6 businesses charged with violating COVID-19 restrictions in Windsor-Essex

Several businesses were charged for violating COVID-19 rules during the first weekend since the lockdown was lifted in Windsor-Essex, the public health unit says.

Health unit shuts down Downtown Mission, city to open emergency shelter

There were 13 new COVID-19 cases announced in Windsor-Essex on Monday, and one additional death. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Several businesses were charged for violating COVID-19 rules during the first weekend since the lockdown was lifted in Windsor-Essex, the public health unit says.

In the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's daily briefing on Monday, CEO Theresa Marentette said the health unit's officers were out alongside city bylaw officers over the weekend to ensure businesses were complying with the newly updated restrictions.

The region entered the red "control" zone of COVID-19 public health measures on Tuesday, allowing for the limited reopening of indoor dining and personal care settings such as hair salons for the first time since mid-December.

Four restaurants were charged by the health unit's officers for exceeding capacity limits. The capacity limit for bars and eateries is 10 patrons, and tables can have no more than four people for regions within the red zone.

Two personal service settings were charged for non-compliance with masking requirements, she said.

"I guess we expected as the reopening again occurs there would be people that are maybe not clear, so our enforcement officers are doing what they can to re-educate people and make sure they are aware," Marentette said.

The health unit said those charges don't include any that may have been laid by other agencies.

299 active COVID-19 cases

On Monday, the health unit reported one additional death related to the pandemic, a woman in her 70s, and an increase of 13 COVID-19 cases.

Of the new cases announced Monday, one is outbreak related, two are close contacts of confirmed cases, two were related to travel outside North America, two were community acquired and the remaining six are under investigation.

There are 299 active cases in the region, and 12,784 people have tested positive since the pandemic began.

Overall, 373 residents have died due to COVID-19. There are currently 42 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

More than 11,000 people have received both required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Announcement expected on vaccine rollout

The health unit is "very close" to finalizing plans for vaccination the next group of priorities, which includes people who are 80 and older, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for the region.

"I am expecting that by tomorrow, we should be able to make some further announcement in terms of what people can expect," he said.

The health unit said it received a donation of a new freezer from ice cream maker Chapman's to store vaccines.

Marentette said the freezer can accommodate the very low temperatures required to store the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

"It will help a great deal and we appreciate it," she said.

New emergency shelter opening

There are 10 COVID-19 outbreaks across the region, including two at the Downtown Mission and Salvation Army shelters.

WECHU has ordered the Downtown Mission closed because of the outbreak, Ahmed said. The Mission had already closed its two main facilities voluntarily last week, but the new order makes the closures mandatory.

Seventy cases are associated with the outbreak, including clients and staff.

The Mission will be allowed to operate for existing clients at the former Windsor Public Library central branch building on Ouellette Avenue.

Meanwhile, the city is opening up a new emergency shelter this week due to the outbreaks. The shelter is being set up to operate out of the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, which will be staffed by multiple community agencies as well as the Downtown Mission. 

Two outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital, as well as two workplaces  — one in Windsor's manufacturing sector and one in Leamington's agriculture sector.

There are four 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.
  • Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 43 resident cases and 10 staff cases.
  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 177 resident cases and 143 staff cases.

An outbreak at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare was cleared by the health unit on Monday. The outbreak took place on 3South in the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility. In total, three staff and five patients had tested positive. 

The hospital is not experiencing any other outbreaks at this time. 

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

 Health officials reported five new COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent since Friday's update, and 22 cases are active overall. Nine people have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

In Sarnia-Lambton, which entered the red "control" zone of COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, has 98 active cases of COVID-19. 

Forty-six people have died after contracting COVID-19.

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