Three more lives lost to COVID-19

Nasal swabs in test tubes. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / ayo88.

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is reporting three more deaths linked to COVID-19.

The deaths were reported on Monday morning. Due to the holiday, the health unit’s last update was on December 30.

Jeff Moco of the health unit’s communications team said a man in his 70s, a man in his 60s, and a woman in her 80s passed away.

The local health unit has now logged a total of 30 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, the health unit listed 263 new cases over the long weekend, an average of 87 cases per day, along with 255 resolved cases. The active case count in Chatham-Kent is now up to 347.

Just one month ago, the municipality was at 109 active cases.

According to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, 29 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, 26 of whom are Chatham-Kent residents. The health alliance is reporting that 21 of the COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated, eight patients are in the ICU, and six are on ventilators. The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance ICU is at 90 per cent occupancy.

Additionally, 38 employees at the hospital are off work due to testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to the virus.

There are also currently three outbreaks in Chatham-Kent. Two cases are being reported at both Riverview Gardens in Chatham and Tilbury Manor Nursing Home and 18 cases are linked to a manufacturing workplace.

Across Ontario, provincial health officials recorded 13,578 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

In response to the recent rise in cases, the province announced on Monday that will return to “modified Step 2” restrictions as of Wednesday, which includes reducing social gathering limits, closing indoor dining, and reducing capacity in retail settings.