The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 60 new high risk cases in Windsor-Essex today, along with the loss of two members of the community. 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. Over the weekend there were 201 high risk cases reported in our region.
There are now 242 active high risk cases in Windsor-Essex, with 23 confirmed cases in the hospital, and two in the ICU. There are currently two community outbreaks, one hospital outbreak, and three outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86.3 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83.2 per cent have received two doses, and 50.5 per cent of residents 12 and over have received their booster.
Today, Toronto reported 458 cases of COVID, Hamilton reported 102 cases, and London-Middlesex reported 40 cases. Across the province today there were 1,447 lab-confirmed cases, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 1,680 cases, and on Sunday there were 2,078 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,140,865 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there are currently 639 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 179 in the ICU.
HOSPITAL EXTENDS VISITOR HOURS
In addition to more essential caregivers being permitted at Windsor Regional Hospital, visitor hours have also been extended. Visitor hours will be from 8am to 8pm for most general visitors. For visitors in the Critical Care Units, visiting hours will be from 10am to 6pm, and 8pm to 10pm. You can read more here.
TECUMSEH ENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY
The Town of Tecumseh has lifted their state of emergency that was declared at the beginning of the pandemic. Visitors to town facilities are no longer required to wear masks, but residents are reminded that provincial public health and workplace safety measures still require everyone to wear masks while riding on public transit, in health-care settings, and in long-term care and retirement homes. You can read more here.
WINDSOR PUBLIC LIBRARY LIFTS MASK MANDATE
The Windsor Public Library has rescinded their masking mandate in all branches, but is urging anyone who chooses not to wear a mask to be respectful of those who choose to continue to wear one. You can read more here.
TOWN OF ESSEX SUSPENDS VACCINATION POLICY
The Town of Essex has suspended their COVID-19 vaccination policy, which required all town employees, members of Council and Committee members to show proof of vaccination. You can read more here.
PROVINCE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR NEW SCHOOLS
The provincial government has said they will provide funding for schools in Tecumseh, Kingsville, and Leamington. $22.5 million has been committed to build a replacement for DM Eagle Public School, $59 million has been committed to build a new JK-12 school in Kingsville, and $6.2 million has been committed to build an addition to St. Louis Catholic Elementary in Leamington. You can read more here.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS
The provincial government announced that 5.5 million rapid antigen tests will be available across the province 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.
The mass vaccination site in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall is scheduled to close on Saturday April 2, according to the local health unit. Walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccination will be accepted until 3:30pm that day, while students in grades 7-12 that have not started or finished their vaccination series for Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and/or Meningococcal Disease and want to receive the vaccine at Devonshire Mall, must book at appointment before April 1, pending availability. You can read more here.
First, second, and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available at one of the three mass vaccination sites, located in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall, at Hotel-Dieu Grace HealthCare, and at the Grovedale House Community Hall in Kingsville. All mass vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins. Moreover, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for individuals aged 30 years and older at any vaccination site. The Devonshire mass vaccination site is open Tuesdays from 11:30am to 6:15pm, and Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 3:30pm. Grovedale House is open from 9am to 3:45pm Tuesday to Saturday for pre-booked or walk-in appointments. Hotel Dieu's clinic will be available from 2:30pm to 6:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. To book an appointment, please visit www.wevax.ca.
Pop-up vaccination clinics will be available at the following locations this week:
- Wednesday March 23 – Salvation Army – 355 Church St, Windsor – 9am to 3:30pm
- Friday March 25 – YMCA Gym – 500 Victoria Ave, Windsor – 8:30am to 3pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.