Ontario confirms 177 new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex amid targeted testing of agri-food workers

Ontario reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with 177 of those cases confirmed by the Windsor-Essex public health unit following targeted testing of migrant farm workers over the weekend.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the testing is part of the province’s three-point plan to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus among temporary workers in the agri-food sector.

Three migrant workers with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have died in Ontario since the outbreak began, two in Windsor-Essex and another in the Haldimand Norfolk health unit.

Leamington and Kingsville, both areas within the Windsor-Essex health unit with high populations of temporary farm workers, are the only two parts of Ontario that have not yet been given approval to move into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

Mucci Farms posted this image of temporary workers waiting to be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 at one of its locations in Kingsville. (Mucci Farms/Facebook)

Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed 27,127 novel coronavirus test samples yesterday, the Ministry of Health says.

Eighty additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed elsewhere in the province. However several public health units — most notably Toronto — removed a handful of cases that were mistakenly duplicated in previous updates, rather than reporting any new cases. That means there are almost certainly new cases that were not included in today’s figure.

There has now been a total of 34,911 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario since late January. About 86.5 per cent of those are resolved, including an additional 89 marked resolved yesterday. Some 2,050 cases remain active.

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus increased by 18, up to 232. At the peak of the outbreak, more than 1,000 people with the illness were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, those requiring intensive care fell by five, down to 46, and the number on ventilators dropped by 1 to 35.

Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by seven and is now 2,665. However a CBC News count based on data provided directly by regional public health units puts the real toll at 2,706.

25 cases linked to Kingston nail salon

The Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington health unit has confirmed three more COVID-19 linked to a nail salon in Kingston, bringing the current total to 25.

Six of them are staff, six are clients and the rest are their close contacts, a spokesperson for the health unit told CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning.

One of those close contacts works at a different salon in the city, which has closed. None of the 25 are in a hospital.

The health unit said in a previous email to CBC Ottawa that more confirmed cases linked to local nail salons would mean it would order every nail salon under its jurisdiction to close.


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