The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 259 new high-risk cases of COVID-19 in the community, along with the loss of a member of the community since April 8. There were 129 cases reported on Saturday, 85 reported on Sunday, and 45 reported on Monday. Due to the changes in eligibility for testing and limited testing capacity, the rise of Omicron cases, and the shifted focus of case, contact, and outbreak management to high-risk settings, these case counts are an underestimate of the true numbers of individuals who have COVID-19 within Windsor-Essex County. The health unit defines high-risk cases as those coming from individuals who are eligible for PCR testing in accordance with Ontario's current testing guidance.
There are now 354 high-risk cases in the community, with 61 people currently in the hospital with COVID-19, and two in the ICU. There are currently 12 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes, four outbreaks in hospitals units, and five community outbreaks. Locally, 86.4 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83.5 per cent have received two doses, and 51.1 per cent of residents 12 and over have received the booster dose.
Across the province, there were 2,401 new cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 3,481 new confirmed cases, and on Saturday there were 3,797 cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,198,319 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, and there are currently 1,090 people in the hospital with the virus, including 184 in ICUs across the province.
UPDATE FROM CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health held a press conference today for the first time since March. According to Dr. Moore, COVID-19 trends are increasing and Ontario is in the midst of a sixth wave, driven by the BA.2 variant. The province has said they will not bring back mask mandates right now, but did say people should be wearing masks in indoor public spaces. Additionally, the province is expanding eligibility for PCR testing and antiviral treatments to the following groups:
- Individuals aged 18 an up who are immunocompromised
- Individuals aged 70 and up
- Individuals aged 60 and up with fewer than three vaccine doses
- Individuals aged 18 and up with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (for example, a chronic illness, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc.)
Individuals can take an online assessment to determine if they are eligible for the treatment here.
You can read more here.
With COVID infections now over an estimated 100,000 per day, my caucus colleagues and I continue to question this government as to why they are not updating their masking policy, supporting workers with proper paid sick days, and providing broader access to PCR testing. Health care workers are exhausted, and becoming infected with COVID at an alarming rate. And every bed taken by a COVID patient is another delay for someone waiting in pain for a surgery. We are calling for masking in long-term care, hospitals and on transit to continue , for masks in schools to return to protect children, teachers and education workers, and for the provincial government to either reinstate masking in public places like malls, or explain why they won’t. We are also calling for at least 10 permanent paid sick days so workers can stay home at a sign of symptoms, instead of infecting their coworkers and for broad access to PCR testing, so people know when they need to stay home, when they need to isolate from their family and friends.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS
Free rapid antigen tests continue to be available at select locations each week. Please remember to store your test kits out of the reach of children, as there have been reports of poisoning after accidental consumption. You can find participating grocery stores and pharmacies here.
There will be pop-up vaccine clinics at the following locations this week:
- Tuesday April 12 – CMHA – 1400 Windsor Ave, Windsor – 1pm to 4pm
- Thursday April 14 – Tecumseh Arena (Horwood Room) – 12021 McNorton St, Windsor – 9am to 3:45pm