3rd wave hasn't hit Windsor-Essex yet but we're 'on the precipice': WECHU

The health unit announced 30 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Health unit reports 30 new cases of COVID-19

The health unit announced 30 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. (Vince Robinet/CBC)

Windsor-Essex hasn't entered the third wave of the pandemic just yet, but case rates have stabilized at a level that remains high.

That's according to Ramsey D'Souza, manager of the epidemiology team with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), who delivered a presentation at the health unit's briefing on Thursday.

"Windsor-Essex currently at the moment has not entered a third wave but remains on the precipice," he said.

The Ontario Hospital Association declared earlier this week that the province is in a third wave.

D'Souza said Windsor-Essex is not seeing the same trends as the rest of the province in terms of increasing case counts and hospitalizations, but noted that our case counts are roughly as high as they were in the peak of the first wave last summer.

The region is also seeing a rise in variants of concern since late February, he said. 

Theresa Marentette, CEO and chief nursing officer of WECHU, said she has had no recent conversations with the province about the region's status within the COVID-19 restrictions framework, which usually take place before there are changes made regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

The region has been in the red zone for over a month.

Amherstburg vaccination site to open

Meanwhile, the health unit is expecting to finish vaccinating people who are 80 and older sooner than expected.

Marentette previously said those registered could expect a vaccine but the end of the month, but announced Thursday that said the goal will be reached sometime mid to late next week.

"We are booking over 700 people a day for this 80 plus clinic," she said.

The health unit will be also opening a fifth clinic, at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg, on March 29, she said.

The health unit reported 30 new cases of the virus on Thursday.

Of these cases, 10 cases are close contacts of confirmed cases, seven are related to outbreaks, a further seven were community acquired, and six are under investigation.

There were no new COVID-19 deaths announced Thursday, and overall 401 residents of Windsor-Essex have died from the illness.

Twenty-three people are in hospital, including four in ICU.

The health unit issued a possible COVID-19 exposure notice Thursday at the Bath and Body Works in Devonshire Mall. In the notice, the health unit said anyone who attended the location on March 13 between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure. 

There are currently 11 active outbreaks spread across sectors. 

Five workplaces are in outbreak:

  • One in Essex's manufacturing sector.
  • One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.
  • One in Windsor's public administration sector.
  • One in Windsor's retail sector.
  • One in Windsor's repair and maintenance sector.

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

  • Riverside Place in Windsor, with one staff case.
  • Leamington Mennonite Home, with one staff case.

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