Windsor-Essex saw a daily increase of 10 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday as loosened pandemic restrictions took effect across much of the province.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) also reported one additional death, that of a woman in her 70s.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, said that despite the move to Step 2 of the province's reopening framework, people still have to follow the public health restrictions in place, because not everyone is fully vaccinated yet and the region continues to see new cases daily.
"As we open up, not everything is opening up, so please be mindful of what you can and what you cannot do," he said at the health unit's live briefing on Wednesday morning. "Still, it doesn't mean that all the risks are gone."
Step 2 means the reopening of hair salons, shopping malls and a capacity expansion for outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings are permitted for up to five people. (More details on the new regulations are available here).
WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette, who is retiring Wednesday after three decades at the health unit, shared an update on COVID-19 enforcement efforts.
Since last weekend, the health unit has followed up on 31 complaints and conducted 44 inspections, she said. Six charges have been laid: three related to mask compliance in common areas of multi-dwelling units and three for indoor dining, which remains prohibited.
Nearly 45% of adults fully vaccinated
As of Wednesday, nearly 45 per cent of all adults in Windsor-Essex have had both required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 74.4 per cent of adults have had at least one shot.
Sixty COVID-19 cases are active and 16 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.
There are also two ongoing outbreaks, one at a manufacturing workplace in Lakeshore and one at the Downtown Mission.
Who is eligible for a 2nd dose?
Any adult in Windsor-Essex who received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) at least 28 days ago is able to book a second COVID-19 appointment at one of the five mass vaccination sites, or through a participating pharmacy or primary-care provider. Youth, however, are eligible for second doses two months after vaccination only.
Anyone who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine can book a second dose of choice at least eight weeks later.
Anyone 12 and older is eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for their first dose. Full details are available at WEvax.ca.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton
Lambton Public Health reported no new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and 28 cases are active overall.
In Chatham-Kent, there were two newly diagnosed cases, and the active case count rose to six.