Rise in Windsor-Essex COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions a 'danger sign'

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An increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Windsor-Essex are a "danger sign," say health officials.

There are now 13 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including four in intensive care, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported during its briefing Wednesday. One week ago, there was only one patient in hospital with COVID-19, according to the health unit's website.

"This is a serious illness. This is causing people to die. There are millions who are already passed away in this world as a result of this pandemic," said the region's medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed. "When you start to see these people in the hospitals and the ICU, it's a danger sign and we need to act right now."

"We know that if we don't take these public health measures things are going to get worse," he said.

The health unit also confirmed 19 new cases for the region Wednesday, with a total of 189 active.

Of the new cases, eight are close contacts of a confirmed case, one is a local healthcare worker, one is community acquired and nine are being investigated.

On Tuesday, the health unit reported the region's 77th COVID-19 death, a man in his 90s from a long-term care home.

There are currently three long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak, including:

  • Berkshire Care Center in Windsor with one staff case.

  • Lifetimes on Riverside in Windsor with five resident cases and four staff cases.

  • Iler Lodge in Essex with 17 resident cases and one staff case.

The community outbreak at the University of Windsor student residence is still active, along with the agriculture workplace outbreak in Leamington.

Frank W. Begley Public School is also experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak — it's the first school outbreak in the region.

On Tuesday evening, the health unit reported outbreak and has since dismissed the entire school.