Windsor-Essex residents who are 80 and up are eligible to book their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday morning.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, said offering second doses for the first time was an "important milestone" in the region's vaccine rollout, but he pleaded for people to continue following public health measures.
"We need your help. We are almost at the end of the tunnel. Please help us reduce the daily case counts and reduce the overall risk to our community," he said at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's (WECHU) daily briefing Monday.
As of Monday, 245,782 people in the region have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, representing about 70.5 per cent of adults along with about 6,200 youth.
People who are 80 and up who got their first vaccine dose at least 28 days ago are eligible to call or go on the health unit's website to book their second dose.
Those 70 and older who have had their first dose before March 31 are eligible to join a wait list for an appointment.
Theresa Marentette, CEO of WECHU, said the health unit's website was experiencing technical issues for about 45 minutes on Monday morning, but access has since been restored. She encouraged family members to help their loved ones book their second dose.
The health unit is monitoring uptake on vaccine appointments to ensure that all those who are eligible are aware, according to Marentette.
2 pop-up clinics
The health unit also announced it's hosting two walk-in, pop-up vaccination clinics for youth and their families this week.
One clinic is taking place in Belle River at the Atlas Tube Recreation Centre on Tuesday and the other is slated for Thursday at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.
The clinics will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and no appointments are required. All youth aged 12 to 17 are eligible to attend, along with their immediate family members.
New hospital visitor policy
Effective Monday, Windsor Regional Hospital is relaxing its visitor policy in light of decreasing COVID-19 rates in the community and within the hospital.
The hospital will allow one essential visitor per patient per day, with some exceptions. Over the course of a hospital stay, patients can switch between two visitors, however, only one can visit at a time. Full details are available on the hospital's website.
25 new cases Monday
Meanwhile, the region reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Seven of those new cases were due to close contact with a confirmed case, while six were community acquired — meaning there is no known source of transmission— while a dozen remain under investigation.
Fifteen people in hospital with COVID-19 cases, including four in intensive care.
There are 223 cases considered active in the community, and 134 active cases are variants of concern.
Windsor-Essex public health officials announced Monday that a COVID-19 variant, the B.1.617 strain that was first found in India, has been confirmed in Windsor-Essex for the first time.
Two cases of the variant have been reported. Both are tied to international travel, one of which was the U.S.
"Our team is ensuring that proper case and contact management are happening and no further spread is happening," Ahmed said.
There are eight active outbreaks at workplaces in Windsor-Essex:
One in Kingsville's agriculture sector.
Two in Windsor's health-care and social assistance sector.
One in Lakeshore's health-care and social assistance sector.
One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.
One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.
One in Lakeshore's finance and insurance sector.
One in Windsor's food and beverage sector.
There's also an outbreak ongoing at Southwest Detention Centre, which has been active since late April.
Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton
Health officials in Chatham-Kent recorded seven new cases of COVID-19 since the municipality's most recent update on Friday.
Chatham-Kent Public Health also reported an additional COVID-19 fatality, the 17th person to die after contracting the disease since the pandemic started. There are currently 17 active cases in the municipality.
Lambton Public Health lowered its case count by one Monday after a previously-recorded case was found not to meet the definition. In total, 33 cases are considered active in the area.