Local COVID-19 case data won't be updated from Windsor-Essex County Health Unit until next week

Despite COVID-19 surging across the region and province once again, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is putting a pause on its daily updates until next week due to the holidays. 

Here's a look at vaccination availability and testing over the holidays

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. (Mike Evans/CBC)

Despite COVID-19 surging across the region and province once again, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is putting a pause on its daily updates until next week due to the holidays. 

On Thursday, the health unit reported 105 new cases and another death due to COVID-19. That is the final data being released until Dec. 29, which is when the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) will also hold a COVID-19 briefing with the media. 

After that, the next set of numbers will come out on Dec. 30 and then Jan. 4. 

During media briefings this past week, the health unit reminded residents to keep gatherings small and reduce the number of contacts they will be meeting up with in the hopes of curbing any further spread of COVID-19. Across the province, gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

"If you're sick, don't go to a holiday party or don't go to a holiday gathering," said Windsor-Essex acting medical officer of health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai on Thursday. 

"The general measures still are worthwhile to wear a mask indoors, to wear a mask if you cannot stay consistently two metres away from another person ... wash your hands frequently." 

And while Nesathurai said they are concerned there might be a further surge of cases after the holidays, he reminded people that to best protect themselves and others they should get vaccinated, including a booster shot. 

As of Thursday, more than 93,000 people in the region have received a booster vaccine.

But Nesathurai also added that even though there are restrictions, there are ways to still be social. 

"I also think it's important that people try to live their lives as best as they can throughout the holiday season, although there are restrictions on the number of people who can gather in person, there's no restriction on the number of people who can gather virtually," he said. 

Another mass vaccination site to open in Windsor Jan. 5

In a news release Thursday, the health unit said it will open another vaccination site at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Dr. Y Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility on Jan. 5. 

Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is coordinating the effort to create the Windsor-Essex Ontario Health Team. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The centre will offer first, second and third doses for those with compromised immune systems, along with boosters. People can start booking as of Dec. 29 at 8 a.m. The location will not be taking walk-ins. 

The site will have appointments available for: 

  • Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Friday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This location is in addition to the one that is currently running at Devonshire Mall and another that will be opening on Jan. 5 at Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington. 

COVID-19 tests, vaccine availability during holidays

Anyone needing a COVID-19 test over the holidays will have a few options.

Windsor Regional Hospital said its COVID-19 assessment centre for the general public will be available by appointment.

The hospital's youth clinic will also be open during the holidays. Appointments can be made online.

The Erie Shores HealthCare assessment centre will also be offering tests over the holidays, by appointment.

Tests will also be offered for asymptomatic individuals at pharmacies, and the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre will be providing tests for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people, and their families, in Windsor.

More information about Windsor-Essex County Health Unit vaccine clinics can be found on the agency's website.

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