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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Monday, June 22nd, 2020  | 1:00 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County


The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) continues to work with the Ministry of Health, local health care providers, and municipal partners to monitor and coordinate the response to COVID-19 as the situation evolves in the province and the community. Protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents of Windsor and Essex County remains our top priority.

  • To date, we have 1,329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, 784 cases are resolved, and there are 68 deaths.
  • There are 101,337 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 33,637 cases in Ontario, with 2,609 deaths.

* Local numbers are as of June 21, 8:00 p.m.
** provincial and national numbers are as of June 22, 11:00 a.m.

Individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 or are wondering if they should be tested should consult the COVID-19 Population Health Navigator for Windsor-Essex. Already tested? You can now check your results online.

If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider. You can also call the WECHU at 519-258-2146 extension 1420.

What is happening locally?

The WECHU is reporting thirty-two (32) additional cases of COVID-19 over for June 22nd and zero (0) deaths. Thirty-one (31) of the thirty-two (32) cases are among farm workers and one is still under investigation. These 31 new cases are part of ongoing outbreak investigation and testing conducted by the WECHU. As of today, the WECHU is monitoring one COVID-19 outbreak at a new COVID-19 Village of Aspen Lake Long-Term Care home and seven outbreaks among workplaces in the agriculture sector. The WECHU leadership meet with facilities in outbreak regularly to discuss necessary actions and provide public health guidance and support. For more information, regarding outbreaks for COVID-19 visit our website under local updates.

Daily Live News Briefings

As part of our strategy to bring current, credible and timely information to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic the WECHU began daily updates with Dr. Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health and Theresa Marentette, CEO and Chief Nursing Officer on March 16th. These updates continued Monday through Friday until the week of June 8, at which time the WECHU reduced live updates to Friday only with a promise to return to regular live sessions should our local situation change.

Given the increase in outbreaks managed by the WECHU, the delay in moving to Stage 2, and feedback from the public the WECHU will return to daily live updates and public health recommendations with Dr. Ahmed and Theresa Marentette starting Tuesday June 23rd, via YouTube Live at 9:30.

Regional support for COVID-19

Protecting the community from COVID-19 requires a number of strategies including public health measures such as physical distancing, regular hand washing and masking, testing and case and contact management. Public health measures are prevention strategies that all community members must take to protect themselves from COVID-19. Case and contact management is critical to limit and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community and is a central role of public health units in Ontario.

Prior to the pandemic, a team of 10 fulfilled case and contact management at the WECHU. This team has grown to include close to 80 public health professionals and has consistently reached the provincial target of reaching 90% of COVID-19 cases within 24 hours. Case and contact management involves contacting individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19, investigation to determine their exposure (where they might have gotten COVID) and identification of close contacts. The health unit notifies close contacts of their exposure, provides direction for testing and self-isolation and follows them for 14 days. Currently the WECHU has 477 active cases of COVID-19 in the community. Each case of COVID-19 includes an average of 9 close contacts. This means that the team at the WECHU is actively monitoring 4,293 people as of today.

The WECHU is committed to continue the critical work of public health. Given the number of outbreaks in the agriculture sector and the high number of close contacts for each case, we have reached out to our surrounding health units for their support. Health Units across the province routinely work collectively and collaboratively to support population health and wellbeing. This week the WECHU’s team will grow to include nursing staff from across the southwest region to support us in the quick identification and management of COVID-19 cases in our community.

“We are grateful for the support that our regional public health partners have offered. Case and contact management is a specialized public health role requiring training and experience especially in the management of outbreaks. As we continue to conduct testing at farms related to outbreaks of COVID-19, this additional staffing will ensure that we can mitigate risks as quickly as possible to limit the spread,” says, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health.

The Provincial government has extended orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to June 30th.  To learn more about the regions and services allowed under Stage 2 visit the Provincial website. For guidelines and information for workplaces and COVID-19 visit the WECHU’s dedicated webpage for workplaces.

For a full list of current recommendations, guidelines and restrictions, please visit the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website.

For questions related to closures and openings of businesses, call the Stop the Spread information line at 1-888-444-3659 or visit Ontario.ca/page/stopping-spread-covid-19.

To protect yourself from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly;
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue;
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected;
  • Stay home unless it is essential to go out and stay home when you are sick;
  • Practice physical distancing (2 Metres); and
  • Wear a non-medical cloth mask in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The WECHU encourages the public to follow credible sources for information about COVID-19. The WECHU monitors and updates our website daily, including case counts for Windsor and Essex County. For up-to-date facts visit www.wechu.org.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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