More Omicron Cases Likely to Already in Windsor-Essex – Health Drive

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Top local health officials expect more cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant to already be circulating in the region a day after the first laboratory-confirmed case of the variant was detected in Windsor-Essex.


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Laboratory tests, as of Wednesday morning, had not detected any additional cases of Omicron in the region, “there is a reasonable possibility” that the variant was here before its discovery on Tuesday, said Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, medical interim health.

“We know that by the end of the month, Omicron will be the dominant variant and we believe its doubling rate is substantially higher than Delta’s,” he said.

Each positive COVID-19 sample is further tested for variants. However, it can take weeks for the health unit to receive the laboratory results of the complete genome sequencing, the process necessary to confirm exactly which variant is present.

“With Delta, it was similar,” said health unit executive director Nicole Dupuis. “We did have a delay, and at some point we know that most of our cases were delta. We hope the same will happen with Omicron. “


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Since the Omicron variant was first discovered in November, the health unit has been working under the assumption that it would eventually be detected locally.

“The public health approach really reflects the fact that Omicron cases would be anticipated in Windsor-Essex,” said Nesathurai. “I hope that, over the next few weeks, we will see more and more cases of the Omicron variant.

“I would risk saying that the omicron variant is not the last variant we will see.”

When asked whether further restrictions on gatherings would be necessary to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, the doctor said he anticipated that the provincial government would soon impose additional public health measures.

The health unit reported an additional 98 COVID-19 infections and the COVID-related death of a woman in her 80s on Wednesday.


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To date, 20,990 Windsor-Essex residents have tested positive for COVID. Of these, 636 cases are active, 483 people have died and 21,871 cases are considered resolved.

Nearly 7,000 people self-isolate after COVID exposures.

New school outbreaks have been declared at Maranatha Christian Academy, Centennial Central Public School, St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School, Bellewood Public School, and John Campbell Public School. An outbreak at Dr. David Suzuki Public School has been rescinded.

School shoots remain active at Stella Maris Catholic School, St. Anne French Immersion Catholic School, Margaret D. Bennie Public School, Leamington District Secondary School, Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic School, and Hugh Beaton Public School.

There are also outbreaks in 12 workplaces, six community settings, and two long-term care homes.

More than 718,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to local residents, including 57,338 booster shots.

About 22 percent of residents ages five and older have not received a single COVID vaccine.

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