Today the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported an increase of 62 new COVID-19 cases. Out of these 62 cases, 28 close contacts of confirmed cases, 10 cases are community acquired, and 24 cases are still under investigation. Yesterday, there were 57 new cases in our region, and on Wednesday there were 72 new cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic our region has recorded 15,084 cases. There are currently 485 active cases in our community, with 164 of those being variants of concern, 21 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 12 of those in the ICU, 14,187 cases listed as resolved, and 147,976 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Across the province today, there were 4,505 new cases. Yesterday, there were 3,682 new cases of COVID-19, and on Wednesday, there were 4,212 cases.
FIGHTING FOR YOU
We continue to hear from small business owners who have tried to seek financial assistance through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) and have been unsuccessful for a number of reasons. While some small businesses have been able to access support through the program, the small business owners who have contacted my office have either been denied the grant without explanation or have waited months for any response at all. Some produced additional documentation to support their applications as requested by the program and are still waiting on a response weeks later. I wrote to Minister Fedeli asking him to review the flaws of this program and address them immediately so these businesses can receive the support they were promised. My staff continues to work with the Minister’s office, and if you are a small business in the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh that has experienced difficulties with the OSBSG, please contact my Queens Park office at [email protected] or my constituency office at [email protected] with the details of your application, and we will do what we can to assist you.
We know that in order to effectively stop the spread of COVID-19, we need a full shutdown of non-essential businesses with high rates of COVID-19 transmission as reported by municipal and provincial public health data. However, the Government can’t expect workers to survive without pay while their workplace remains shut down, or for businesses to absorb another financial shock in a year when so many have struggled to stay afloat. We continue to call on the Government to immediately compensate workers for lost pay, and help businesses survive the shutdowns with direct financial support.
NEW UPDATES FOR THE VACCINE ROLLOUT
We know that people are experiencing difficulty in locating pharmacies that have available vaccines. We continue to push the Minister’s office to effectively address this issue. You may wish to continue checking in with your preferred pharmacy to see if appointments are available, as the vaccine supply changes frequently. To find a pharmacy, click here: https://www.wechu.org/cv/covid-19-pharmacy-vaccination-locations.
The Ministry of Health has now moved pregnant people into the highest-risk category of Phase 2 of Ontario's vaccine rollout plan. Initially, they were in the at-risk category, which meant that they could have been waiting until about mid-May for a first shot. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit recommends that pregnant individuals have a discussion prior to being vaccinated with their treating health care provider. For more information on receiving a vaccine as a pregnant individual, click here: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/vaccine/COVID-19_vaccination_rec_special_populations.pdf.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced today that they are extending eligibility to workers and students on placements at childcare facilities. According to Dr. Ahmed, those newly eligible for the vaccine will be able to register for an appointment on the Health Unit’s website by the end of the day today. Dr. Ahmed also indicated that the Health Unit is starting to look into how they might start vaccinating grocery store workers, but details have not yet been confirmed for this group. To read more, click here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/windsor-essex-covid19-april23-1.5999461.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to book an appointment, please click here: https://www.wechu.org/cv/clinics.
Dr. Ahmed has indicated that he does not suspect students will be returning to in-person learning anytime soon, but the province has yet to announce any further details, and he has not received any further information from the province. Based on his analysis of the provincial and local data, case numbers are still too high. We continue to urge the Government to vaccinate teachers, education and child care workers right away and immediately implement safety measures like a class-size cap and broad asymptomatic on-site school testing.
The four local school boards are offering voluntary testing for students, staff and those enrolled at school daycares that are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at the following schools: Vincent Massey Secondary School. Holy Names High School, École secondaire catholique E.J. Lajeunesse, Christ the King Catholic School, Notre Dame Catholic School, St. Gabriel Catholic School, École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Ursule, École élémentaire catholique Mgr-Jean-Noël, Northwood Public School, Glenwood Public School, Central Public School, Bellewood Public School, and Our lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School. The clinic is on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Holy Names High School, located at 1400 Northwood St. The clinic opens at 9:00AM, and time slots have been allocated to surnames alphabetically.
Windsor Regional Hospital will be keeping its recently reopened Met Campus Assessment Centre open next week, Monday-Friday, from 8am to 3pm. The Ouellette Campus Assessment Centre remains open 7 days a week from 8am to 3pm. The current testing levels are below capacity, but due to variants of concern circulating in the community, they want to ensure same-day testing is available for symptomatic patients requiring tests. To book a test, click here: https://app.getcorigan.ca/.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Please continue to stay safe by washing your hands frequently, limiting trips outside of the home for essential trips only, and practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household.