Less than two weeks into school year, COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at four Windsor-Essex schools.
Public health has announced new outbreaks at Sandwich Secondary School, Al-Hijra Academy and Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) closed St. Joseph's Catholic High School over a COVID-19 outbreak declared earlier this week. The health unit is holding a COVID-19 testing clinic for students and staff at the school until 4 p.m. on Friday.
Each of the four school outbreaks are tied to the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which has spurred a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Since the start of the school year, 11 COVID-19 cases have been identified within schools in the English public school board and 18 within the English Catholic school board, according to data posted to the boards' websites.
404 cases active
Though case rates in Windsor-Essex remain higher than almost anywhere else in Ontario, the situation has shown some recent improvement, according to public health statistics.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says there are 404 active COVID-19 cases in the community as of Friday. The active case count exceeded 500 at the end of August.
On Friday, the health unit announced 40 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, 16 people with COVID-19 are in hospital and 23 outbreaks are active, including the four declared at schools.
The outbreaks also include one at Berkshire Care Centre and one at a Kiwanis camp in Leamington.
The remainder are at various workplaces:
Five agriculture businesses in Leamington.
Two agriculture settings in Kingsville.
Five health-care and social assistance workplaces in Windsor.
One health-care and social assistance workplace in Kingsville.
One health-care and social assistance workplace in LaSalle.
One manufacturing settings in Windsor.
One fitness and sports setting in Windsor.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton
In Lambton County, eight new COVID-19 cases have been identified, public health reported on Friday. Forty-two cases are active in total.
Chatham-Kent, which currently has the highest COVID-19 case rate in Ontario, reported 17 new cases. In total, 113 cases are active, a decrease of two since Thursday.