Seventh week in red zone anticipated despite improving COVID-19 case counts in Windsor-Essex
Imagine Cinemas in Lakeshore, Ont., on Thursday, March 25, 2021. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor’s top doctor is anticipating another week in the red zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.
Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Thursday that provincial officials have not approached the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit this week about changing levels to the less-restricted orange zone.
This is what’s allowed in the red zone of the province’s reopening framework. The province usually releases the list of regions moving levels on Fridays, with the changes taking effect on Mondays.
Even though hospitalizations in Windsor-Essex are going down, Ahmed said the province looks at the numbers behind the main indicators.
“It all matters on what the actual case counts are and what the actual risk is and how many cases are currently active,” said Ahmed.
WECHU is reporting 21 new cases on Thursday and there are 229 total active cases. There are 13 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the hospital and five people are in the ICU.
There were 19 new cases on Wednesday, 21 on Tuesday, 11 on Monday and 31 on Sunday. No new COVID-related deaths were reported this week.
The health unit will release Windsor’s latest statistics in the weekly epidemiological summary on Friday. Last week, the weekly case rate and 50.1 cases/100,000 population and the per cent positivity was 2.8 per cent. The Ro (effective) was 0.9.
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 about 1 to 1.1.
Windsor moved from the red zone into lockdown on Dec. 14 and then back into the red level on Feb. 16. The region will be entering its seventh week in red if no changes are announced.
Moving to orange would ease some restrictions and increase capacity limits for businesses and social gatherings.
Ahmed is asking residents to remain vigilant for a bit longer.
“We will get through this,” said Ahmed. I think it’s just a matter of making sure we get a critical mass vaccinated to break the chain of transmission. When we have enough people vaccinated, all of these case rates will start to go down and with loosening of the restrictions there will be much more opportunity for everyone to get back to some kind of normalcy in their life.”
A total of 73,978 doses have been administered to Windsor-Essex County residents so far.
Chatham Kent’s Medical Health Officer Dr. David Colby also said he would be surprised if restrictions are loosened on Friday for his region.