The local public health unit reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday amid a sharp decline in the number of active cases in Windsor-Essex.
The number of people known to have active coronavirus infections stands at 1,156 — a reduction of about 1,400 cases in a week.
"Today's a good day with the numbers and progress," said Theresa Marentette, CEO and chief nursing officer of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, said the region is on the right track and most people are following the lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home order.
"I am quite optimistic looking at these case counts and the number of active cases," he said.
Case counts and other indicators have been seeing declines for several weeks following a sharp spike that started in the fall and peaked in early January.
Despite the continuing trend of fewer new cases and active cases overall, the death toll continues to rise in Windsor-Essex.
The health unit reported four deaths on Tuesday, including two people who were seniors' home residents. Overall, 295 people have died from COVID-19 in the region since the pandemic began.
There are also 108 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 15 in intensive care.
Moderna vaccine rollout to continue
Meanwhile, the health unit says second vaccinations at seniors' homes will proceed later this week as scheduled despite a change in the vaccine rollout plan from the provincial government.
The provincial COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force announced Monday that due to Pfizer-BioNTech shortages, vaccinations will be delayed for health-care workers and essential caregivers to focus on other priority groups such as long-term care residents.
The health unit is using a different product, the Moderna vaccine. They expect to start second doses on Thursday for seniors' home residents, essential caregivers and staff.
Everyone already vaccinated will be able to receive their second dose, according to the health officials, and they don't anticipate there will be issues in receiving their next supply of the vaccine, scheduled for early next month.
While Ahmed estimates 80 to 85 per cent of all seniors' care home residents have received their first shots, there are still some who have not received any vaccine due to active COVID-19 infections.
The health unit said it was trying to get to those residents as well.
"We're monitoring all of the doses to try to make sure that even the residents that have not had their first doses, we'll be able to vaccinate them as well," said Marentette.
53 outbreaks remain active
Of the 53 new cases announced Tuesday, four are linked to outbreaks, three were community acquired and eight are close contacts of confirmed cases. The rest are under investigation.
There are 53 outbreaks active in the region, including five between Windsor Regional Hospital and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.
Outbreaks are active at 28 workplaces:
Eight in Leamington's agricultural sector.
Six in Kingsville's agricultural sector.
One in Leamington's food and beverage sector
Five in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector.
One in Kingsville's health care and social assistance sector.
Three 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 20 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities:
Franklin Gardens in Leamington with six resident cases and one staff case
Heron Terrace in Windsor with one resident case and one staff case.
Chartwell Leamington with two resident cases and two staff case.
Regency Park in Windsor with nine resident cases and nine staff cases.
Chartwell Royal Marquis in Windsor with one resident case and one staff case.
Harrowood Senior Community Living in Harrow, with six resident cases and two staff cases.
Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 44 resident cases and six staff cases.
Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases.
Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 40 resident cases and seven staff cases.
Leamington Mennonite Home with seven staff cases.
Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 64 resident and 18 staff cases.
Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 15 resident cases and eight staff cases.
Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 47 resident cases and 25 staff cases.
Sun Parlor Home in Leamington with two resident cases and 13 staff cases.
Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 64 staff cases.
The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 30 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 62 staff cases.
The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 164 resident cases and 137 staff cases.
Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 65 resident cases and 34 staff cases.
COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent
In Lambton County, six new cases were reported on Tuesday, along with one additional death. Chatham-Kent, saw an increase of 18 cases.
Both regions announced they received a supply of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.