15 new COVID-19 deaths in Windsor-Essex; cases bounce back up

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Though there are signs that COVID-19 cases are plateauing in Windsor-Essex, deaths and outbreaks across the region continue.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 15 COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday, including six residents of long-term care and retirement homes.

The number of active outbreaks has risen to 53. Twenty-seven are in workplaces, while 20 outbreaks are active at seniors' homes.

The health unit also issued a "low risk" COVID-19 exposure notice Tuesday for a Dollarama located at 25 Amy Croft Dr. in Lakeshore for Jan. 4 to 9 and Jan. 13. Anyone who visited the store on those dates should monitor for symptoms 14 days from the time of exposure, the health unit said.

The region also saw an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases of 173, bringing the cumulative case count to 11,230.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with WECHU, said there are day-to-day fluctuations in new cases, but the seven-day average shows cases are "stabilizing." On Tuesday, the average stood at 177.1, virtually the same as Monday.

He also said there has been a bit of a slowdown in numbers of people seeking a COVID-19 test at Windsor Regional Hospital.

"That could mean a good thing because maybe people are not symptomatic. That's why they're not going to the assessment centre, or it could be some other factors," he said.

Death of retirement home resident under investigation

Ahmed confirmed that the death of a Windsor-Essex retirement home resident is being investigated. This person had received the COVID-19 vaccine.

He would not provide details because of patient privacy concerns.

Ahmed said when it comes to adverse reactions, there can be a correlation or there can be two completely isolated events.

"Sometimes, it's just the timing of one event versus the other," he said.

Ahmed said that based on the international data, the vaccine is safe and the most effective way of preventing COVID-19.

Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine shipments delayed

Ahmed says the region should be able to achieve its current vaccination target, despite delays in shipment for the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

Canada is only expected to receive half of its allotment of the vaccine over the next four weeks, according to Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics.

Ahmed said he has been provided with projections for receipt of vaccines after discussions the premier's office and retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading vaccine rollout in Ontario.

Staff and caregivers connected to seniors' facilities will continue to be the priority for vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNtech product. Second doses are already being administered.

"Based on the projection, we should be able to achieve that target, and we will continue to prioritize and reprioritize to make sure the long-term care, retirement home staff, residents, essential caregivers are given the first priority with any vaccine that comes in our region," he said.

Active case count down to just over 2,500

There are 2,519 active cases of COVID-19 in the region.

Of the new cases announced Tuesday, 15 are connected to outbreaks, 12 are close contacts of confirmed cases and two were community acquired. The majority remain under investigation.

Overall in the pandemic, 271 people in Windsor-Essex have lost their lives with COVID-19.

There are currently 121 people in hospital, 17 of them in intensive care.

Four hospital outbreaks active

The health unit declared a new outbreak at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare Monday. There are also three outbreaks active at Windsor Regional Hospital, two at the Ouellette campus and one in a unit of the Met Campus.

Two community settings, both Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario locations, are in outbreak.

Outbreaks are active at 27 workplaces:

  • Six in Leamington's agricultural sector.

  • Five in Kingsville's agricultural sector.

  • Three in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Leamington's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Kingsville's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Windsor's food and beverage service sector.

  • Two in Windsor's manufacturing sector.

  • One in a personal service setting in LaSalle.

  • Three in public administration settings in Windsor.

  • One in a retail setting in Essex.

  • One in Essex's finance and insurance sector.

  • One in a transportation and warehousing setting in Windsor

There are 20 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities:

  • Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with one staff case.

  • Regency Park in Windsor with three resident cases and one staff case.

  • Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case.

  • Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with five resident cases and one staff case.

  • Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases.

  • Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 31 resident cases and six staff cases.

  • Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases.

  • Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 31 resident cases and five staff cases.

  • Chateau Park in Windsor with four staff cases.

  • Leamington Mennonite Home with seven staff cases.

  • Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 51 resident and 15 staff cases.

  • Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 13 resident cases and eight staff cases.

  • Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 44 resident cases and 26 staff cases.

  • Sun Parlor Home in Leamington, one resident case and 10 staff cases.

  • Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 62 staff cases.

  • The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 28 resident cases and 11 staff cases.

  • Extendicare Tecumseh, with 90 resident cases and 57 staff cases.

  • Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 94 resident and 61 staff cases.

  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 161 resident cases and 126 staff cases.

  • Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 60 resident cases and 29 staff cases.

Cases in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia

In Lambton County, officials reported 28 new cases Tuesday. There have been 1,675 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

Chatham-Kent saw 11 new cases, bringing its total to 1,028.