Health unit concerned over business non-compliance as region records 105 new COVID-19 cases

·2 min read
WECHU says businesses were still being told about proper personal protective equipment in the latest enforcement blitz. CEO Nicole Dupuis says these sorts of measures have been in place for more than a year and businesses should be enforcing them.  (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)
WECHU says businesses were still being told about proper personal protective equipment in the latest enforcement blitz. CEO Nicole Dupuis says these sorts of measures have been in place for more than a year and businesses should be enforcing them. (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)

Non-compliance tickets from the recent enforcement blitz concerns local health officials as it said some businesses are still not complying with COVID-19 measures that have been in place for more than a year.

"To say that it's concerning would be a bit of an understatement," said Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) CEO Nicole Dupuis during a media briefing Thursday.

Nine businesses were ticketed and 21 others were educated toward compliance over the weekend, she said. In these cases, Dupuis added that officers found some businesses weren't screening clients, didn't have a documented safety plan or were still not using personal protective equipment properly.

This enforcement blitz is one of several that the health unit and enforcement officers have completed since the start of the pandemic.

One more death, more than 100 new cases reported

Ahead of the holiday season, WECHU said it reminds people to follow public health guidance, get their vaccines or booster shot and keep gatherings small — all to help curb a further surge of COVID-19.

The health unit reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 and another death Thursday.

According to the health unit, the person who died was a man in his 70s from the community. In total, 488 people have died from the disease in the region.

There are currently 547 active cases across the region and 27 people are in hospital.

There are 17 school or daycare outbreaks, 12 workplace outbreaks and four community outbreaks.

Two long-term care homes in Leamington — Franklin Gardens Long-Term Care Home and Sun Parlor Home for Senior Citizens — remain in outbreak.

Leamington mass vaccination site opens Jan. 5

Currently, the only mass vaccination site for booster shots through the health unit is at Devonshire Mall.

On Wednesday, the health unit said in a news release that the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington will reopen Jan. 5 as a mass vaccination site.

This site transformed into a mass vaccination site earlier this year to give people first and second doses. It had closed in August as the vaccine rollout ramped down.

Dan Taekema/CBC
Dan Taekema/CBC

The clinic is expected to have appointments from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and it will offer first, second, and third doses for those with compromised immune systems, along with boosters.

The health unit said it will not be available for drop-in and that people can start booking appointments as of Dec. 29 at 8 a.m.

Additionally, WECHU said it is partnering with Erie Shores HealthCare, Essex-Windsor EMS and the Town of Kingsville to work with employers and provide temporary foreign workers an opportunity to get their shots.

A series of COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be created and "specifically designed" to vaccinate migrant workers living in Windsor-Essex. The health unit said it has already reached out to employers.

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