'Stay home to protect lives:' Windsor-Essex health unit calls for tighter restrictions

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The local health unit wants stronger COVID-19 restrictions, saying that a lockdown means that people must stay home and protect lives.Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit medical officer of health, said that anything that doesn't need to stay open should close."When we are calling something a lockdown … it better be a lockdown," he said. "That means people are forced to stay home to protect lives, to save lives everywhere."The province is expected to hold a press conference on pandemic restrictions early on Monday afternoon. If new provincial measures don't go far enough, the health unit will introduce some, Ahmed said."We definitely want to see stricter recommendations and stricter measures put forward by the province but we'll have to wait and see what recommendations come forward," he said.Sources told CBC News that a 28-day lockdown will be announced for Southern Ontario, along with a two-week lockdown for Northern Ontario, starting on Christmas Eve.Monday marks a week since a lockdown went into effect in Windsor-Essex.The health unit announced 127 new cases of COVID-19. Overall there are 1,141 cases active in the region along with 35 active outbreaks.Vaccine arrives in Windsor-EssexWindsor Regional Hospital says the first batches of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine have arrived in the region, and the first shots will be administered Tuesday."This is an exciting time in our community as we receive the initial supply of long-awaited doses to vaccinate against the COVID-19 virus," WRH President and CEO David Musyj said in a statement."We know this is just the start, and that initial vaccinations will be limited. However, like all communities across Canada, we look forward to the opportunities next year to bring vaccinations to individuals across Windsor-Essex."Front-line workers at seniors' facilities have been identified as the first priority for vaccination.Snapshot of the pandemic in Windsor-EssexThere are 83 people in the hospital with 13 in ICU. There are also 118 suspected cases in Windsor hospitals.Of the new cases announced Monday, 16 are related to outbreaks, three are contacts of confirmed cases, two were community acquired and 106 cases remain under investigation.Throughout the pandemic, 98 deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded by the health unit.Overall, there have been 5,861, COVID-19 cases recorded in the region since the pandemic began.The region's 35 active outbreaks include three at hospitals, one at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and two on different floors at Windsor Regional Hospital's Met campus.Two school outbreaks are also taking place, at L'Essor Catholic secondary school and L.A. Desmarais Catholic Elementary School.There are three outbreaks in community settings, Manor Lodge House, Victoria Manor Supportive Living and Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario.There are 14 workplace outbreaks: * Four in Leamington's agriculture sector. * Four in Kingsville's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in Essex's health care and social assistance sector * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. * One in Kingsville's manufacturing sector. * One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector.There are 13 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes. * Huron Lodge in Windsor with one resident case * Richmond Terrace in Amherstburg with one staff case * Chartwell Classic Oak Park LaSalle with one staff case * Sun Parlour Home in Leamington with three staff cases * Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor with two staff and seven resident cases * The Shoreview at Riverside with one resident and two staff cases * La Chaumiere Retirement in Puce with one staff case. * Extendicare Tecumseh in Tecumseh with 32 resident and 13 staff cases. * Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor with 28 resident and 28 staff cases. * The Village at St. Clair in Windsor with 50 staff cases and 68 resident cases. * Country Village in Woodslee with two staff cases and two resident cases. * Chartwell St. Clair Beach in Tecumseh with 39 resident cases and eight staff cases. * Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh with two staff cases and one resident case.

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