WINDSOR, ONT. -- As COVID-19 case counts drop in Windsor-Essex, many wonder if the region could be heading to the orange zone of Ontario’s response framework.

Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Ahmed said Thursday he hasn’t had any conversations with the province this week.

“Generally when I don’t have this conversation, that means that the data that they are looking at, it’s probably, it doesn’t meet their criteria to have a dialogue or to understand what’s going on,” said Ahmed.

The province usually looks at several factors over a two-week period to determine if a health unit region should move into a different level – green, yellow, orange, red or grey-lockdown. The main indicators are case rate, per cent positivity, case doubling rate and ICU capacity.

“We have seen some good data this week, and we have also seen some cases in the 30s too,” said Ahmed.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 19 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, 10 on Wednesday, 23 on Tuesday, 28 on Monday and 30 on Sunday.

He says a rough marker is an average of 23 new cases a day to qualify for the orange level.

“We have seen both sides this week and when we analyze all that data for tomorrow, we’ll be in a much better position to share what the community picture looks like,” added Ahmed.

The new statistics are released during WECHU’s epidemiological summary on Fridays. Last Friday, the per cent positivity of COVID-19 tests for the full week was 2.3 per cent. The case rate was 47.8 per 100,000 people. The Ro(effective) is 1.03.

To qualify for orange, the case rate must be between 25 and 39.9, the per cent positivity between 1.3 to 2.4 and Rt is about 1 to 1.1.Ontario restriction thresholds

Windsor moved from red into lockdown on Dec. 14 and then back into the red level on Feb. 16.

Moving to orange would ease some restrictions and increase capacity limits for businesses and social gatherings.

Chatham-Kent and Middlesex-London transitioned to orange on Monday, March 1.