As Ontario enters Step 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan on Friday, Windsor-Essex is reporting further progress in the pandemic's decline.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for the region, said the current weekly case is rate the lowest seen since the beginning of the pandemic, at just 3.2 cases per 100,000 people.
"Overall, cases are declining everywhere [in Ontario and Southwestern Ontario] but Windsor-Essex continues to have a much more pronounced effect with respect to these cases," he said at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit weekly briefing, which is broadcast live on YouTube every Friday.
As well, the percentage of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 for the week ending July 10 is at 0.6, the lowest it's been since late September.
The region reported an increase of two new COVID-19 cases on Friday, though the overall pandemic case total of 16,846 was unchanged due to an ongoing clean-up of historical case data.
Overall, there are 21 known COVID-19 cases considered active in the community, and no ongoing outbreaks. There are also three people hospitalized with COVID-19, including one in intensive care.
As of Friday's update, 504,493 shots of COVID-19 vaccine have gone into the arms of Windsor-Essex residents.
Among adults, 76 per cent are fully vaccinated while 61.8 per cent of all residents are fully vaccinated.
Friday marks the beginning of Ontario's shift to the third stage of COVID-19 reopening, a loosening of public health restrictions that puts the province closer to normal than at any other point in the pandemic.
Step 3 means larger gatherings and indoor dining are permitted, and gyms and movie theatres can open up. (A full list of what is and isn't permitted is available here).
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton
Lambton Public Health reported one new COVID-19 case on Friday and there are half a dozen cases active in the region overall.
In Chatham-Kent, there are eight active cases, none of which were newly reported on Friday.