The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 98 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with the loss of another member of the community. Today, Toronto reported 195 cases, Peel reported 89 cases, Hamilton had 54 cases, and Middlesex-London had 52 cases. Yesterday, our region had 109 cases, and on Wednesday there were 80 cases. Of the new cases reported today, 34 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 19 are considered community spread, two are travel related, and 43 are under investigation. There are now 572 active cases in the community, bringing the total number to 22,587 cases and 479 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are currently 16 workplace outbreaks, seven school/childcare outbreaks, five community outbreaks, and two outbreaks in long-term care homes. There are 30 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 12 in the ICU. Locally, 82.1 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 77.4 per cent have received both doses. Across the province today there were 1,453 new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there were 1,290 cases, and on Wednesday there were 1,009 cases.
WEEKLY COVID-19 TRENDS IN WINDSOR-ESSEX
The local health unit has released their weekly epidemiological report which highlights local COVID-19 trends. Included in this week’s report it is important to note that the local case rate is 2.6 times higher than the rest of the province, and is the third highest overall in the province. Additionally, the highest number of cases, 23 per cent, were found among the 0-19 age range over the last two weeks. You can find the full epidemiological report here.
FEDERAL COVID-19 MODELLING
New modelling from Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) suggests that the number of COVID-19 cases could quadruple in January due to the Omicron variant which has greater transmissibility. PHAC says that even without Omicron, modelling suggests Canada could see another wave of the Delta variant in the new year. You can read more here.
VACCINE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM
Effective Jan. 4, 2022, Ontario will require people to use a QR code vaccine receipt in settings where proof of vaccination is required. Many of you have called our office indicating you would be forced to use a smart phone based on the news reports. The news release here clarifies this.
The QR code can be used digitally by downloading it to a smartphone or other electronic device or by printing a paper copy. Those still using the receipts they obtained before the implementation of the QR Code System, or have printed vaccine receipts without the QR Code, will no longer be able to use those receipts after January 4, 2022. If you have a receipt without a QR Code, you will have to download or print a new receipt with the QR Code on it. To print out a new receipt that complies with the requirements effective January 4, 2022, you can do so by visiting here.
There is more we could be doing. We should be improving vaccine uptake among the five to 11 year olds, adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the regular school immunization list, and deploying culturally appropriate public information campaigns. We also need to reduce contacts among kids by lower class sizes, ensuring all schools and childcare setting have better ventilation, and mandating vaccines for all education and healthcare workers. We need to do everything we can to avoid further lockdowns, school disruptions, and restrictions on small businesses.
The provincial government announced today that individuals 18 and over will be eligible to book a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine as of January 4, 2022 at 8am. Additionally, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said today that discussions are underway to potentially redefine what it means to be fully vaccinated – whether that is two or three doses. Appointments for third doses should be booked approximately six months after the second dose, though the local health unit has not yet opened appointments for those 18 and over. You can read more here.
There will be pop-up vaccine clinics at the following locations next week. Children aged 5 to 11 years (or turning 5 in 2021) are now eligible to receive their vaccination at a pop-up clinic. Children must be accompanied by their custodial parent or guardian to receive a vaccine and will be required to present a health card or other form of identification.
- Monday December 13 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
- Tuesday December 14 – Connections Early Years Family Centre – 795 Giles Blvd E, Windsor – 1pm to 5pm
- Wednesday December 15 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
- Thursday December 16 – Windsor Essex Community Health Centre (Sandwich Location) – 3325 College Ave, Windsor – 10am to 3pm
- Friday December 17 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
- Friday December 17 – WECHU Leamington Office – 33 Princess St, Leamington – 12pm to 6pm
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has announced 12 cases of COVID, leading to the dismissal of 10 classes and four bus cohorts. The cases were found at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, St. John de Brebeuf Catholic Elementary School, St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School, Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic Elementary School, and Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School.
The local health unit has contacted all those affected and is reminding parents to continue to monitor their children each morning for COVID-19 symptoms and to keep them home if they are sick.
Up-to-date COVID-19 information on confirmed cases and outbreaks from each school board can be found here:
French Catholic: https://www.cscprovidence.ca/apps/pages/index.jsp...
Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board: https://www.wecdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/outbreaks
Greater Essex County District School Board: https://www.publicboard.ca/News/COVID-19Report/Pages/default.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2R6_WYMzK8njEzQqQisbpQuRQ67Cr-KEi-jEz_WYGsiaYmjCJhuLrUX0k#/=
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.