Health unit warns of reinfection among previously positive COVID-19 cases

·3 min read
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is warning people who have contracted COVID-19 in the past not to become complacent about following restrictions as they can become re-infected.

"If you were previously positive, still, that means that you are still at a risk of contracting COVID," Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex said during Monday's morning briefing.

"There are case reports we are seeing now that we are seeing reinfections of the cases in our community."

Ahmed said that people who have tested positive in the past should still be getting their vaccine and not think that their previous infection will prevent them from contracting the disease again.

This message comes as the health unit reported 54 new cases in the community Monday, bringing the total of active cases to 482.

Ahmed said that 34 percent of the region's cases are variants of concern, the most predominant being the more contagious one that was first found in the U.K. This variant accounts for about 90 percent of the cases.

Only two of the cases are the variant first found in South Africa.

No additional deaths were reported Monday, with the region's death toll sitting at 413.

There are 11 workplace outbreaks, including:

  • Three in Leamington's agriculture sector.

  • One in Windsor's construction sector.

  • One in Lakeshore's food and beverage sector.

  • One in Windsor's food and beverage sector.

  • One in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.

  • One in Windsor's repair and maintenance sector.

  • One in Windsor's retail sector.

An outbreak is ongoing at the SouthWest Detention Centre.

There are two school outbreaks, one at Ecole secondaire catholique l'Essor and another at Amherstburg Public School.

One long-term care home, Extendicare Southwood Lakes in Windsor, is also in outbreak with three staff members sick.

Additional vaccines coming early May

The health unit's CEO, Theresa Marentette, said that they would be getting extra allotments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the first two weeks in May, some of it to help deal with hot spot postal code areas within Windsor-Essex.

"It would be quite a bit, double what we are receiving right now," she said.

She added that while the majority of the vaccine will be distributed through the mass vaccination sites, they are also looking at offering one or two pop-up clinics.

"If you're not eligible quite yet, just please be patient and we'll get to you." - Theresa Marentette, WECHU CEO

"We are just trying to finalize those details," Marentette said. "The fact that one of our immunization sites is right in the downtown area is really good for Windsor."

Ahmed said that people shouldn't falsify information or show up at vaccination sites who are not part of the eligible group. He noted that they are working to get to everybody who is interested in getting the vaccine.

Marentette said that there is an attestation that people have to sign that says they qualify under one of the verified medical conditions.

"I can't say for sure we are seeing that but we do want people to take that seriously and that if they are eligible that they are using the appropriate means to get the vaccine," she said.

"If you're not eligible quite yet, just please be patient and we'll get to you."

Ahmed added that the goal of the health unit is to vaccinate the majority of Windsor-Essex's population before Canada Day.

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

Sarnia-Lambton has 75 active COVID-19 cases and 56 deaths. There are four active outbreaks in the region.

On Saturday, Lambton Public Health said in a news release that it is investigating an outbreak at North Lambton Childcare Centre, the St. Peter Canisius Site.

The outbreak was declared on April 23, after one staff and one child tested positive for COVID-19.

The health unit said it has contacted anyone effected.

In Chatham-Kent, 13 new cases were reported Monday and 39 cases are active overall. There is one workplace outbreak.