The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 54 new COVID-19 cases today. On Sunday there were 65 cases reported, and on Saturday there were 42 cases. Of the new cases reported today, two are outbreak related, 15 are from close contact with another confirmed case, eight are considered community spread, and 29 are under investigation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our region has had 15,245 cases of COVID-19 and 413 deaths related to the virus. There are currently 482 active cases in our community, with 34 per cent of those being variant of concern cases. There are 16 cases in the hospital with four in the ICU, 14,350 cases listed as resolved, and 151,954 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Across the province today there were 3,510 cases reported. Yesterday there were 3,947 cases, and on Saturday there were 4,094 cases.
Dr. Ahmed, our local Medical Officer of Health, has warned that people who have contracted COVID-19 in the past can still be re-infected and should not become complacent about following the health restrictions. According to Dr. Ahmed, they are now seeing some cases of reinfection in our community, and he encourages those who have tested positive to not think they are immune now, but that they should get vaccinated when they are eligible.
Windsor Regional Hospital accepted eight patients from the GTA today. Last week, the hospital said they would be accepting five ward/medical patients a day, for the next eight days, for a total of 40 patients. That number has now increased to 43 patients. This total doesn’t include critical care patients, who will be transferred as needed depending on ICU capacity. Bluewater Health in Sarnia is also expected to take in critical care patients. You can read more here.
The province has made a formal request to the Canadian Armed Forces for help in dealing with a surge in critical care cases associated with COVID-19. Just last week the provincial government turned down an offer for assistance from the Red Cross, a move that our caucus opposed. We know that essential workers are now the people most at risk to get sick from COVID-19. Experts have been clear that ICUs are seeing more working-age adults who can’t work from home, and the variants of concern are making them sicker. If we don’t get shots into the arms of essential factory, warehouse, grocery store and food supply workers, education workers, and other at-risk essential workers, thousands more will get sick. There will be more outbreaks. ICUs will continue to be overwhelmed. We also know that paid sick days save lives and can help keep essential workers out of ICUs. Yet, the Government has voted against implementing paid sick days to keep workers home when they are sick 25 times in 2021 alone. The spread is out of control, and the experts have been clear that we can’t get it under control until we stop it from tearing through workplaces and making workers and their families sick. It is urgent that we bring in measures that will help curb the spread. We need paid sick days, paid time off to get vaccines, broad testing in workplaces, and to shutdown non-essential workplaces, and providing actual financial assistance to help those that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Theresa Marentette, CEO for the local health unit, has said that our region’s vaccine supply will increase next month, and we are expecting 22,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the weeks of May 3 and May 10. While some of the vaccine will be allocated for residents in the hot spot postal codes, the health unit is looking at doing pop up vaccination sites as well. You can read more here.
Windsor Regional Hospital’s Met Campus COVID-19 assessment centre will remain open to ensure the availability of same-day appointments as we continue to fight the third-wave of the pandemic. The Met Campus assessment centre will be open Monday through Friday from 8am to 3pm until further notice. The Ouellette Campus assessment centre remains open seven days a week from 8am to 3pm. You can book an appointment here.
One cohort has been dismissed from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School due to COVID-19. The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board says that they were notified of the confirmed case on Friday, and they are working with the local health unit to contact trace and notify all those directly involved.
The Essex Fun Fest will be cancelled this year after a unanimous vote by the Essex Fun Fest Committee. The committee took many things into consideration but the decision to cancel the July event was made to keep everyone safe. You can read more here.
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.