Windsor-Essex sees another spike in COVID, with 15 new cases

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 15 new COVID-19 cases Friday — a spike into double digits the region has not seen since Monday.

The new cases reported came from a variety of areas. Three were travel-related to Michigan — two of which are healthcare workers working in the state — seven were close contacts of a confirmed case, three were community acquired, one is a local healthcare worker, and one is still under investigation.

Medical officer of heath Dr. Wajid Ahmed reiterated his concern from Monday about the scattered source of cases.

"Before we get to the point that it's already widespread and we need to talk about extreme measures, we need to contain it right now," he said.

Windsor-Essex has now had 2,891 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 70 of which are active, and 76 deaths. Three people are currently in hospital.

The region's local pandemic status remains at orange, or a medium risk of transmission. Ahmed said that the health unit is still looking at ways that the local status system could work with Ontario's own colour-coded system introduced this week. The province's system goes into effect Saturday and has Windsor-Essex at green or "prevent" status, which is the lowest of its five tiers. The system formally goes into effect Saturday.

Iller Lodge, a long-term care home, and Lifetimes on Riverside, a retirement home, remain in outbreak. Iller Lodge has five confirmed cases and Lifetimes has seven.

Ahmed said in the Wednesday briefing that while it's still early when it comes to those outbreaks, the health unit does not see indications that they are likely to be severe. There are currently no workplace or school outbreaks in Windsor-Essex.

School reports second case

Roseland Public School reported a second case of COVID-19 Thursday. It is the first school to report more than one case. WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette said that the second case is a sibling of the first case.

Ahmed said multiple cases does not mean a school is necessarily in an outbreak.

"So the transmission didn't necessarily happen in a school setting, but instead probably in a household setting," he said.

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported 419 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday — with 25 active cases and three deaths.

Lambton Public Health reported 375 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday — with six active cases and 25 deaths.