Windsor-Essex expected to remain in red zone next week
A chef cooks Chinese food on a rainy fall day as the restaurant is open for curb-side pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The top doctor in Windsor-Essex said the region should remain in the ‘Red-Control’ zone of the province’s COVID-19 response framework for at least another week.
Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed gave his weekly epidemiological summary on Friday, outlining the key indicators the province reviews are still in the red zone, including case counts, per cent test positivity and reproduction numbers.
"I don't anticipate that we will see any restrictions easing off next week," says Ahmed. “Because as we have noted, our numbers slightly worsened. It’s not a huge jump, but still it’s a jump. We do have an explanation why it happened, but we have to be really cautious with what we are dealing with.“
Ahmed says some fluctuation over the last week, partially due to an outbreak in the shelter population.
“What we can see is the cases are on the decline,” says Ahmed. “We have seen a little increase in the last few days, partly linked to the outbreak in the shelter population. Other than that, the cases are pretty much stabilizing in our region.”
About 8,200 people were tested for COVID-19 last week, with a per cent positivity rate around 2.3 per cent.
Windsor’s case rate per 100,000 is 58 and the R0 (effective) is 1.14.
Ontario’s criteria for the red zone is a case rate over 40, percent positivity of 2.5 per cent or more and a Ro(effective) of 1.2 or more.
The five levels of the reopening framework are Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Grey-Lockdown. Windsor moved from red into lockdown on Dec. 14 and then back into the red level on Feb. 16.
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.
Moving to orange would ease some restrictions and increase capacity limits for businesses and social gatherings.
The Ontario government announced Friday it is maintaining the shutdown, the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures for an additional two weeks in the Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, along with the North Bay-Parry Sound District.
The York Public Health Region will transition out of the shutdown and into the red zone. All other health unit regions remain at their current level.