WINDSOR, ONT. -- Despite improving numbers, Windsor-Essex will remain in the ‘Red-Control’ level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework for at least another week.

The province released the list of regions changing levels on Friday. Chatham-Kent will remain in the ‘Orange-Restrict’ category. Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health are moving from the stay-at-home order to the ‘Grey-Lockdown’ level.

Windsor-Essex medical health officer Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the region was on the bubble between current red zone and the less restricted orange zone.

“We are right at the border,” said Ahmed. “I’m not saying that we are at a clear red or a clear orange.”

Ahmed gave the region's weekly epidemiological summary on Friday:

Per cent positivity

  • He says the per cent positivity of the COVID-19 tests for the full week was 2.6 per cent, but 2.5 per cent over the last seven days. Windsor-Essex has the eighth-highest rate in the province.
  • The most recently completed case rate was 54.1 cases per 100,000 population, but the most recent rate for the last seven days was 39.3.
  • The Ro(effective) is 0.73. That is an improvement from last week when it was 1.03.

R0(effective)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.

“Slowly we are getting there,” says Ahmed, who added the numbers are still fluctuating and they need to be at the right level on a consistent basis.

Community spread is one of the leading contributors to new cases.

Statistics Canada reported 84 per cent of COVID-19 cases across the country are caused by community exposures.

While community transmission is dipping locally — Ahmed says it’s still how most local cases are spreading.

“The numbers are going in the right direction, and we really hope that it continues to move in that direction and we can move to a lesser restrictions.”

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.

- With files from CTV Windsor's Rich Garton