WINDSOR WELCOMES ONTARIO’S FIRST POET LAUREATE IN ONLINE EVENT TONIGHT
Tonight at 7pm I will be joined by Ontario’s first Poet Laureate, Randell Adjei, for an evening of poetry and Q & A. The virtual event, hosted by Literary Arts Windsor, will be free and can be attended through their Facebook event here.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 21 new COVID-19 cases along with the loss of another community member. Yesterday, there were 21 cases, and on Monday there were 25 cases. There has been a total of 17,077 cases and 437 deaths related to COVID-19 in our region since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, eight are from close contact with another confirmed case, seven are considered community spread, one is travel related, and five are under investigation. There are now 157 active cases in our community, with 40 of those being variants of concern. There is currently one confirmed case in the hospital, and 16,483 cases have been listed as resolved. Locally, a total of 551,845 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 76.8 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 68.6 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 324 new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there was 321 cases, and on Monday there was 325 cases.
COVID-19 ISOLATION RULES
The provincial government has released new rules for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 when it comes to isolating. Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not been fully vaccinated are required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of a negative test. Fully vaccinated individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 after being exposed must self-isolate and get tested, however, if the test results are negative, they can discontinue self-isolating once symptoms improve for at least 24 hours. You can read the full document from the government here.
The provincial government released information on how schools should manage COVID-19 outbreaks today. According to the document, asymptomatic contacts of confirmed or likely cases will not have to isolate if they are fully vaccinated, unless specified by the local health unit. This includes siblings and other family members of a student who has been exposed. Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and isolate while they await results. The document follows advice made by the provincial Chief Medical Officer. You can read the full document here.
The president of the Greater Essex Elementary Teachers Federation says he isn’t surprised by the number of students who have opted out of in-person learning for the upcoming school year. Approximately 1,400 elementary students have opted out, choosing virtual learning instead. For high school students, approximately 600 students opted out. You can read more here.
These new COVID-19 guidelines for schools don’t go nearly far enough to protect kids and staff or provide reassurance to families, especially amid rapidly rising cases and a highly contagious Delta variant. While these guidelines recognize the effectiveness of vaccination, the government’s plan fails to make vaccines a requirement for teachers and education workers, fails to reduce class sizes so that students aren’t packed dangerously into classrooms, fails to improve mental health supports for students, and fails to implement paid sick days for families of children presenting COVID-19 symptoms. It also fails to implement a proactive strategy to reach out to families to get students vaccinated. Without these crucial protections, we risk looking at another school year of outbreaks and disruptions.
ST. CLAIR COLLEGE VACCINATION POLICY
St. Clair College has released a statement saying that they will not mandate vaccinations for on-campus teaching and learning activities unless directed by appropriate government agencies, however, they will encourage all students to receive their vaccines as soon as they are eligible. The College has also said that they will require all students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of a Health Canada or World Health Organization approved vaccine. You can read the entire statement here.
Windsor is getting a new outdoor theatre experience, courtesy of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association. C-O-N-T-A-C-T is a COVID friendly show that incorporates dramatic art and mobile technology, where cast members have no spoken lines. Instead, audio is synced with action and played through a mobile app. The 45-minute show will run for five weeks from Thursday August 19 to Sunday September 19. The three routes are as follows:
- Maiden Lane West (at Whiskeyjack Boutique)
- Riverfront Walk (starting at Bistro at the River)
- WIFF Alley (176 University Ave West)
You can read more here.
BEACH WATER QUALITY ALERT
Belle River Beach is closed to the public for the remainder of the week after high levels of E.Coli were found in the water. In addition, Cedar Beach and Sand Point Beach have also been deemed unsafe for swimming due to high levels of bacteria, but both beaches remain open. More information available here.
Please continue to stay safe by washing your hands, wearing a mask when you’re out in public, and practice physical distancing of 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.