Windsor's Medical Officer of Health warns the fourth wave could be worse than the last as COVID-19 case rates continue to climb in the region.
In the last seven days, the case rate has nearly doubled again and is now 86.8 cases per 100,000. In addition, the positivity rate among those tested this week was 7.6 per cent.
"This was not expected, truly, and I am worried that just because everything is wide-open, if we don't put a plug on this it will continue to spread," said Dr. Wajid Ahmed.
On Friday, the health unit reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 in the community. Among the new cases, five are close contacts of previously confirmed cases, and three are community acquired. Case and contact management staff continue to investigate 62 cases.
Health Unit CEO Nicole Dupuis indicated they are having difficulty keeping up with case and contact management with the cases spreading so quickly.
"Over the year, we have shifted resources between vaccine and cases. Now, we have both demands at the same time and it certainly is difficult for us internally," said Dupuis. "We are struggling right now. We have provincial supports that have been provided to our health unit and are increasing right now but it does take time to train and get people on board."
There are 472 active cases now and 250 involve a variant of concern. The Delta variant remains the most prevalent strain of the virus in the region.
Dr. Ahmed indicated the fourth wave could be the worst yet, despite the wide-spread vaccination numbers, because of the Delta-variant and how quickly it spreads.
"When you increase the number of cases among the unvaccinated, the likelihood of vaccinated people who will get sick will also increase," said Dr. Ahmed.
Local hospitals are currently treating 15 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, five are in the intensive care unit. At least seven of these patients are unvaccinated and one is partially vaccinated.
Dr. Ahmed says they are seeing a number of cases linked to weddings, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants in the community.
"Many of these businesses are not enforcing masking when it's required. Many of the businesses are not enforcing the physical distancing measures that are required. Many of the businesses are not enforcing the capacity limits that are required at this time," said Dr. Ahmed.
COVID-19 public exposure notices have been issued for Tequila Bob's and Wild Child Nightlife in downtown Windsor. For a full list of dates and times visit the health unit's website.
Health Unit staff will be putting further emphasis on public health measure enforcement in the coming weeks in an attempt to bring down the number of cases.
Dr. Ahmed said he would like to avoid implementing further measures that would restrict the economy moving forward.