COVID WORKPLACE CAUTION
Top doc urges employers to be alert
The local medical officer of health is asking business owners to review public health measures amid a rise in workplace-related COVID-19 cases.
While most of the cases are not resulting in “major transmission” and are “contained,” Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the health unit has identified lapses in infection prevention and control measures that resulted in some spread.
All employers should look for ways to allow their workers to work remotely to prevent transmission at the workplace, he said. Any workplaces where staff must perform their duties in-person should ensure all infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures are being followed.
“With variants of concern on the rise, cases can increase rapidly, especially in the workplace, and can potentially lead to the closure of the workplace,” Ahmed said on Wednesday.
If appropriate protocols are in place, transmission should be prevented even if an infectious person enters a workplace, he said.
Those who infect their colleagues don't know that they're sick, according to health unit investigations. The top doctor said individuals at the root of workplace spread may not know where they caught COVID, or were a contact of a case.
Workplace outbreaks are active at seven locations: two farms in Leamington, three health-care and social-assistance settings in Windsor, and two manufacturing facilities in Windsor and Tecumseh.
The health unit declares a workplace outbreak when two or more employees test positive for COVID-19 within a reasonable timeline to suspect transmission happened in the workplace.
The health unit reported 72 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Five were community acquired, three were related to outbreaks and 29 were close contacts of confirmed cases. The remaining 35 cases are still under investigation by public health unit staff.
There are 486 active cases in Windsor-essex. Nineteen people who have tested positive are in hospital, and two of them are in intensive care.
No additional COVID deaths were reported. Since March of 2020, 411 are residents have lost their lives as a result of the disease.
To date, 14,965 people who live in Windsor-essex have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 14,068 are considered resolved, though some of those individuals may be experiencing lasting health impacts.
Two cases of the variant first identified in South Africa have been identified in the region, as have 516 cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom. Seventy-two additional local variant cases have not yet been categorized.