Windsor-Essex mobile COVID-19 assessment team expanding

·2 min read

Mobile testing and assessment for COVID-19 is expanding in Windsor-Essex with the formation of new teams of health-care professionals.

The Windsor-Essex County COVID Response Team now consists of three teams that will be deployed through a central hub, Erie Shores Healthcare said in a statement on Wednesday.

Erie Shores Healthcare CEO Kristin Kennedy (CHECK) told CBC News Wednesday that for the last few months, it has only operated one team, but felt that with the second wave there was a need for more

"Of course during wave two things have escalated and become quite concerning here in Windsor-Essex County," she said, adding that if resources and the need allow they will continue to provide more teams.

"I think the needs that we're seeing come forward from public health as well as our hospitals that are overseeing and assisting with long-term care, as well as the agri-industry and the workers coming through our assessment centre, we saw a great need to expand and have that outreach."

Arms Bumanlag/ESHC
Arms Bumanlag/ESHC

The new initiative has grown out of a previous regional mobile testing effort where workers provided health assessments and COVID-19 swabbing. The teams will provide the same services as before and help connect individuals to the hospital system if needed.

The team is accepting referrals from large businesses and packing plants, long term-care, retirement and assisted living facilities as well as schools and hospitals.

But Kennedy said the priority is long-term care and retirement homes, the agri-food sector and congregate living settings such as community living.

At this time, Kennedy said they know staff at seniors' homes are struggling, with 14 homes in the region currently in outbreak.

"It's concerning and it's challenging and it's hard for all of our staff to be in those homes and see our vulnerable populations suffering," she said.

"We are very confident in the individuals that are working in those homes, we know that they just need some added support during these challenging times."

There are currently eight outbreaks in agricultural settings in the region.

Organizations looking for assistance can submit a request online.