Outbreak declared at second shelter in Windsor-Essex

·3 min read
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says the newly declared outbreak at the Salvation Army started on Feb. 14.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says the newly declared outbreak at the Salvation Army started on Feb. 14.

(Guy Quenneville/CBC - image credit)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting a new COVID-19 outbreak at a facility serving people experiencing homelessness for the second time this month.

The outbreak at the Salvation Army shelter was declared a week after the one at the Downtown Mission.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website says the outbreak dates back to Feb. 14.

In his daily briefing, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, spoke of the challenges of managing such outbreaks and keeping people who use the shelter system safe.

"This is a very at-risk population. This is a vulnerable population," he said. "They have much higher risk of contracting COVID because of how they live. And when they're coming to these type of shelters for support, they're also in a situation which is not the ideal situation."

Between the Salvation Army and an outbreak at the Downtown Mission, there are 65 COVID-19 cases among guests and staff, Ahmed said.

Both outbreaks are connected, he said.

"It may show up as two different sites but because of the population visiting those two places, that's how it's connected and that's how we are managing it right now," Ahmed said.

With the City of Windsor's Isolation and Recovery Centre full as of Tuesday, the Downtown Mission was left scrambling to find more space for those who have tested positive.

Health officials reported 76 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, but only 43 are part of Wednesday's total. Thirty-three cases that should have been part of Tuesday's data were not reported due to a system issue, the health unit said.

Of the new cases announced Wednesday, 14 are related to outbreaks, a dozen are close contacts of previously confirmed cases, 14 were community acquired, two are related to travel and the rest remain under investigation.

There are 328 cases of COVID-19 active in the community and 43 people are in hospital with COVID-19.

Nearly 22,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the region. In total, 9,888 people have received both required doses.

On Wednesday, Windsor Regional Hospital announced that 3,900 new doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine have arrived in the region.

It was the first time in over a month that the hospital received new supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

The shots would be used to vaccinate priority groups identified by the province under a recently updated list, Ahmed said.

The health unit has also put out a call for volunteers with a medical background to help out at mass vaccination clinics that would be set up in the future.

11 active outbreaks

Throughout the region, 11 COVID-19 outbreaks are active, down from 17 on Tuesday.

In addition to the outbreaks at the Downtown Mission and Salvation Army, Kensington Court Retirement Residence is also in outbreak.

Outbreaks are active at two workplaces — one in Windsor's manufacturing sector and one in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.

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

  • Franklin Gardens in Leamington, with 38 resident cases and 16 staff cases.

  • Heron Terrace in Windsor, with two resident cases and two staff cases.

  • Regency Park in Windsor, with 24 resident cases and 15 staff cases.

  • Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 48 resident cases and nine staff cases.

  • Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 43 resident cases and 10 staff cases.

  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 176 resident cases and 141 staff cases.

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent

There are 38 active cases of COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent. Health officials reported three new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and one additional death. Nine people have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

In Sarnia-Lambton, eight new cases were announced as well as a death from the virus. There are 83 active cases, and 46 people have died after contracting COVID-19.