'Big achievement:' Windsor-Essex to surpass 100,000 vaccinated against COVID-19

·4 min read
The clinic at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington, Ont., is one of five mass vaccinations sites in Windsor-Essex. (Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit)
The clinic at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington, Ont., is one of five mass vaccinations sites in Windsor-Essex. (Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit)

The 100,000th resident of Windsor-Essex is expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), said it's a significant milestone, the result of a lot of work behind the scenes.

The vaccine rollout began in late December, and since then, 22.6 per cent of the region's population of about 420,000 have received at least one shot. The coverage translates to about a third of adults in the region, he said.

"It's a pretty big achievement," Ahmed said at the health unit's daily briefing Friday.

As of the morning, the health unit said, 98,928 people locally had received one or more doses, with 111,362 administered to date overall.

Clarity on vaccinations in hot spots

The health unit continues to book vaccinations for people 50 and up in priority postal codes.

Theresa Marentette, CEO of WECHU, said there are no plans as of now to expand beyond that age range and offer the vaccines to all adults, despite a rollout in Toronto and Peel's hot-spot postal codes.

Anyone meeting the current age criteria and living in one of seven postal codes — N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, or N9Y — can book an appointment to attend a mass vaccination clinic using the health unit's website or by calling.

The health unit presented data Friday showed average vaccination rates in the local hot-spot postal codes were at 18 per cent, slightly lower than the regional average.

The lowest rate was in N9B, the west Windsor postal code that includes part of the downtown and university area, at 12.8 per cent.

"So while there are some postal codes that require attention with regard to vaccinating the people in those particular postal codes, but the majority of them are well aligned with the rest of the region," said Ahmed.

<cite>(Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)</cite>
(Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)

Cases rising

The health unit on Friday reported 70 more cases, the highest one-day total since late January. There are 420 cases active in the community, nearly a quarter of which involve the more contagious variants of concern.

One more death has been attributed to COVID-19: a man in his 80s. Since the onset of the pandemic, 406 residents have lost their lives.

Ahmed presented a summary of the region's most recent epidemiological data, showing the region has a weekly rate of 72 cases per 100,000 people for the most recent seven days.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests that have come back positive for the week of April 3 was 5.5 per cent, an increase over 3.8 per cent the previous week.

While case rates are increasing locally, the rise hasn't been as sharp as elsewhere in the province as variants of concern drive the third wave of the pandemic. Windsor-Essex is also bucking the increasingly dire provincial trend on hospitalizations, according to the data.

Ahmed said hospitalization levels have remained stable, and the trend of younger people getting admitted to intensive care units — seen elsewhere in Ontario — has not reached Windsor-Essex.

As of Friday, there were 15 people in hospital with COVID-19 locally, including four in intensive-care units.

Of the 70 new cases announced on Friday:

  • 13 involve close contacts of cases that were previously identified.

  • Nine were community acquired, meaning there is no known source of transmission

  • 48 are under investigation.

There are eight ongoing outbreaks, including two at schools: Centennial Central Public School and St. Peter Catholic School.

There are also outbreaks at Southwest Detention Centre and Victoria Manor.

The four workplace outbreaks are in:

  • Kingsville's agriculture sector that involves the B117 variant.

  • Windsor's arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

  • Windsor's manufacturing sector.

  • Lakeshore's manufacturing sector.

COVID-19 exposure ID'd

The health unit has issued a COVID-19 exposure notice for I.D.A. TLC Pharmacy at 11811 Tecumseh Rd. E.

Potential exposure is considered low risk, but anyone who entered the pharmacy on the following dates is asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for two weeks after the date visited:

  • March 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

  • April 1 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

COVID-19 in Sarnia and Chatham-Kent

Lambton Public Health reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. There are 150 cases active overall, along with eight outbreaks. The new cases bring the region's cumulative total past 3,000.

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported an increase of 15 new case; 66 cases are considered active.