CBC Windsor April 23 COVID-19 update: 42% of all cases in seniors’ homes

Windsor’s health authority reported Wednesday that nearly half of all COVID-19 cases were in the area’s most vulnerable population. 

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit said 42 per cent of COVID-19 positive patients were residents of long-term care or retirement homes in the region. 

WATCH| The health unit’s COVID-19 update for Thursday April 23 live at 9 a.m.:

According to the health unit, 22 of 31 deaths in the community were people linked to these homes. 

CBC News had learned where nine of those individuals resided:

  • One resident at Amica Riverside has died
  • One resident at Sun Parlor Home for Senior Citizens has died
  • Two residents at Lifetimes on Riverside have died
  • Five residents at Heron Terrace have died

That leaves 13 people who were residents of long-term care or retirement homes that have died. 

The health unit said Country Village Homes is the only other long term care home where deaths have occurred. But the home has refused to confirm to CBC News. 

As of Wednesday, Country Village Homes had 69 residents positive for COVID-19, and 24 staff members. 

On Wednesday, the Ontario government requested help from the Canadian military to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in long-term care facilities, where the province says soldiers are needed to help with staffing and medical care.

The Ford government revealed the request for help at five long-term care facilities on Wednesday, but it’s unclear which homes the help is for across the province. 

“Things change hour by hour,” said Minister of Long-term Care Merrilee Fullerton. “That military assistance will go to the homes in greatest need.”

WATCH| Why did the province not act sooner to stop the virus from spreading in long-term care homes?

“Why did the province not act sooner to stop the virus from spreading in long-term care homes?” CBC reporter Lisa Xing asked Ford on March 31. 1:26​​​​

CBC News has collected data from local health units showing COVID-19 has killed at least 716 people in Ontario — a total that includes hundreds who have died in long-term care. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford likened the situation in long-term care settings to a “raging wildfire” during his Wednesday news conference.

Meanwhile, local NDP MPPs Lisa Gretzky, Percy Hatfield and Taras Natyshak issued a joint statement Wednesday. 

They’re calling for major changes and investments in long-term care homes from the Ford government, including salary increases and more hours for staff.

They say more action is needed to protect residents.

Here’s what’s happening in our area:

COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton

The health unit in Sarnia-Lambton reported 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 14 people have died from the virus. Another 62 people have recovered. 

In a press conference Tuesday, Bluewater Health hospital chief of staff Dr. Mike Haddad said 14 of his staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, though only four of them contracted the virus at work. The other 10 cases were contracted in the community. 

Haddad said his facility saw its peak two weeks ago, when 32 people with COVID-19 were at the hospital and seven in the ICU. 

Over the past few weeks, numbers have dwindled he said. But about half of those who were hospitalized in ICU over the course of the pandemic have died. 

Haddad said it’s been particularly tough for patients who have not been able to see their loved ones, adding stress to an already devastating situation. 

Two facilities in Sarnia-Lambton are currently under a COVID-19 outbreak. 

As of Tuesday, Landmark Village retirement home has 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff and residents. 

At Meadowview Villa long-term care, one staff member has tested positive, and health unit officials say they are monitoring the facility for any potential spread. 

COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent

Chatham-Kent Pubic Health reported Wednesday that 37 people in the region have tested positive for COVID-19. One person has died and 15 people have recovered. 

Virtual clinic launched

The health unit along with local health-care partners have launched a Virtual Walk-In-Clinic, and other e-health tools to help people navigate their health during the pandemic. 

The virtual clinic launched Tuesday and can be found at: https://ehealthwindsoressex.ca.

Officials say they do not know if this online clinic will be made available after the pandemic, but are happy to provide tools now to aid people from their homes. 

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