The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced four new cases of COVID-19 today, with two coming from the result of close contact with someone who was positive for the virus and the other two cases under investigation. There are now 2,521 confirmed cases in our region, with 2,368 cases resolved and 72 deaths.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has unveiled a new COVID-19 related section on its website for public exposure notifications which will post a notification if someone has been exposed to the virus in a local establishment or business. You can find that here.
Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions say they will file an appeal with the Ontario Labour Regulations Board on the grounds that the Ministry of Education’s re-opening plan does not take every reasonable precaution to protect workers as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and that the Ministry of Labour did not comply with their request to set safety standards. Last week, representatives from the unions met with the Ministry of Labour, requesting they set standards on safety precautions such physical distancing and ventilations in the schools.
Our Caucus has continuously called on the government to do more to address the health and safety of students, teachers, and education workers since the return-to-school plan was unveiled. Today, the Leader of the Official Opposition Andrea Horwath again reiterated our concern for smaller classrooms to allow students to practice social distancing and necessary upgrades to schools for infection control. The onus to make schools safe should not fall on the shoulders of children, teachers and education workers. You can find that press release here.
As part of the City of Windsor’s COVID-19 Small Business Action Plan, the outdoor food hall at Lanspeary Park will kick off this Friday. Each weekend in September will feature rotating food vendors from 5pm-11pm on Friday, 3pm to 11pm on Saturday, and 3pm to 9pm on Sunday. Reservations are encouraged as seating is limited. More information can be found here.
Today, the Prime Minister announced two new agreements in principle to receive millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines once they are available. The agreements, signed with Novavax and Johnson & Johnson, will reserve millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines currently in development. Canada has also signed previous agreements with Pfizer and Moderna, bringing the total vaccines reserved for Canadians to at least 88 million doses.
The federal government also announced funding for a new biomanufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montreal. The new building will allow the National Research Council of Canada to increase vaccine manufacturing to up to two million doses per month by next year. The federal government will invest $126 million over two years to build this facility and later supply $20 million annually for operational costs. The facility is expected to be up and running by mid-2021.
Please continue practicing social distancing, wear a mask or face covering when out in public, and wash your hands often.