Windsor-Essex sees a big jump in COVID-19 with 17 new cases

·2 min read

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday — a sharp increase compared to the low number of daily new cases it has reported over the past week.

WECHU officials say 12 of the cases came from close contact with a confirmed case, three were community acquired and two cases are still under investigation.

It's not yet clear why Windsor-Essex — after having just one new case yesterday and a lower number of new cases compared to many other areas of the province over the past week — has seen such a jump. The WECHU has not yet commented on what public health officials believe is responsible for the larger number of new cases.

The bump in new cases comes just over two weeks after Thanksgiving, though the WECHU has not said if there's a connection. CBC News asked WECHU medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed in Friday's briefing if he was still waiting for an increase in cases Thanksgiving long weekend. Ahmed replied that symptoms for people infected over Thanksgiving would have most likely shown up four to five days after exposure.

The health unit, like many others in Ontario and across Canada, encouraged people to celebrate the holiday only with those that they live with.

Windsor-Essex has now had 2,812 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 44 of which are active, and 76 deaths.

Two workplaces continue to experience outbreaks — a construction workplace in Lakeshore, and a food and beverage workplace in Kingsville. No long-term care homes in Windsor are currently experiencing outbreaks.

Potential exposure at Windsor Walmart

The WECHU is also warning the public about a potential public exposure at a local Walmart. The store is located at 3120 Dougall Avenue in Windsor.

WECHU says the times of potential exposure are:

October 18 - 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

October 20 - 12:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. October 21 - 4 to 8 p.m.

The health unit is asking anyone who was at the Walmart at those times to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following the exposure. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton

CK Public Health is reporting 400 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is up 12 from their previous update. Chatham-Kent has 26 active cases with three people in hospital, and three deaths.

Canadian Blood Services reported on Friday that at an individual at a Chatham YMCA blood donor clinic has tested positive for COVID-19. CK Public Health says 150 people have been contacted and told to get tested and to self-isolate as a result of potential exposure.

Lambton Public Health reported 369 cases of COVID-19 at last update, six of which are active, with 25 deaths.