Windsor-Essex reports 9 COVID-19 deaths on single day

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is reporting nine new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday as more than a dozen long-term care homes in the region grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Eight of those who died were seniors who lived in care facilities, the health unit said, while the ninth death was of a man in his 70s who lived in the community.

So far in December, health officials have announced the deaths of 35 people due to COVID-19, and 114 people have died overall since the pandemic started.

The health unit also reported 141 additional cases of the virus Thursday.

While the new case count is down relative to recent days, the region has broken records for new cases several times this month despite the introduction of stronger public health measures.

The region has been under lockdown since mid-December and will see a few new restrictions as of Boxing Day, when a new provincial shutdown takes effect.

Overall, there are 35 outbreaks across the region, including 14 at long-term care homes, three at hospitals and a dozen in workplaces including many in the agricultural sector.

Avoid holiday gatherings, health unit says

During the holiday season, officials have urged the public to take steps to prevent further spread of the virus.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU medical officer of health, said Wednesday that the threat of COVID-19 is "still very real" despite the very first vaccinations taking place earlier this week.

He told residents to avoid hosting anyone from outside their household over the holidays. With so many active cases in the region, if people ignore public health restrictions, we "definitely run into a situation where containment will be impossible," he said.

Snapshot of the pandemic in Windsor-Essex

There have been 6,464 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region since the start of the pandemic, 1,290 of which are still active.

The majority of the new cases reported on Thursday are under investigation, while 33 were related to outbreaks, six are closed contacts of existing cases and one case was acquired in the community.

Outbreaks are active at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and two on different floors at Windsor Regional Hospital's Met campus.

There are also three schools still under outbreak, though instruction has moved online for all students in the region.

Outbreaks are active at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, St. Mary French Immersion Catholic Elementary School and L.A. Desmarais Catholic Elementary School.

Manor Lodge House, Victoria Manor Supportive Living and Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario also remain in active outbreak.

There are 12 workplace outbreaks:

  • Five in Leamington's agriculture sector.

  • Four in Kingsville's agriculture sector.

  • One in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector.

  • One in Essex's health care and social assistance sector

  • One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.

There are 14 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes.

  • Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor with one resident case

  • Huron Lodge in Windsor with 15 resident cases

  • Richmond Terrace in Amherstburg with one staff case

  • Chartwell Classic Oak Park LaSalle with one staff case

  • Sun Parlour Home in Leamington with four staff cases

  • Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor with 31 resident and nine staff cases

  • The Shoreview at Riverside with four resident and five staff cases

  • La Chaumiere Retirement in Puce with one staff case.

  • Extendicare Tecumseh in Tecumseh with 36 resident and 21 staff cases.

  • Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor with 45 resident and 38 staff cases.

  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor with 67 staff cases and 97 resident cases.

  • Country Village in Woodslee with two staff cases and three resident cases.

  • Chartwell St. Clair Beach in Tecumseh with 41 resident cases and nine staff cases.

  • Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh with four staff cases and one resident case.