Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - December 15, 2021

Published on December 15, 2021

 

Good afternoon, 

LOCAL NUMBERS 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 96 new COVID-19 cases today, along with the loss of another member of the community. Toronto is reporting 343 cases, York is reporting 149 cases, Peel is reporting 132 cases, and Hamilton is reporting 86 cases. Yesterday, our region had 44 cases, and on Monday there were 67 cases. There are now 636 active cases of COVID-19 in our region, bringing the total to 22,990 cases and 483 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, 28 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 17 are considered community spread, three are outbreak related, and 48 are under investigation. There are 12 workplace outbreaks, 11 school/childcare outbreaks, six community outbreaks, and two out breaks in long-term care homes. There are 37 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 14 of those in the ICU. Locally, 82.6 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 77.7 per cent have received two doses. Across the province today there were 1,808 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 1,429 cases and on Monday there were 1,536 cases. 

 

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT ON BOOSTER SHOTS, TESTING AND RESTRICTIONS 

The provincial government announced that starting Monday December 20, anyone who is 18 years and older, and who has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago, will be eligible for their booster shot. The previous date for those 18 and older to receive their shot was January 4, 2022, but has been pushed forward due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Those who are 50+ and who are currently eligible for the booster vaccine who have already booked their appointment at an interval of six months (168 days) can re-book for an earlier date at the three-month interval. Pharmacies may provide boosters for those who are 18 and over at the three-month interval starting Friday, December 17, 2021 for walk-ins. The province will also reintroduce capacity limits of 50 per cent for indoor entertainment venues, meeting and event spaces, and sports venues who have an indoor capacity of greater than 1,000 people. You can read the full announcement here.

Additionally, COVID-19 rapid tests will be available to residents for free at pop-up testing sites located at high-traffic public areas, as well as LCBO retail locations. More details about the testing strategy can be found here. Our office is also seeking clarity from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit about how this announcement will apply locally and will provide updates once available.

My caucus colleagues and I have been calling for the provincial government to expand eligibility of booster shots for weeks, reduce class sizes and improve ventilation in schools, provide paid sick days so people don’t have to decide between a paycheque and staying home when they, or their family, are sick, and mandated vaccines for health and education workers. We need to do everything we can to prevent illness, prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, and prevent further shutdowns. 

 

OMICRON VARIANT 

The Ontario Science Table said today that the province could see close to 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day by New Year’s Eve unless some capacity restrictions are reintroduced and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are rapidly accelerated. A new report from Public Health Ontario suggests that the Omicron variant likely already accounts for more than 80 per cent of the cases being confirmed, and that each case identified between November 28 and December 9 infected 7.7 times as many people as each case involving the previous Delta variant. You can read more here.

 

FEDERAL TRAVEL ANNOUNCEMENT 

Today, the federal government advised against all non-essential international travel in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19. The federal Health Minister said the travel measure will be in place for four weeks, at which point the federal government will reassess the epidemiological situation. You can read more here.

 

POP-UP VACCINE LOCATIONS  

There will be pop-up vaccine clinics at the following locations this 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.  

  • 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 

There are two classes that are isolating in the French Catholic school board, as cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at Pavillon des Jeunes Catholic elementary in Lakeshore. The local health unit has declared outbreaks at five more schools today. The outbreaks were listed at Maranatha Christian Academy, Centennial Central Public School, St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School, Bellewood Public School, and John Campbell Public School. Meanwhile, the health unit has lifted the outbreak that was listed at Dr. David Suzuki Public 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.    

 

  • Percy