Superspreader event in Kingsville, Ont. investigated for 'breaches' in public health guidance
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is investigating a major COVID-19 outbreak at a Kingsville restaurant to see if there were any breaches in protocols.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit issued a 'high risk' exposure alert for Elite Restaurant from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2 after 42 people tested positive for COVID-19 following a birthday party. The health unit will not release the exact date of the party, but multiple people who say they were in attendance tell CTV News it was on Nov. 20.
“Forty-two of approximately 75 of that one social gathering tested positive,” said Dr. Shanker Nesathurai. “It is my understanding that part of the health district has lower vaccination rates as well.”
Under the Reopening Ontario Act, all indoor dining guests at restaurants must be fully vaccinated. The health unit is conducting an assessment of the outbreak and vaccination status of guests.
“Like in every outbreak assessment, without speaking specifically to this individual restaurant, we look and see what the level of people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated are and if there were any breaches in adherence to public health guidance and from that we’ll learn a little bit more,” said Nesathurai.
He expects to have more information as the investigation progresses.
“Given that we’re very concerned about larger spread related to that one social gathering, hence why we put in some of the measures in this letter of instruction,” he said.
The Letter of Instruction, which includes a capacity for restaurants at 50 per cent and recommendations for workplaces, starts on Dec. 10.
“We know that some of the attendees are associated with employers in the health district and there may also be some association with the residences of migrant farm workers,” said Nesathurai.
A co-owner for Elite Restaurant told CTV News Windsor that staff followed public health guidelines during the party, such as ensuring all patrons provided proof of vaccination.
The health unit has also asked all of the family members of those who attended the event to get tested. WECHU says it is still waiting for those results.