Three funerals in Windsor-Essex result in COVID-19 clusters: Health unit

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Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and one additional death. (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and one additional death. (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) says several clusters of COVID-19 cases are associated with recent funerals and have resulted in 30 cases.

Theresa Marentette, CEO of WECHU, said new cases have popped up that are related to three funerals over the past few weeks. The health unit said approximately 50 contacts are tied to the three separate funeral clusters.

"The loss of a loved one is difficult time," Marentette said at the health unit's daily briefing on Tuesday.

"Coming together can be an important part of the grieving process. It is critical to remember that gatherings for any purpose increases the number of potential close contacts you have, and your risk of COVID-19."

She said that residents should follow public health measures, though she acknowledged that it's difficult for people stay physically apart while they are grieving.

"Having a mask on is not necessarily the only measure. It's the distancing as well, and adhering to those [capacity] limits and not gathering afterwards," she said.

The health unit reported one additional death on Tuesday, that of a man in his 60s who was a long-term care home resident, and 28 new cases of the virus.

The pandemic has claimed 403 lives in Windsor-Essex, and 13,837 people have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 to date.

There are also 19 people in hospital, including five in intensive care units.

Sixty-nine cases of COVID-19 that involve variants of concern have been identified locally. Two have been confirmed to be the variant first found in the U.K. while the rest of the results are preliminary.

There are 291 local cases of COVID-19 considered active, and 10 ongoing outbreaks.

Four community settings are in outbreak:

  • The Welcome Centre.

  • The Downtown Mission.

  • Victoria Manor.

  • South West Detention Centre.

Five workplaces are in outbreak:

  • One in Kingsville's agriculture sector

  • One in Essex's manufacturing sector.

  • One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.

  • One in Lakeshore's manufacturing sector.

  • One in Windsor's public administration sector.

One school, W.F. Herman Academy, has an active outbreak.

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton

Chatham-Kent is extending vaccine eligibility to all seniors. The municipality says residents born in 1956 (65 and older) can call to book an appointment. There are five new cases of COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, and 80 are active overall.

In Sarnia-Lambton, there were 18 new cases on Tuesday and 187 are active overall. Fifty people have died after contracting the virus since the pandemic started.