42 people test positive for COVID at a birthday party in Ontario with 100% vaccinated

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has issued a ‘high risk’ exposure alert after more than 40 people who attended a birthday party in a Kingsville restaurant tested positive for COVID-19.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit issued a ‘high risk’ exposure alert for Elite Restaurant from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2 after 42 people tested positive for COVID-19 following a birthday party. The health unit will not release the exact date of the party, but multiple people who say they were in attendance tell CTV News it was on Nov. 20.

“It is the most number of people who have tested positive in any one restaurant in Windsor-Essex since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai.

Forty-two people have since tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the health unit to issue a “high risk” exposure alert.

That means anyone who attended the restaurant between Nov. 18 and Dec. 2 “should get tested immediately and isolate upon the development of symptoms, even mild ones.”

The call to get tested also applies to household members of anyone who attended the restaurant during that same time period.

“If you’re sick, call your doctor and get treatment and stay at home and self isolate.”

According to Nesathurai, vaccination rates across Windsor-Essex are not as high as the health unit would like to see. The real concern, he added, is that these 42 cases could spread through hundreds of people in the region.

The health unit is asking all employers in the community to administer “active screening for all staff daily,” due to “increasing local community risk” in Kingsville and Leamington.

“Some of these places could be a long-term care facility, a hospital, the residences of migrant farm workers.”

A co-owner for Elite Restaurant told CTV News Windsor that staff followed public health guidelines during the party, such as ensuring all patrons provided proof of vaccination.

About 50,000 people in Windsor-Essex are eligible for the vaccine — but have not yet received it.

“If we can get more people vaccinated, it’ll be one additional step on top of the public health measures to try and bring COVID under control,” said Nesathurai.

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