The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 101 new high risk COVID-19 cases today, along with the loss of a member of the community. Due to the changes in eligibility for testing and limited testing capacity, the rise of Omicron cases, and the shifted focus of case, contact, and outbreak management to high-risk settings, these case counts are an underestimate of the true numbers of individuals who have COVID-19 within Windsor-Essex County. The health unit defines high-risk cases as those coming from individuals who are eligible for PCR testing in accordance with Ontario's current testing guidance. Yesterday there were 102 new cases, and on Wednesday there were 124 cases.
There are now 383 active high risk cases in the region, with 40 people currently in the hospital, including two in the ICU. There are six community outbreaks, two hospital outbreaks, and six outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86.3 per cent of individuals five and over in Windsor have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83.4 per cent have received two doses, and 50.9 per cent of residents over 12 have received their booster.
Across the province today, there were 3.519 new cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 3,139 cases, and on Wednesday there were 2,814 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,166,128 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, and there are currently 804 people in hospital, including 167 patients in ICUs.
FINANCIAL SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY THE BRIDGE BLOCKADE
The federal government announced $2.5 million to support businesses impacted by the blockade on Huron Church Rd. Eligible businesses will be able to access non-repayable financial support of up to $10,000 for costs not covered by other federal programs. Eligible applicants will need to meet the following criteria:
- Be located along and near the Huron Church corridor
- Have been unable to operate their business at normal levels during the blockade
- Have fewer than 100 employees
- Have intended to provide in-person client services during the demonstrations and could not transition to virtual services in the short term
- Be fully open, operating, and providing in-person services at the time of application
For more information, and to apply, please visit here.
CHANGES TO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
A change to federal travel requirements for travellers entering Canada went into effect today. Vaccinated travellers entering the country no longer require a COVID-19 test, though people may still be randomly tested when they arrive, and Health Canada requires anyone coming from outside the country to wear a mask in public for 14 days. Unvaccinated travellers will be tested upon arrival and again eight days later, and will be required to quarantine for two weeks. You can read more here.
ONTARIO COVID-19 SCIENCE ADVISORY TABLE DISBANDED
Public Health Ontario is taking over operation of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table starting Monday April 4. The Science Advisory Table has been instrumental in giving Ontarians a clear picture of where we are in the pandemic without government rhetoric or political spin. Ontarians put their trust in the Science Table to tell us all about forecasts, and what the province needs to do to avoid the worst. The government’s decision to weaken and undermine the Science Table’s independence has people worried, for good reason. We already have less information as a result of the government eliminating access to PCR COVID testing and contact tracing, and cutting almost all case reporting in our kids’ classrooms. This is another step in the wrong direction.
WINDSOR REGIONAL HOSPITAL TO CLOSE PUMA UNIT
The Paediatric Urgent Medical Assessment (PUMA) clinic is closing their temporary facility in the parking lot of WRH Met Campus, and will move inside as a paediatric outpatient area to provide non-emergency options for parents. You can read more here.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS
Free rapid antigen tests continue to be available at select locations each week. Please remember to store your test kits out of the reach of children, as there have been reports of poisoning after accidental consumption. You can find participating grocery stores and pharmacies here.
The mass vaccination site in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall is scheduled to close on Saturday April 2. Walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccination will be accepted until 3:30pm that day. The mass vaccination site is open for walk-ins on Tuesday from 11:30am to 6:00pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 9am to 3:30pm. Students in grades 7-12 that have not started or finished their vaccination series for Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and/or Meningococcal Disease and want to receive the vaccine at Devonshire Mall, must book at appointment before April 1, pending availability. For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit www.wevax.ca.
There will be pop-up vaccination clinics at the following locations next week:
- Tuesday April 5 – Salvation Army – 355 Church St, Windsor – 9am to 3:30pm
- Tuesday April 5 – CMHA – 1400 Windsor Ave, Windsor – 1pm to 4pm
- Thursday April 7 – Consulate of Mexico in Leamington – 350 Hwy 77, Leamington – 2pm to 6pm
- Thursday April 7 – Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex – 245 Janette Ave, Windsor – 3pm to 6pm
- Friday April 8 – Adie Knox – 1551 Wyandotte St W, Windsor – 9am to 2:30pm