Ontario Reports Highest Number of New COVID-19 Cases in More Than a Week as Windsor-Essex Region Enters Stage 3 Reopening

After seven consecutive days of reporting less than 100 new cases of COVID-19, the province is recording more than 100 new infections to the start of the week of August 10, 2020. 

On Monday morning, health officials have reported 115 new COVID-19 cases bringing Ontario’s total number of lab-confirmed cases of the virus to 40,161 cases. 

Despite the uptick in cases, fortunately, there were no new deaths reported as a result of the virus in the previous 24-hour period as 102 cases of COVID-19 resolved in recoveries. 

 “While a slight uptick and an end to our streak, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that thanks to your efforts the trend in the province remains downward,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet Monday.

According to the Health Minister, there are currently 49 active cases of COVID-19 in the province with 25 patients treated in the intensive care unit and 14 of those cases requiring breathing assistance through a ventilator. 

During the province’s daily press conference, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that 28 of the province’s 34 public health units have reported five or fewer new cases of COVID-19 on Monday with as many as 18 public health units reporting no new cases at all. 

When asked where most of the uptick in new COVID-19 cases occur, the Health Minister said that the:

  • Ottawa region reported 20 new cases
  • Peel region reported 19 new cases
  • Toronto reported 16 new cases
  • Windsor-Essex reported 12 new cases 
  • York region reported 7 new cases 

To date, since the virus had reached Ontario in late January, more than 2.4 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the province. 

Within the last 24 hours, it was reported that public health officials in the province have conducted a little more than 22,000 tests and as of Monday morning 10,685 test samples are still under investigation. 

Windsor-Essex gets the green light to move to Stage 3 of Ontario’s Reopening plan

During the provincial government’s daily updates, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Windsor-Essex region has been cleared to enter Stage 3 of Ontario’s recovery and reopening plan as of Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

The region, which has been one of the last regions to enter Stage 2 and now Stage 3 of reopening, previously has been struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially among the agricultural areas of the Windsor-Essex area. 

However more recently, the region has seen a decline in new COVID-19 cases over the last week as the Ontario government helped the region increased capacity at local hospitals and implementing other measures to help the agricultural region control the spread of the virus. 

“Thanks to the collective efforts of our front-line health-care workers, public health experts and the people of Windsor-Essex, more businesses in the region can hang up their ‘Open for Business’ sign and more people can go back to work as of this Wednesday,” said Premier Ford.

The region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, welcomed the news on Monday but cautioned residents to continue to practice safety measures advised by public health officials. 

According to the medical officer of health for the region, he said he would feel more comfortable “if we can see no further increase in cases as we are opening more. Please be mindful that moving to Stage 3 does not mean the virus is gone”.

“Right now, the farms we are dealing with — obviously the outbreak is under control on those farms but there are new farms and outbreaks that continue to come,” Dr. Ahmed said on Monday. 

The medical officer has been a vocal advocate for better protocols around migrant worker’s accommodations, which he has attributed to being a major factor in the spread of the virus among that population. 

The outbreaks on Essex County farms prompted the province to send in emergency medical teams and the Red Cross for aid.

With the entire province now in Stage 3 of reopening, Premier Ford pleaded with residents across Ontario to follow public health measures as the province continues to grapple with controlling the spread of COVID-19. 

“As all of Ontario now enters into Stage 3, I ask everyone to remain on their guard and keep following the public health measures to protect the tremendous progress we’ve made and keep this deadly virus at bay,” said the Premier. 

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