COVID-19 case counts are declining in Windsor-Essex, but there's still a long way to go, according to the local health unit.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit presented the latest epidemiological statistics in a briefing on Friday morning.
"As much as I'd like to be happy about [declining cases] ... you know how quickly things can change. We did very well in September-October and then it quickly changed," said Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health.
Windsor-Essex saw decreases in the weekly case rate, the presence of the virus in wastewater and test positivity, according to the newest weekly data.
For the week ending on Jan. 16, the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 8.7 per cent. That's a significant drop from the previous week's percentage of 11.7.
But Windsor-Essex remains one of the regions most deeply impacted by the virus in Ontario. The most recent weekly case rate of just below 300 people per 100,000 residents is about twice the provincial average.
And the overall case rate is the second worst in the province, behind only Peel region in the Greater Toronto Area.
The number of people who have died from COVID-19 is continuing to grow locally. The health unit announced the deaths of eight more residents on Friday, bringing the total number of lives lost to virus to 288.
The health unit also announced 99 newly diagnosed cases of the virus.
There are currently 1,990 cases of COVID-19 currently active throughout the region, a key figure that has fallen sharply in recent days. Just a week ago, there were more than 2,700 active cases.
1 new hospital outbreak
Of the 99 new COVID-19 cases announced Friday, 11 are connected to outbreaks, 11 are close contacts of confirmed cases, one was community acquired while the rest remain under investigation.
There are 50 active outbreaks spread across all sectors.
A new outbreak was declared on a unit of Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the second area of the hospital to become an affected by outbreak in the last week. According to the hospital, the outbreak is on 2S in the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility and two patients have tested positive.
It has been linked to the other outbreak on 3N, which was declared on Jan. 18.
Four other outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital's two campuses.
Two community settings, both locations of Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario, remain in outbreak.
Outbreaks were active at 23 workplaces:
Eight in Leamington's agricultural sector.
Five in Kingsville's agricultural sector.
Three in Windsor'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 manufacturing sector.
One in a retail setting in Windsor
One in a retail setting in Essex.
One in a retail setting in Lakeshore
One in a transportation and warehousing setting in Windsor
There are 19 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities:
Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with two resident cases and one staff case.
Regency Park in Windsor with seven resident cases and five staff cases.
Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case.
Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with six resident cases and two staff cases.
Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases.
Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 37 resident cases and six staff cases.
Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases.
Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 36 resident cases and six staff cases.
Leamington Mennonite Home with one resident case and seven staff cases.
Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 65 resident and 17 staff cases.
Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 13 resident cases and eight staff cases.
Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 46 resident cases and 26 staff cases.
Sun Parlor Home in Leamington with two resident cases and 12 staff cases.
Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 62 staff cases.
The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 29 resident cases and 16 staff cases.
Extendicare Tecumseh, with 90 resident cases and 57 staff cases.
Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 99 resident and 61 staff cases.
The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 163 resident cases and 133 staff cases.
Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 60 resident cases and 30 staff cases.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia
Sarnia-Lambton is reporting two new deaths on Frioday, along with six new cases of the virus. Thirty-five people in the region have died from COVID-19 and there have been 1,736 cases overall.
Chatham-Kent saw 15 new cases, bringing its total to 1,061.