Random COVID-19 Testing to Begin in Windsor-Essex

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WINDSOR — The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and Essex-Windsor EMS will begin random testing for COVID-19 next week.

During its daily update on Friday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed announced random locations will be picked over the next two weeks throughout Windsor-Essex.

He hopes up to 1,500 people will offer their consent to be tested through a drive-thru setting or trailer set up.

"We will go to them and ask them for their consent to get tested," he says. 

The locations for the random testing will not be disclosed beforehand and people do not need to have any symptoms to be tested.

Dr. Ahmed says this will provide the health unit with a true sense of community spread.

"If we see more positive cases based on these random testing, that means we still have cases circulating in the community and maybe we need to revisit how these openings and the impacts are happening in the community," he says.

He points out with more and more people outside, the likelihood of people coming into contact with others is high.

Dr. Ahmed says having a health card and ID would be helpful because it would allow for follow-up if someone tests positive.

The health unit is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 843 cases.  

Of the new cases, nine are migrant farm workers and eight are in the community.

Outbreaks are now reported at eight long-term care homes and retirement homes, down from 13 yesterday and down from a high of 18.

No new deaths are reported.

15, 019 people have been tested and 1,006 tests are pending.