Community spread a growing concern

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / shmeljov

As COVID-19 cases involving a variant become more prevalent in the region, community spread is a growing concern.

According to the latest epidemiological study by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit, about 31 per cent of all new COVID-19 infections since March were acquired somewhere in the community, meaning the person did not have any close contact with a previously confirmed case.

Acquisition source from March to Present as presented by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit.

Acquisition source from March to Present as presented by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit.

“Which is significantly high, and we all need to be careful and mindful every time we are out there, that every action of ours can put ourselves at risk of acquiring the disease,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed

There are currently 454 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, 121 of those cases involve a variant of concern.

On Friday, the health unit reported 62 new infections in the region. Among the new cases, 19 are close contacts of previously confirmed cases and seven were acquired in the community.

Over the last seven days, there have been 86.6 cases per 100,000 population and about 6 per cent of all tests conducted come back positive. Both of these figures have increased over the last week showing a growing infection rate.

On the vaccine front, 25.6 per cent of the total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The coverage rate for residents 60 and older is 75 per cent.

Next week the health unit will begin vaccinating farmworkers in Leamington and Kingsville who live in congregate settings or are required to work in close proximity. The health unit has been working with the farm owners, and they have made appointments at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington.

The health unit has also made arrangements to vaccinate housebound individuals receiving chronic home care. A mobile team will start vaccinating about 300 individuals who have been identified.

The criteria to register for a vaccine appointment through the health unit have opened up. Individuals who are in the highest medical risk category and prioritized health care workers can now book through the site. They will be required to make an attestation that they are within the category as identified by the provincial government.