Amherstburg residents aged 70 and older will be able to walk into the Libro Credit Union Centre to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday.
The clinic will administer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The expectation is that the site will vaccinate 350 people a day, though it has a maximum capacity of 100 people per hour, according to Rick Daly, the manager of recreation services for the town.
Daly said registrants will be asked if they need mobility assistance before entering as they'll be required to travel a distance equivalent to "four football fields" from when they first enter the building to when they leave.
The clinic, located at 3295 Meloche Rd., will be open Wednesday to Saturday this week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday the next two weeks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Although the clinic is fully booked until Friday, people can book an appointment online for the days after through the local health unit's website.
Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the clinic offers some convenience and accessibility as it will allow for local residents to get vaccinated without the need to travel as far in the region.
"That's been a big issue for people, especially seniors and people with mobility issues and not being able, for example, to get to Windsor to get a vaccine. So it's going to make a big difference for them that this is now in their backyard, so to speak," he said.
This is the fifth vaccine clinic to open in the region, with others available at the following sites:
WFCU Centre at 8787 McHugh St. in Windsor.
Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre at 249 Sherk St. in Leamington.
St. Clair College Sportsplex at 2000 Talbot Rd. W. in Windsor.
Windsor Hall at the corner of Ferry Street and Pitt Street in Windsor.
37 new COVID-19 cases on Monday
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) announced 37 new cases of the disease on Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 13,809. The total number of deaths remain at 402.
Of the newly reported cases on Monday, one is outbreak-related, 10 are close contacts of confirmed cases, nine are community-acquired and 17 are still being investigated.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health, said while the province is seeing a growing number of cases, he said he hasn't seen the same increase in Windsor-Essex.
"We're seeing a significant increase in the province with the variant of concern increasing," he said. "We have been lucky. So far, we haven't seen the same increase."
"We are seeing some occasional rise in the number of cases. I truly hope that this is just a one time thing," he said.
Dr. Ahmed said the local health unit will be monitoring for possible new cases that might be presented through wastewater surveillance data.
"But generally speaking, with this vaccine rollout, with more people getting vaccinated, we are seeing some benefit for that as well. So in the next couple of weeks, we will know better," he said, adding that vaccine distribution in the region has been going well.
"We have been doing a very good in terms of our vaccination uptake in our community and we really want everyone to get vaccinated, doesn't matter which vaccine. All of these vaccines are very effective in preventing severe hospitalization and severe disease with the COVID increase rise in the province," he said.
There are 293 active cases in the region.
There are 16 people in hospital in the region, with five in the intensive care unit.
According to WECHU, 72,851 residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine — 60,768 people have received their first dose of the vaccine and 12,083 have received both doses.
The public health authorities identified 61 preliminary or confirmed variant of concern cases.