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“An explosion of cases” and “a long way to go to get this under control.”

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I better hope Omicron isn’t as bad as you feared because we’re heading into a ton of trouble already.

Windsor and Essex counties’ seven-day COVID-19 infection rate jumped from 74 cases per 100,000 people to 123 per 100,000 people, the third highest in Ontario this week.

32 outbreaks were reported Friday in schools, workplaces, nursing homes and long-term care homes and in the community. Twenty-five people were in hospitals.

The number of positive tests for COVID-19 jumped to 8.3 percent, nearly three times the rate for Ontario.

“An explosion of cases,” said Windsor-Essex County Health Unit epidemiologist Ramsey D’Souza on Thursday.

“A long way to go to get this under control,” said Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Acting Medical Health Officer.

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More than 600 cohorts of children, and growing, have been expelled from schools since September because they were exposed to the virus. That is, 12,000 students who have their education interrupted, again.

Thirty-two people have died since September.

And on Friday, hospitals, paramedics and public health officials in the region warned of “intensifying capacity pressures throughout the acute care system.”

Hospitals reported “significant bed capacity concerns” due to rising COVID-19 cases and an increase in other respiratory illnesses. If you don’t need a hospital, don’t go to a hospital, they pleaded.

And, yes, they are still trying to get to surgeries that were postponed during the peak of the pandemic.

This was Ontario’s COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board on Tuesday: “The critical care system currently has no capacity to adapt to a surge like it did during waves two and three due to worsening staffing shortages, the burnout of health care workers and health system recovery efforts “.

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All of this and the holiday season has just begun.

And there is no appetite for more public health restrictions.

People exhausted for almost two years of this, eager for normalcy, are filling restaurants and stores that need their business. They are crossing the newly opened border into Michigan, where there are so many cases that hospitals have turned patients away and the military was called in to help, to visit family and friends, shop and dine. They go on vacation.

Closing schools and locking up again is unthinkable.

But in some cases we don’t even handle the basics. Some people who are sick are going out anyway, public health officials said this week. Some people who have been ordered to isolate themselves after testing positive or being in close contact with others who have tested positive do not isolate themselves.

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Some of those who tested positive have lied to public health officials asking that their close contacts try to contain the spread. Some places that require proof of vaccination do not look for proof.

And while we focus on vaccinating children ages five to 11 and giving booster shots for the elderly, both key measures, there are some age groups that have not yet reached 80 percent complete vaccination and some zip codes. they have not reached 70 percent. percent, let alone the 90 percent goal.

Do we need new public health measures or better enforcement? Ontario says that depends on each region.

Canada and the US have announced new travel rules, Canada on Tuesday and the US on Thursday. As usual, the rules are all different: different tests, different timelines. Are you traveling by land or air? How long were you there? It has left everyone confused, again.

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People coming to Canada from another country must test and isolate themselves. Except if they’re coming from the US, which doesn’t make sense because we’re each other’s top destinations. If you’ve been in the US for less than 72 hours, long enough to go to a football game or concert with thousands of people, and then go shopping and dining, you don’t have to do any tests when you get back.

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All this and we have not yet identified a case of the Omicron variant in this region.

A study in South Africa on Thursday showed that Omicron is three times more likely to infect people who have already been infected with other variants of the virus and are believed to have some natural immunity.

If it is more transmissible than the current Delta variant, it will become dominant faster than the Delta variant, Ontario Medical Director of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in a briefing this week. That means we have, as you said, a “shorter window” to prepare.

The scientific table recommended public health measures to reduce transmission.

But as we are seeing, we are not very excited about it anymore.

And that is why we are heading for a lot of trouble.

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Reference-windsorstar.com

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