There's been some easing of COVID-19 case rates in Windsor-Essex, but there's still a long way to go, according to health officials.
"Overall, there I think there are positive signals to suggest that there is better control of COVID now than perhaps in previous weeks," said Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, acting medical officer of health.
But Windsor-Essex is still seeing a high burden of disease compared with other health units, he added.
Ramsey D'Souza, manager of epidemiology with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), presented the latest weekly data during a virtual briefing on Thursday.
The region need to be in a position where case rates go down, but vaccination rates go up, he said.
"That's the goal and the area we need to move toward is... how can we increase our coverage rates, which will indirectly and directly impact our case rates," he said.
The region's most recent weekly case rate stands at 53.2 cases per 100,000 people, down from 62.5 for the previous week.
As of Thursday, 83.8 per cent of eligible Windsor-Essex residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The number of people who have been vaccinated has risen by about 2,250 in the last week, according to the health unit's statistics.
Ahead of Thanksgiving, the health unit is asking the public to keep COVID-19 precautions in mind as they consider gathering with family and friends.
Nesathurai said what happens over the weekend will have consequences in terms of the spread of COVID-19.
"The public health service can provide guidance and it can provide understanding of the data, but a lot of the measures to control COVID-19 require the adherence, cooperation and affirmation of people in the community," he said.
WECHU reported 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
There are 261 active cases, down from a peak of more than 500 in early September. Eighteen people with COVID-19 are in hospital.
There are 25 ongoing outbreaks, including 16 related to workplaces:
Nine workplaces are in the agricultural sector.
One workplace in the food and beverage sector.
Three workplaces are in the health care and social assistance sector.
Two workplaces are in the manufacturing sector.
One workplace is in a public administration setting.
Five schools are in outbreak as well:
École élémentaire Louise-Charron
École élémentaire catholique Georges-P.-Vanier.
Sandwich West Public School.
École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Ursule.
St. Andre French Immersion Catholic School.
The Downtown Mission and Salvation Army, as well as The Village at St. Clair and La Chaumiere Retirement Residence, also remain in outbreak.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton
In Chatham-Kent, there are nine new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and 101 active overall.
In Sarnia-Lambton, there are 98 active cases, 23 of which were reported on Thursday.