Despite an ever-expanding COVID-19 vaccine rollout and more than a month in a province-wide shut down, COVID-19 rates in Windsor-Essex have not yet fallen enough, according to the region's medical officer of health.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed said during a live YouTube broadcast on Friday that the numbers aren't where he'd expect them to be at this point. The public shouldn't let their guards down, he said.
"We definitely are not doing too, too bad but we're not out to the woods yet," he said.
The most recent seven-day incidence rate for COVID-19 is 67.1 per 100,000 people, according to the weekly epidemiological report Ahmed presented Friday. He said that rate was influenced by a few daily spikes.
For the previous seven-day period, the rate was similar, at 66.1.
On Friday, the health unit announced that one more person has died from COVID-19 in the region, a man in his 60s. There have been 421 deaths attributed to COVID-19 to date.
The health unit also announced 41 new cases of COVID-19. In total, 343 people in the region have active cases, and about half of those involve more contagious variants of concern.
Per provincial guidance, the health unit is allowing vaccinated health-care workers in the highest priority category, as well as staff and primary caregivers to those in seniors' homes, to book their second dose appointments early.
Anyone eligible who wants to get their final shot before the four-month provincial guideline must call the health unit to book their appointment, WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette said.
A list of the health-care workers eligible is available here, and the full list of populations eligible for vaccination is can be found on health unit's website and WEvax.ca.
So far, 207,835 COVID-19 shots have been given locally, including first and second doses, and 193,016 people have received at least one vaccine dose.
Overall 56.6 per cent adults have gotten one dose or more.
There are 21 people in hospital, including three in intensive-care units.
Of the new cases announced Thursday, 23 are close contacts of previously confirmed cases, 16 were community acquired, one case related to an outbreak and the remainder are under investigation.
There is one outbreak active in a community setting, the Southwest Detention Centre, as well as six outbreaks at workplaces:
Two in Windsor's health-care and social assistance sector.
One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.
One in Windsor's mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector.
Two in retail settings in Windsor.
COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent
Lambton Public Health reported eight new cases on Thursday and there are 89 active overall.
Chatham-Kent Public Health reported six new cases of COVID-19, with 36 cases active overall.