The arrival of the Omicron variant in Windsor-Essex ‘is only a matter of time’

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No cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant have been detected in Windsor-Essex, but the region’s top doctor says its arrival is inevitable.


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Acting Health Medical Official Dr. Shanker Nesathurai said Monday that the new variant is likely to be the dominant virus strain in Ontario by the end of December.

“So far I have not been informed of any cases in Windsor-Essex; I think that day is coming. It’s just a matter of time, ”he said.

While the effects of omicron variant cases are not yet fully known, Nesthurai said those with omicron are more likely to transmit the disease to other people.

“We have a general understanding that the disease is, for most people, a mild to moderate disease and that vaccination is effective in reducing the severity of the disease.”

Ontario detected the first two cases of Omicron in Canada about two weeks ago. Since then, the variant has come to account for about 11 percent of infections and, according to the province’s pandemic advisory panel, its effective reproductive number is 3.32. That means each case of Omicron will generate at least three other infections.


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All of the above COVID variants combined have a reproductive number much lower than 1.27.

“I think the most important approach is to vaccinate as many people as possible,” Nesathurai said. Those who are currently eligible for the third dose (people age 50 and older whose second puncture was at least 168 days ago) must book an appointment, as do parents of children ages five to 11 who are eligible for a first dose .

The local health unit reported 67 new COVID cases in Windsor-Essex on Monday, as well as 197 cases over the weekend.

Two cases were related to outbreaks and one to travel, while 116 people were infected by close contacts. Sixty-seven people contracted COVID through community spread.

The health unit staff continues to investigate the sources of transmission of the 78 remaining cases.


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To date, 22,850 area residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 479 people who have died and 621 people still infected. Another 21,750 cases are considered resolved, although those people may be experiencing lasting health impacts from the disease.

Local hospitals have 34 COVID patients. Fourteen of them are in intensive care.

The outbreaks are still active in Windsor-Essex in 16 workplaces, five community settings and two long-term care homes. New school outbreaks have been declared at Leamington District High School, Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic School and Hugh Beaton Public School, bringing the number of active school outbreaks to 10.

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