In the last five days, Windsor-Essex hospitals have taken in 20 more COVID-19 patients, according to new data from the health unit.
On Dec. 30, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) reported 18 COVID-19 patients, but as of Tuesday that number jumped to 38 patients. Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of the level of disease in the community.
This is happening as hospital staff remain off work due to the disease. As of Monday, more than 250 health care workers across the region are isolating after developing symptoms, being in contact with a confirmed case or testing positive for COVID-19.
In a news release Tuesday, WECHU reported 1,869 new cases of COVID-19 as of New Years Eve, according to new local data from the health unit. But, since testing eligibility and contact tracing methods have changed as of the end of December, case numbers are expected to be lower than actual counts and may not accurately represent the burden of disease within the community.
WECHU provided the following breakdown of the new cases:
Dec. 31: 352
Jan. 1: 322
Jan. 2: 287
Jan. 3: 578
Jan. 4: 330
There are currently 2,289 active cases in the region.
No new deaths have been reported. There have been a total of 495 deaths in the community.
There are nine schools or daycares in outbreak, eight community outbreaks, four long-term care or retirement homes in outbreak and two workplaces in outbreak.
Starting Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. new provincial COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect. These include:
Social gatherings are limited to five people indoors, 10 people outdoors.
50 per cent capacity at stores, including malls, and personal care services.
Restaurants, bars are closed to indoor dining, but remain open for patios or takeout.
Moving schools to online learning until at least Jan. 17.
More mass vaccination sites open Wednesday
On Wednesday, Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington and Hotel Dieu Grace Health Care's Dr. Y Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility open as mass vaccination clinics.
People will be able to book their first, second, third and booster shots at the sites. Both locations do not accept drop-ins.
Nature Fresh will have appointments for Tuesday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Hotel Dieu's clinic will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.