Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - August 18, 2021

Published on August 18, 2021

Good afternoon,                       

DAILY NUMBERS  

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 56 new COVID-19 cases today. Compared to other regions in the province, Toronto reported 108 new cases today and Peel Region reported 59 new cases. Yesterday in Windsor-Essex, there were 44 new cases, and on Monday, there were 36 new cases. Out of the 56 cases reported locally today, 14 are a result of close contact with a confirmed case, 9 are from community spread, 1 is outbreak related, and 32 cases remain under investigation. There are currently 316 active cases in our region, with 106 of those cases being variants of concern. There are 7 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 6 individuals receiving acute care and 1 individual being in the ICU. In our region, 77.7 percent of those 12 years of age and older have received one dose, and 70.1 percent of those 12 years of age and older have received both doses. Across the province today, there were 485 new cases of COVID-19 reported. Yesterday, there were 348 cases, and on Monday, there were 526 cases.

OUTBREAKS IN WINDSOR-ESSEX

The Delta variant has contributed to most of the outbreaks in Windsor-Essex. The Delta variant is present at an outbreak at the Village at St. Clair Long-Term Care home, in a community outbreak related to a wedding in Tecumseh/Kingsville, two workplace outbreaks in the food and beverage sector, one workplace outbreak in the construction sector, and one workplace outbreak in the manufacturing sector.

With the rise of outbreaks in our community, we must do what we can to protect our progress in the fight against COVID-19 and put people’s health and safety first. The provincial government needs to listen to the public health experts and the province’s own Science Table and implement a vaccine certificate program rather than leaving workplaces to figure it out on their own and mandate vaccines for health care and education workers. We need to implement a last mile vaccine strategy and continue reaching out to people to identify their barriers to vaccination and finding ways to overcome them, together. This could include taking the vaccine to people’s homes or allowing paid time off for gig workers. We need to take immediate action 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.

HYBRID LEARNING

The Greater-Essex County District School Board has decided against hybrid learning in secondary schools and will implement a virtual school instead for those who have opted out of in-person learning. The hybrid learning model has educators teaching students both in the classroom and virtually at the same time. School boards have been increasingly forced to implement this model during the pandemic because the provincial government refuses to invest into safe schools. It is clear that this model of learning is not helpful for students and contributing to further stress for teachers. Instead, we need to make September safer by investing in classroom ventilation, reducing class sizes, making vaccinations mandatory for all education workers and eligible students, and adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required childhood immunizations.

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.

-Percy