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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | 1:10 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County

The following statement can be attributed to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU):

In light of Premier Ford’s announcement moments ago, the region of Windsor-Essex with the exception of Leamington and Kingsville are recommended to move to Stage 2. If approved, this reopening will take effect Thursday June 25th at 12:01 a.m.

We have been part of discussions with the Ministry of Health throughout this time, sharing our experience and data. We want to assure the communities of Leamington and Kingsville that we will continue to work diligently with your communities and the Agri-farm sector to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safely move you to Stage 2.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Agri-farm sector:

  • We saw our first positive case the end of March (March 31, 2020)
  • To date, 475 workers have tested positive across 27 farms in Leamington and Kingsville.
  • As of yesterday, 267 people are now recovered and back to work
  • Our health unit nurses are following 208 people who are confirmed cases and in isolation
  • Two deaths have occurred among workers
  • Our health unit nurses have tested 270 workers throughout these outbreaks
  • Asymptomatic testing of farms is ongoing and being led by Ontario Health

Today, our Environmental Health department, along with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Ministry of Labour, and Service Canada are attending area farms to conduct joint inspections. Together, we are actively working with the farms to discuss improved operations and to ensure the health and safety of all workers.

Our nurses are and will continue to work with the farms to conduct case and contact management, ensure proper accommodation for isolation, and compliance with isolation requirements. Our epidemiologists will continue to monitor the trends closely.

“As stated by our Board Chair, Gary McNamara yesterday. No one organization can do this alone. We must continue to work together to support our agriculture community and municipalities of Leamington and Kingsville. The WECHU will continue to work hard and do everything we can to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19,” says Theresa Marentette, CEO and Chief Nursing Officer.

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