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Sunday, January 16

Public health officials are concerned that the COVID burden will continue to rise over the holidays

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Local public health leaders are imploring residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19 before the holiday season with children in mind.

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Amid rising COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and hospitalizations in Windsor-Essex, the region’s acting medical health official said Wednesday that more than 600 cohorts of children had been fired from area schools following exposures in class since September started: a number grows. daily. He estimated that 12,000 young people have been interrupted by following instructions to isolate themselves and “do their part to break the chain of transmission.”

Reiterating the regional health unit’s primary goal of keeping children in schools, Nesathurai said that those who benefit most from the sacrifices children make are unvaccinated people in their 50s and 60s.

“I would appeal to all unvaccinated and currently vaccinated 50-60-year-olds to think about the real superheroes, those little kids who are being bullied at school to protect 50-60 year-olds who they choose not to get vaccinated. “

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Since the beginning of September, 32 local residents have died from COVID-19. Although their vaccination status has not been made public, their age ranges have. Five were 50 years old, nine were 60 years old, 11 were 70 years old and six were 80 years old.

More than 97 percent of people over the age of 80 are fully vaccinated, as are more than 93 percent of people in their 70s. Just under 90 percent of the 69-69 age group receive double doses, with lower coverage (nearly 86 percent) for those in their 50s.

As of Wednesday morning, Windsor-Essex has 571 active COVID-19 cases, the highest count in the region since Sept. 7.

“We are certainly concerned, especially as we see our community COVID rates increasing,” said Health Unit Executive Director Nicole Dupuis.

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When it comes to self-isolation after testing positive or being identified as a close contact on a case, Dupuis said her team has learned that some people don’t stay home the way they should.

“Our public health unit addresses isolation requirements at people. That is the direction people should go, “he said.

“It is definitely important that people adhere to the public health guide if we want to move forward, to keep our community where it is. I don’t think any of us want to see rates as high as last year. the holidays.”

Go back to December 1, 2020, and Windsor-Essex had 427 active cases, 144 fewer than now. A year ago, before the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine began, cases continued to rise during the Christmas season. By New Year’s Day, more than 2,000 cases were active, with multiple COVID-related deaths reported each day, most of them nursing home and long-term care residents.

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“What we are trying to do is break the chain of transmission,” Nesathurai said. “The inconvenience a self-isolating person experiences is significant – they have to stay home for a period of time – but the consequences of not self-isolating can mean disease transmission. It could lead to the chain of transmission where someone dies. “

The number of active outbreaks in Windsor-Essex remains high at 28: eight schools, 10 workplaces, eight community settings, and two long-term care homes. Generally speaking, Nesathurai said several concerning factors are causing the outbreaks, including people who go out when they have symptoms, locations that don’t monitor the vaccination status of clients and guests when needed, and people who lie about whom. They are your close contacts when they speak. to the staff of the public health unit after testing positive.

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When asked if he is considering implementing capacity limits to curb the number of cases, Nesathurai said that “all options remain available to try to contain COVID-19.” With or without “public health leadership,” he urged people planning parties to think about whether the party is really necessary and, if it is, to think about how many people should be there and if they are all vaccinated. The region has seen COVID exposures in schools leading to recreational exposures and then more exposures at parties, he said.

The health unit reported 89 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday. Twenty-three people who tested positive are currently in area hospitals.

[email protected]

twitter.com/wstarcampbell

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Reference-windsorstar.com

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