Public health officials in Windsor, Ont., will once again be putting in place restrictions to “address (a) surge” in pre-holiday cases of COVID-19, according to a press release on Sunday. 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has identified social gatherings as “an area of significant concern” regarding COVID-19 transmission. 

WECHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai said interventions are necessary to prevent cases from becoming higher.. 

“We are very worried that we are already seeing this surge of cases in advance of the holiday season and its associated social gatherings,” said Nesathurai. “Immediate action needs to be taken by all residents to address the known sources of transmission which are social gatherings, both in homes and in the community.”

These restrictions include limiting gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. There will be added measures for wedding receptions, funerals and religious services. 

Total occupancy for bars and restaurants will be limited to 50%. This includes strict mask mandates in public settings. 

WECHU CEO Nicole Dupuis said with the recent surge in cases, the region needs to respond to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

“These additional measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dupuis. “We will continue to review regularly and adjust based on our local data.” 

The WECHU said that these measures will come into effect on Friday. 

Restrictions were implemented on indoor social gatherings in residences within Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) region on Nov. 27. 

KFL&A’s order mandates that no person can attend or host an indoor social gathering in a residence with more than 10 people. 

Hosts have also been required to keep a list of names and contact information when having social gatherings. They are expected to give KFL&A Public Health this information within 24 hours if it is requested for contact tracing.