Windsor-Essex sees increase of 116 COVID-19 cases

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Windsor, January 16, 2020. Blackburn News file photo.

Health officials in Windsor-Essex reported 116 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The additional cases bring the overall regional case count to 11,662

The transmission source of a majority of the newest cases is still being investigated. Eighteen are outbreak-related, 16 are close contacts of confirmed cases and three are community-acquired.

There were also two new deaths reported on Saturday, a man in his 60s from the community and a woman in her 80s from long-term care. The number of people who have passed away from the virus in the region is now at 290.

Meanwhile, 486 more people recovered from the virus in the region over the past 24 hours. A total of  9,754 of the cases in Windsor-Essex are listed as being resolved, 1,618 cases are currently active and 101 are hospitalized.

There are currently 19 long-term care or retirement homes and 25 workplaces in COVID-19 outbreak. There are also six hospital outbreaks and two community outbreaks.

Across Ontario, provincial health officials reported 2,359 additional cases on Saturday. The case count in Ontario now sits at 252,858.

Meanwhile, the province will be expanding its workplace inspections to Windsor as well as the Ottawa, Niagara and Durham regions over the weekend.

The inspection blitz, which was developed in consultation with local health units, is meant to ensure essential businesses that remain open are following public health guidelines.

The inspection campaign started in the Greater Toronto Area last weekend when a team of 50 ministry inspections visited 240 big-box stores. According to a media release from the province, 69 per cent of businesses that were inspected were following the public health guidelines.

Three-hundred provincial offences officers, as well as local public health inspectors and municipal bylaw officers, will continue to visit a variety of other workplaces such as retail establishments, restaurants providing take-out meals and essential service-sector establishments.

Corporations can be now be fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Everyone in Ontario, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply with orders under the acts.

If a violation is more serious, a person can be charged with failing to comply with an order under the acts. If convicted, the court can impose fines as high as $100,000 for individuals, and directors and officers of a corporation can be fined up to $500,000. Both could also receive terms of imprisonment of up to one year. The maximum fine for a corporation on conviction of an offence is up to $10,000,000.