The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 45 new COVID-19 cases today. Yesterday there were 29 cases, and on Wednesday there were 21 cases. There have now been 17,151 cases and 437 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, 14 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 13 are considered community spread, one is travel related, and 17 are under investigation. There are now 193 active cases in the community, with 81 of those being variant of concern cases. There are four confirmed cases in the hospital, with 16,521 cases listed as resolved. Locally, a total of 555,385 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 77.1 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 69.2 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 510 new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there were 513 cases, and on Wednesday there were 324 cases.
The local health unit has again urged residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine, as we continue to see cases rise across the province – predominantly in unvaccinated individuals. This renewed call comes as we start to enter the fourth wave of the pandemic. You can read more here.
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is extending the WEVax Transportation Program which provides transportation to vaccination clinics in Windsor-Essex. Transportation services are provided by Vets Cab in Windsor and Sun Parlor Taxi in Leamington. Accessible transportation is available from Checker Cabs in Windsor. You can read more here.
Starting tomorrow, anyone between the ages of 12 and 17 who receives a vaccination at Devonshire Mall in the coming days will receive a free backpack filled with school supplies, while supplies last. You can read more about this initiative here.
Vaccines are readily available at mass vaccination clinics in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall, as well as the Nature Fresh Farms Centre in Leamington. No appointments are necessary. For more information, please visit www.wevax.ca
The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association has called for mandatory vaccines for teachers and other school staff, while the Ontario Medical Association has gone further to say they would also like to see mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers, and a vaccine certification system. This echoes the calls that my caucus colleagues and I continue to make of the government. We have to protect the most vulnerable among us – including children who can’t yet be vaccinated, the elderly, people who are sick, and people with disabilities. There is a lot of work still to be done to reach out to people about getting their vaccines, and addressing any barriers they face that might prevent them from getting vaccinated. We must make protecting people’s health our top priority and work to putting an end to COVID-19. You can read more about the calls by the OPSBA and the OMA here and here.
The University of Windsor announced that all students, staff, and faculty on campus will be required to have at least their first dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine as of September 1, 2021, with second doses required by October 1, 2021. Anyone who does not have at least their first dose by September 1 will be subject to regular testing protocols to access campus. You can read more here.
The federal government announced that they intend to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory across the federal public service, and will require that all commercial air, interprovincial train, and cruise ship passengers be fully vaccinated by October. Employees in these sectors will also be required to be fully vaccinated. You can read more here.
AIR QUALITY TESTING IN SCHOOLS
As students prepare to return to class next month, our caucus has called on the provincial government to test the air quality in each classroom and to post the results online for parents and school staff to see. The government’s announcement on the return to school did not include any air quality testing or public reporting of results, and there are no minimum standard in Ontario’s schools re-opening plan. We also continue to push for smaller class sizes, mental health supports, comprehensive in-school testing, and paid sick days to parents can stay home with their children if they are sick. Our caucus continues to push for more measures to be implemented by the government to ensure that when kids return to school in September they are as safe as possible to help prevent further disruptions to their learning.
LOCAL BEACH WATER ALERTS
The Belle River Beach in Lakeshore has been closed by the local health unit due to high levels of bacteria in the water. Sandpoint Beach and Cedar Beach have warnings and residents are encouraged not to swim in the water at those beaches. All other beaches in Windsor-Essex remain open and are safe for swimming. You can find more information from the health unit on local water alerts here.
Leamington will be hosting a free outdoor concert series, Music On the 42, again this year. The first show will be on September 4 and the second show will be on September 18. Both concerts are free, un-ticketed outdoor events, with Ontario COVID-19 regulations in effect. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Full details are 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.