Health unit announces 30 new COVID-19 cases

·3 min read
The health unit announced 30 new COVID-19 cases as drug overdoses see above average increase and a community alert is announced.  (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)
The health unit announced 30 new COVID-19 cases as drug overdoses see above average increase and a community alert is announced. (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) reported 30 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with the number of active cases remaining at 273.

Of these cases, two are related to outbreaks, eight cases are close contacts of confirmed cases and one case is travel related to Michigan. Another 18 cases are under investigation with one case being community acquired.

There were no new COVID-19 deaths announced Wednesday, and overall 401 residents of Windsor-Essex have lost their lives.

Overdoses at record high

Theresa Marentette, CEO and chief nursing officer of WECHU, also addressed the alert put out by the health unit regarding the number of drug overdoses in the community.

An alert was issued following 27 overdose-relate emergency department visits in Windsor in the last week.

Marentette said that the rate of overdoses this year was higher compared to the past five years during this time. She notes that factors such as changes in drug supply and more people using drugs alone may be at play.

She encourages people in the community to reach out to those who are vulnerable and ensuring they have access to naloxone as the city works toward establishing a safe injection site.

Vaccinating vulnerable groups

A total of 51,636 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Windsor-Essex County residents.

The number of vaccinated staff and residents in long term care homes and retirement homes who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is 7,160.

The unit confirms they are currently not rescheduling appointments for those seeking second-dose vaccination. Close to 1,000 people have had appointments cancelled after the province changed guidelines for the time in between shots.

Marentette also noted that discussions are happening to expand Essex-Windsor EMS at-home vaccination services for those with mobility issues. This may include elderly individuals and those who have health vulnerabilities and accessibility issues when going to a physical location to get vaccinated.

A vaccination timeline is also not yet in place for migrant workers who are prioritized in Phase 2 of Ontario's vaccination rollout but would mostly take place at Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington.

St. Patrick's Day public health measures

Marentette reinforced sticking to all public health measures and regulations with Windsor-Essex still in the red zone on this St. Patrick's Day.

Tobacco and vaping enforcement officers will be working with local bylaw officers today and into the evening to ensure businesses are adhering to physical gathering requirements.

Current outbreaks

Two workplaces have active outbreaks:

  • One in Lakeshore's public administration sector

  • One in Windsor's retail sector

There are also two active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities:

  • Riverside Place in Windsor, with one staff case.

  • Leamington Mennonite Home, with one staff case.

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

Lambton Public Health announced four new active cases, bringing the total to 179 . There have been 2,451 cases in total in that region, which has recently moved into the province's grey-lockdown zone.

In Chatham-Kent, four new cases of COVID-19 were announced with 65 active cases. One outbreak has also been declared at a place of worship.