Despite increasingly urgent pleas from public health and other experts, the needle isn't moving dramatically when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination rate in Windsor-Essex.
Over the last week, the portion of the population that has received at least one dose grew by less than a percentage point, despite the fact that vaccination sites are accepting walk-ins.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for the area, said the average number of shots being given has declined sharply — it's fallen by more than 1,000 doses daily since last week — and the region's vaccination rate has hit a plateau.
"This alarming trend is a concern for our community, not only for our community but across other regions where the world is seeing how efficiently the Delta variant can attack those who are unvaccinated," he said at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's (WECHU) live briefing over YouTube on Friday.
The Delta variant, which is driving a COVID-19 resurgence in countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., is the most transmissible strain, Ahmed said. He said a local increase in cases is "inevitable" if vaccination rates don't improve.
As of Friday's data, 75.7 per cent of eligible residents have received at least one dose, while the number of fully vaccinated people 12 and up stands at 66 per cent.
Across the province, the 12-plus vaccination rate is 80.2 per cent and 68.4 per cent of those eligible are fully vaccinated.
4 new cases
Friday also saw an increase of four new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex, while 25 are active overall, according to WECHU.
No one who has COVID-19 is currently in hospital, but there is one outbreak ongoing at an agricultural workplace in Kinsgville.
Ahmed said that outbreak involves fewer than five cases and is fairly under control.
While the number of COVID-19 cases remains low, Windsor-Essex has seen a recent increase.
The most recent seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 5.6 cases, compared with 2.3 for the previous week-long stretch.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton
Chatham-Kent Public Health reported four new cases on Friday, and 19 are active in total.
In Sarnia-Lambton, there were no new cases and the active case count stands at five.