The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 today. Yesterday there were 49 new cases, and on Tuesday there were 47 cases. Of the new cases announced today, 13 are considered community spread, 11 are from close contact with another confirmed case, seven are outbreak related, and 13 are under investigation. There have been 13,385 total cases and 414 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in our region. There are currently 435 active cases, with 19 of those in the hospital, 14,536 cases have been listed as resolved, and 148,044 local residents have received the vaccine. Across the province today there were 3,871 new cases reported. Yesterday there were 3,480 cases and on Tuesday there were 3,265 cases.
The health unit has also confirmed that two cases of the P1 variant of the COVID-19 virus have been identified in our region. This variant is also known as the “Brazil variant”, and the health unit say they are unclear when the cases came about or whether they are still active. You can read more here.
NEW AND IMPORTANT UPDATES ON VACCINE ROLLOUT
Residents born in 1966 or earlier will now be able to register to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of the mass vaccination sites. All vaccinations are by appointment only and walk-ins are not permitted. Appointments can be booked through www.wevax.ca or by calling 226-773-2200.
The province announced that they expect to lower the age of eligibility for the vaccine throughout May due to an increase of the supply for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Contingent upon supply, this is what the projected vaccine outlook looks like:
Week of April 26: All Ontario adults age 55 and up; those 45 years old and up in hot-spot communities; and licensed child-care workers.
Week of May 3: Ontario adults over the age of 50; adults age 18 and up in hot-spot communities; those with health conditions deemed "high risk"; and some people who cannot work from home.
Week of May 10: Ontario adults over the age of 40; those with health conditions deemed "at risk"; and more individuals who cannot work from home.
Week of May 17: Ontario adults over the age of 30.
Week of May 24: Ontario adults over the age of 18.
To read more about this update, please refer to this link.
On top of this, the Government is planning to allocate 50 percent of all available doses to 114 hot spot communities for the weeks of May 3rd and May 10th. We are concerned that the provincial government is still not listening to Ontario’s Science Table, which has repeatedly recommended that 50 per cent of all vaccines go to 74 hot spots in the province only, as the Science Table said it would take 25 days to vaccinate 74 hot spots. We've seen it time and time again with this government that they have announced plans to roll out the vaccine without having the details of how it's going to happen, which causes confusion and chaos in our communities.
We've heard from many constituents who have expressed their concerns about receiving their second dose. With the uncertainty of the supply, we continue to seek answers.
PAID SICK DAYS
Many businesses, medical, and labour groups join us in saying that the proposed paid sick days is too little too late, and the Government still hasn't got it right. Among those groups is the Windsor District Labour Council. The program, announced yesterday and passed today in the Legislature, will provide three paid sick days for workers to take time off to self-isolate in an effort to address COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces. This bill is inadequate, and three paid sick days is not good enough – especially not during a global pandemic that makes people sick for at least 14 days. No one, ever, should have to go to work because they can’t afford not to. No one should catch the virus at work because their co-worker needs rent money. No one should face going hungry because of exposure to illness. We will continue to fight for 14 paid sick days during a pandemic, plus regular permanent paid sick days.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
Windsor Regional Hospital’s COVID-19 testing site at Met Campus will remain open for another week. The site will be open Monday May 3 to Friday May 7 from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The Ouellette Campus testing site remains open every day from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Tests can be booked online here.
QUARANTINE AFTER TRAVELLING
Some epidemiologists are calling stricter quarantine measures for travellers coming into or returning to Canada. Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that since February 22, 2021, more than 2,000 people returning to Canada have tested positive for COVID-19. 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.