Nine new COVID-19 cases reported in Windsor-Essex, health unit issues Section 22 Order
Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed in Windsor, Ont., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Bob Bellacicco / CTV Windsor)
LONDON, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting nine new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,611.
Out of those nine cases, seven of them are from the agri-farm sector, one case is a healthcare worker and the last one is community based.
The death toll in Windsor-Essex remains at 68 and 893 resolved cases.
There are two long-term care facilities in outbreak status – Village of Aspen Lake and Extendicare Tecumseh.
Four workplaces in the region have two or more cases.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer issued the following statement Wednesday regarding the new Section 22 Order issued by the Health Unit to help curb the spread of the virus in the agriculture sector.
“The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, Ministry of Labour, Trade and Skills Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs have continued to work closely together regarding the evolving situation in the Agri-Farm sector in Windsor-Essex County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Windsor-Essex County is home to approximately 176 farms and more than 8,000 Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) and full time domestic workers, the majority living in Leamington and Kingsville.
Due to the high number of cases in Leamington and Kingsville, the provincial and federal governments have provided more aggressive and targeted support to the WECHU and the region. Over the weekend, the WECHU reported an additional 191 new cases of COVID-19 among farm workers from a single farm location as a result of the targeted testing campaign led by Ontario Health. These new cases represent approximately one quarter of the total cases among farm workers in the region since March.
Given the size of this outbreak, the potential for COVID-19 transmission, and the ongoing risk to the health and safety of the workers, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed is issuing an order under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) effective July 1. The order requires the owner/operator of the farm to ensure the isolation of workers and prohibits them from working until further direction. The Ontario government and other partners have committed to supporting and working closely with the farm during the isolation period. Targeted on farm testing in the area continues with the support of all stakeholders.
The safety and well-being of all workers is our top priority. It is imperative that we stop the transmission of COVID-19 in this farm and our agricultural sector. All affected workers must be isolated and their health and wellbeing be monitored before any return to work can be discussed.”