Looming lockdown? Windsor-Essex top doctor hopes region is spared in third wave

The medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Dr. Wajid Ahmed. (CWECHU / Youtube)

The medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit hopes the region can avoid a nasty third wave of COVID-19 as cases surge in other areas of the province.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed said they are monitoring all of the indicators closely.

"I really hope and pray that we don't have to deal with a third wave," says Ahmed. "I think our community has suffered enough and our health care workers have suffered enough. It's been exhaustive, everyone is burnt out at this time and we really hope that we don't have to deal with the third wave."

Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce a month-long provincial shutdown on Thursday.

Ahmed says he hasn’t been part of any of these conversations about restrictions or changing levels at this time.

Windsor is currently in the red zone, the fourth tier of the five-level framework.

“It may be a difficult one for the province to make with how far they want to go ahead with the lockdown and whether that will be a provincial lockdown or a regional lockdown,” says Ahmed.

He says the region will have to wait and see what the province decides.

Most of the region’s indicators fit the red criteria and some were orange, as he gave the weekly epidemiological summary on Friday.

The per cent positivity of COVID-19 tests increased to 3.6 per cent for the full week, compared to 2.8 per cent the previous week. The case rate decreased to 44.7/100,000 and the Ro(effective) was 0.9. This weeks stats have not yet been released.

“There is no provincial indicator for what is the threshold for the grey-lockdown category,” says Ahmed.

Historically the province looks at case rates close to 80 or 100 per 100,000 population, combined with the other trends and indicators.

“We are monitoring that number locally and obviously the case rate is the most important indicator of how the community is seeing the spread and where these cases are happening,” says Ahmed.

Ahmed adds if the region is sees a sharp increase in cases in concerning areas they would look at local and provincial methods to reduce the spread.

The province confirmed 2,333 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. Daily case numbers have remained above the 2,000 mark for seven straight days.

Ontario’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,316, up from 1,676 one week ago.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Miriam Katawazi.