Health unit warns of ‘cluster cases’ linking multiple families and businesses to 31 COVID-19 infections

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Rumors circulating on social media about who hosted and attended parties that contributed to the spread of COVID-19 could prevent people from coming forward for fear of retaliation, Ahmed said.

“We recognize the stigma and discrimination, which is definitely not something we want to see,” Ahmed said. “We want people to recognize if they are showing symptoms, if they have witnessed any of these events, they need to be open with that information.”

Windsor-Essex County Board of Health Medical Officer of Health Dr Wajid Ahmed addresses the media at the WECHU offices on March 17, 2020. Photo de Dalson Chen /Windsor Star

During the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit virtual press conference on Wednesday, Ahmed presented a slide presentation illustrating the convoluted connection between those involved in what he called the “cluster cases”. Some of them attended Xanadu Gym in Lakeshore, a Tim Horton’s in LaSalle, Spirit Halloween at Devonshire Mall, Muscedere Vinyard in Harrow and Wineology and El Diablo in Kingsville – all places where the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has issued warnings of “Risk of public exposure” over the past few days.

After more than five months of positive cases in the region, this is the first time the health unit has identified such a large infectious cluster, Ahmed said.

The first symptom or test date for a cluster member was August 20.

Young people aged 14-19 make up the majority of cluster cases with 19 of 31. Eight are adults aged 40-49, three are 50-59 and one is 77.

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