markets at 2727 Howard Ave. in Windsor on Feb. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • TD Bank at 156 Ouellette Ave. in Windsor on Feb. 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and Feb. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Real Canadian Superstore  at 4371 Walker Rd. in Windsor on Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m and Feb. 13 from 8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. and Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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