More red ahead: Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent not expecting changes to COVID-19 restrictions

·2 min read
Spotted in the downtown, a City of Windsor sign says 'respect social distance.' (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)
Spotted in the downtown, a City of Windsor sign says 'respect social distance.' (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)

The top doctors for both Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex say their regions are likely to remain at the red level of COVID-19 restrictions next week.

Windsor-Essex Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed and his counterpart Dr. David Colby in Chatham-Kent were asked in separate press conferences Thursday about whether they were expecting to see changes announced on Friday.

Both said they had not been contacted by the province this week about their region's status, suggesting that it's more than likely the current rules are staying as is.

The province controls where regions stand in its five-colour COVID-19 restrictions framework, typically making announcements of changes on Friday afternoons.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, returned to work Thursday after a leave of absence announced on March 11.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, returned to work Thursday after a leave of absence announced on March 11.(WECHU/Youtube)

Windsor-Essex has been at the second-highest level of restrictions, red, since mid-February, and as of last week, case rates had not yet decreased enough to meet the criteria for a switch to the orange zone.

"We are not anticipating any changes tomorrow," Ahmed said at the health unit's daily briefing Thursday.

The region currently has 229 active cases and 11 outbreaks. Twenty-one new cases were reported on Thursday.

Chatham-Kent was moved to the red zone as of Monday amid a recent surge in cases. There are currently 104 active cases and three outbreaks. Four new cases were announced on Thursday.

Dr. David Colby is the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent.
Dr. David Colby is the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent.(CK Public Health/YouTube)

Colby told reporters Thursday that while he doesn't like making predictions, he doesn't think that a move to lockdown is in the cards since he didn't get a heads up about it.

"Our numbers are kind of up, which distresses me, but they have plateaued," he said.

He said he hopes the case number will drop off, noting that the region has seen a cycle of rising and subsiding cases several times before.