The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 72 new COVID-19 cases in the region today, while yesterday there were 49 new cases, and on Monday there were 41. Of the new cases announced today, three are related to outbreaks, 29 are from close contact with another confirmed case, five are considered community spread, and 35 are under investigation. Our region has recorded 14,965 total cases and 411 COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. There are currently 486 active cases, with 29 per cent of those being variants of concern. There are 19 confirmed cases in the hospital with two in the ICU, 14,068 cases have been listed as resolved, and 140,510 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Across the province today there were 4,212 new cases. Yesterday there were 3,469 cases, and on Monday there were 4,447 cases.
Dr. Ahmed, our local Medical Officer of Health, is reminding businesses to follow all public health measures after a noticeable increase in cases at workplaces was reported. While Dr. Ahmed says that the health unit is not at the point where they need to shutdown workplaces, it is important for businesses that are still open and have staff on site to follow the strict public health measures. There are currently seven workplace outbreaks in our region. You can read more here.
FIGHTING FOR YOU
For months, the Premier and his government have been refusing the paid sick days plan called for by countless experts and workers alongside our caucus. Today, our caucus scheduled the Opposition Day motion to be a debate on a safety plan for essential workplaces that includes paid sick days. We know that every day more workers will face the choice between taking an unpaid sick day and being unable to put food on the table – or going to work sick with a potential case of COVID-19. Without paid sick days, workers and their loved ones will keep pouring into Ontario’s hospitals. Yesterday, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, who the Premier said he has been listening to during the pandemic, reiterated what our caucus has been calling for. They called for paid sick days, paid time off to get vaccinated, for the province to vaccinate vulnerable groups including essential workers, and for the province to temporarily close non-essential workplaces. We cannot afford to waste more time putting politics ahead of public health.
Our caucus has called on the provincial government to withdraw disability discrimination from Ontario’s clinical triage protocol and immediately hold a public consultation on how care will be triaged if ICUs become too overwhelmed to fully treat everyone. We should never have gotten to the point where critical care triage because a possibility, but the provincial government chose to put money and politics ahead of public health and has brought ICUs to the breaking point. The provincial government must remove disability discrimination from its triage protocol, and assure people with disabilities that they won’t be deprioritized for life-saving critical care.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
My office has heard from many local businesses who have shared their concerns and frustrations with receiving funding from the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. This is a problem across the province, and my colleagues MPP Catherine Fife and MPP Wayne Gates has written to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade to address it. We know that people are still waiting for their grant money, are not being allowed to appeal decisions made on faulty grounds, and often are not even receiving a response from the Ministry. We have requested that the Minister review and explain why some businesses have been denied, and to allow for businesses to appeal decisions with the Ministry. If any local businesses in Windsor-Tecumseh have been affected in a similar way through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, please email my office at [email protected] or at [email protected] and we will do our best to assist you.
Please stay diligent and continue following public health advice by staying at home, only going out for essential trips, wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently