'Significant increase' in COVID-19 cases in younger Windsor-Essex residents: WECHU
Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed in Windsor, Ont., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Bob Bellacicco / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting a ‘significant increase’ in new COVID-19 cases in the region’s younger population.
WECHU says 42 per cent of new cases of the virus in the past two weeks were in residents under 30 years old.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says 23 per cent of the cases were in the 20 to 29 age group and 19 per cent were in the 0 to 19 age category.
“We are seeing a significant increase in the cases in the younger population, more pronounced in the zero to 19 age and then followed by 20 to 29 years,” says Ahmed. “Those are the two key age groups that are currently impacted, driving our case counts with respect to COVID.”
He says individuals in these age groups need to be more careful with following COVID protocols and guidelines.
"As we see that especially in other parts of the province, those are the people who are now being impacted more, they are coming in very sick, they need ICU care and they are staying longer in the ICU," says Ahmed. "Many of them think maybe there are not at a risk and they may not develop the same complications as most of the elderly people get but this is not true especially with some of the variants."
He says even though the Windsor-Essex case rate is below the provincial average, the numbers are still increasing.
"We are seeing similar trend in our region with the cases increasing in that population group and I can understand that there maybe some questions about COVID fatigue, people don't want to follow those restrictions but those are the important ones," says Ahmed.
The third highest age category is from 50 to 59. They have 17 per cent of the confirmed cases in the past two weeks.
Ahmed says it also shows the vaccine is working, with more of the older population getting vaccinated first.
“We are seeing a significant decline in the older population,” says Ahmed. “So clearly the impact of vaccination is already showing up, in terms of not seeing increases in that population age group.”