Health Unit Confirms 11 New Cases Of COVID-19, Sunday, Warns About Smoking, Vaping

Sunday May 3rd, 2020

Posted at 1:16pm

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit has confirmed 11 additional cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon, bringing the local total to 623. They said 202 people locally have recovered.

Cases increased from 612 on Saturday May 2nd to 623 on Sunday May 3rd.

The Health Unit says there have been no new deaths as of Sunday and the local death toll stands at 51. Of the 51 total, local deaths, the Health Unit says 37 deaths have been residents of long-term care and retirement homes.

The Health Unit says AMICA, Sun Parlour, Lifetimes on Riverside, Franklin Gardens, Heron Terrace, Country Village Homes, and Extendicare Southwood Lakes remain under outbreak.

As of Sunday afternoon 8,021 tests have been conducted and 1,362 tests are still pending.

The Health Unit is issuing a warning about smoking and vaping and how it relates to COVID-19.

In a statement to the media, the Health Unit says they want to raise awareness about the risk regarding COVID-19 and the use tobacco and e-cigarettes.

“Smokers and vapers are likely to be at higher risk of getting COVID-19 as well as facing serious outcomes that can develop from the virus,” officials said in a statement. “Smoking and/or vaping involves bringing your hands to your mouth increasing the likelihood of transmitting the virus.”

“As well, smoking tobacco or vaping can weaken your immune system and/or harm lung health causing respiratory issues that weaken lungs putting individuals at greater risk of more serious outcomes if they contract COVID-19,” the statement said. “We also know that people who smoke tobacco are more likely to suffer from other chronic disease risks such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease which all increase the risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19.”

The Health Unit said it is not currently known if former smokers have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 compared to people who have never smoked. “We do know that when people stop smoking the lungs heal relatively quickly,” the statement said. “If you have previously smoked and have now quit, you have likely lowered your risk of having sever complications if you were to become infected with the virus, compared to if you were still smoking.”

The Health Unit says they offer offer smoking cessation support for residents who would like to quit. Officials say one-on-one support and follow-up appointments through the Health Unit are now being offered over the phone and nicotine replacement therapy is being mailed out to program participants. They say if you are interested in quitting smoking or would like more information about the program you can call 519-258-2146 ext. 3100 or visit the Quit Smoking section on the Health Unit’s website.

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