Media Statement Regarding the Rapid Rise in COVID-19 Cases
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Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU):
“Since we moved to Control - Red Level on November 30, we’ve reported a total of 425 COVID-19 cases. Despite the restrictions from the Restrict – Orange Level and now the Control – Red Level of the provincial COVID-19 response framework, our case counts are not changing.
Based on the data, our case rates are comparable to the areas that are in the Lockdown – Grey Level. We are on the verge of having the local health system capacity get overwhelmed. To provide more context on the most recent rapid rise in cases,
- It took us 81 days to reach 1,000 cases.
- In just over 45 days, Windsor and Essex County numbers rose from 1,000 to 2,000 cases.
- It took us 114 days to go from 2,000 to 3,000 cases in our area.
- Most recently, our cases have increased at such a rapid rate that it has only taken us 25 days to go to 4,000 cases from 3,000.
While we are getting assistance from the province to support COVID-19 contact tracing and case management, we need YOUR support. Please follow the public health measures and help the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit by:
- Self-monitor for symptoms every day.
- Download the COVID alert app - https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html
- Limit the number of close contacts.
- Restrict all non-essential visits.
- Physically distance at all times with anyone who you do not live with.
- Develop a plan if your family members are diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms suggestive of the virus. Think about an isolation plan, work plans, grocery plans, and for any other essential needs.
- Try and maintain a diary of all activities including a list of all individuals you are meeting to help public health identify possible source of acquisition and identify high risk contacts for containing the disease and prevent any further transmission.
- Prepare a plan to notify your close contacts, based on your diary of activities, and high risk close contacts.
If you develop symptoms or are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case:
- Do not wait for public health to get in touch with you. Please implement isolation plans for your family immediately. Here is a great resource from the Public Health Agency of Canada on how to isolate at home when you may have COVID-19 - https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/covid-19-how-to-isolate-at-home.html,
- If you haven’t been tested, go get tested immediately and seek healthcare support as needed. Call 911 in an emergency.
- When your test is confirmed, notify all close contacts such as your workplace or school while waiting for public health to complete their investigation.
- Monitor your symptoms daily.
- Do not leave home when self-isolating for any reason other than any medical concerns with permission from public health.
This is a difficult time for all of us and every decision we make has an impact that not only affects us personally, but it also affects our family members and our community in general. As much as I want to share more happy news with you and to tell you that the risk of COVID-19 in our community is low, I can’t. The risk of acquiring COVID-19 in our community is increasing at a rapid rate and will continue to increase unless we follow all the public health measures and most importantly limit our number of close contacts.”