The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 136 new COVID-19 cases today. Of the new cases, 35 are related to outbreaks, two are from close contact with another confirmed case, eight cases are related to household contacts of a confirmed case, four are considered community spread, and 87 are under investigation. There are now 837 active cases in the community, with 53 people in the hospital including 10 in the ICU. The total number of cases for our region is now 4,899, with 3,971 cases listed as resolved, and 91 deaths. The province saw a new record number of COVID-19 cases. There were 2,275 cases today, 1,940 cases on Monday, 1,677 cases on Sunday, and 1,873 cases on Saturday.
The local health unit says the rising number of cases in our region has caused delays in contact tracing and will be announcing some changes in the coming days. As of 2:00PM yesterday, 528 cases were awaiting outreach from the Health Unit. Dr. Ahmed says the health unit may ask a confirmed case to reach out to close contacts themselves. You can read the article here. My colleagues and I continue to advocate for the Government to provide immediate emergency funding for our public health unit and our hospitals so that our region has the support it needs to overcome this horrible virus. We were told help was on the way, but all we got was a handful of contact tracers. Time is running out if we are to save more lives. In addition to more funding support, we need a team of trained staff to give our health unit a fighting chance of controlling the spread as we enter the holiday period.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at The Village at St. Clair long-term care home. The local health unit is reporting 48 residents at the home and 25 staff members have tested positive; however, the President of Unifor Local 2458 which represents the workers says the number of cases is higher. You can read more here.
The outbreak at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in their rehab unit has resulted in 18 patients and 36 healthcare workers testing positive for COVID-19 since late November. While the hospital continues to deal with the outbreak, they are reminding patients that the Mental Health and Addictions Urgent Care Centre at the Canadian Mental Health Association is still seeing patients while the Regional Children’s Centre is also available for younger individuals. Both locations are open Monday through Friday.
New COVID-19 cases continue to be identified at local schools, despite schools being closed. Bellewood Public School, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School, Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary School, Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School, St. Angela Catholic Elementary School, General Amherst High School and Harrow Public all are reporting a cases of COVID-19 today. Both the public and Catholic school boards are working with the local health unit to notify all those affected. Parents are asked to continue to monitor their kids for any symptoms and to contact their healthcare provider if necessary.
The provincial government failed to deliver a comprehensive plan to protect schools and support learning during this pandemic because they didn’t want to fund it. They refused expert evidence that recommended smaller classes and voted against our caucus’ motion to cap class sizes at 15 students. They refused to consult with frontline workers in the education sector about what would be needed to get us through this extremely difficult time, and now we see the results of that failed plan. The Financial Accountability Office recently revealed that the provincial government is sitting on 12 BILLION dollars in COVID relief money. Given that fact, it is unconscionable that this government is short-changing our kids and grinding down parents and educators. I’ll keep pushing this government to do better so that the return to school after the break is safe, and so that students are supported, and frontline education workers are respected.
The province is on track to inoculate approximately 3,000 people by the end of the week with the shipment of Pfizer vaccines that have already been received. The province is anticipating receiving an additional 90,000 vaccines by the end of the year. Delivery of the vaccines will be going to 14 hospital sites in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control zones on a per capita basis. Windsor-Essex is expected to receive about 2,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine before the end of the year, that would support 1,250 individuals. The hospital is responsible for storing and delivering vaccinations, but it is the local health unit who will determine who receives the vaccine first.
The Prime Minister said that Canada has secured a second agreement for early doses of the Moderna vaccine and Canada will be receiving up to 168,000 doses before the end of the year. Deliveries of this vaccine are expected within 48 hours of Health Canada’s approval. This is part of the 40 million doses that Canada has secured from Moderna. The Prime Minister also announced that Canada will be providing $485 million as part of a worldwide acceleration effort to fight COVID-19 in developing countries.
Windsor Public Library branches reopened today with a number of limitations in place. Libraries are open for curbside delivery and pick-up and patrons will only be able to access computers and photocopiers. For more information or to check out the library’s resources, visit their website here.
Please continue to wear a face mask when you are out in public, maintain physical distancing of two metres from others, and wash your hands often.