The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 107 new COVID-19 cases today, while Toronto reported 759 cases, Peel reported 209 cases, Ottawa reported 294 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 116 cases. There are now 652 active cases in our region, bringing the total number to 23,206 cases and 483 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, 26 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 15 are considered community spread, two are outbreak related, and 63 are under investigation. There are currently 12 workplace outbreaks, 15 school/childcare outbreaks, three community outbreaks, and two outbreaks in long-term care homes. There are 39 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 14 of those in the ICU. Locally, 82.7 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose, and 77.8 have received two doses. Across the province today there were 3,124 cases of COVID-19 reported, while yesterday there were 2,421 cases, and on Wednesday there were 1,808 cases
NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
The provincial government announced today that capacity limits will be reduced to 50 per cent for a number of businesses, including:
- Malls and retailers, including grocery stores and pharmacies
- Personal care services
- Marinas and boating clubs
- Indoor recreational amenities
- Tour and guide services
- Personal physical fitness trainers
Restrictions do not apply to areas being used for weddings, funerals, or religious services. Restaurants and bars will also be required to limit seating to 10 people per table and will have to close by 11pm. Alcohol sales will be restricted after 10pm. You can read more here.
RAPID TESTING LOCATIONS
Two LCBO locations have been identified as a pop-up sites to provide free COVID-19 rapid tests to residents. The LCBO locations are at the Roundhouse Centre at 3165 Howard Avenue and the Tecumseh Rd East and Lauzon Parkway location. The rapid tests received today were available on a first come, first serve basis and currently there are none left, and the LCBO say they are unsure when they will receive more. Other pop-up locations, including the Windsor Public Library, said they do not yet know when they will have access to the rapid tests. These announcements from the government need to be backed with actions, and we are seeking some confirmation when they may expect supplies to be replenished. You can read more here.
The government’s rapid test distribution is falling far short of what’s needed; two million tests for a population of 15 million people simply isn’t cutting it. Many people are scared and frustrated. The government needs to provide more tests in more locations, far beyond LCBOs. We need tests in libraries, grocery stores, handed out to families with kids in childcare setting and to childcare staff, to residents and visitors in seniors’ centres, and so much more.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
The federal government announced today that a negative COVID-19 test will be required for all those entering Canada, including Canadians who take short trips of less than 72 hours outside the country. Travellers must obtain the test in a country other than Canada. The new measures will come into effect on December 21, 2021. 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 20 – John McGivney Children’s Centre – 3945 Matchette Rd, Windsor – 9am to 4pm (Focusing on 5-11 year olds but will vaccinate 1st, 2nd, 3rd (booster) with Moderna or Pfizer)
- Tuesday December 21 – John McGivney Children’s Cenre – 3945 Matchette Rd, Windsor – 9am to 4pm (Focusing on 5-11 year olds but will vaccinate 1st, 2nd, 3rd (booster) with Moderna or Pfizer)
- Wednesday December 22 – John McGivney Children’s Centre – 3945 Matchette Rd, Windsor – 9am to 4pm (Focusing on 5-11 year olds but will vaccinate 1st, 2nd, 3rd (booster) with Moderna or Pfizer)
- Thursday December 23 – Windsor Jewish Federation and Community Centre – 1641 Ouellette Ave, Windsor – 10:30am to 4pm (Focusing on 5-11 year olds but will vaccinate 1st, 2nd, 3rd (booster) with Moderna or Pfizer)
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
The University of Windsor’s holiday closure has been extended until January 5, 2022, and employees who are able to, are asked to work remotely. Classes are set to resume on January 17, 2022 and will be done virtually on a temporary basis. You can read more here.
With Ontario elementary and secondary schools breaking today for the holidays, my caucus colleagues and I are calling on the government to do everything in their power to help ensure schools stay open and avoid shutdowns in the new year. We are calling on the government to immediately take the following actions to prevent school shutdowns:
- Free rapid tests for all teachers and education staff to take home over the holidays
- Free rapid tests for all students and education workers to continue taking after the holidays
- A vaccine blitz for students, including the 5-11 cohort, with in-school vaccine clinics with permission from parents
- A robust outreach campaign to parents to encourage vaccination for students between now and Jan. 3, including culturally relevant outreach applicable to different communities
- Mandatory vaccination for all teachers and education workers
- Reduced class sizes and school busloads, to begin Jan. 3
- Guaranteed improved ventilation in all schools
- Free N95 masks for all teachers and education workers
- Support for teachers and staff to help address critical learning gaps caused by previous shutdowns
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#/=
Caesars Windsor has announced that they will be cancelling the remaining shows for December due to the new restrictions on limited capacities for larger concert venues. You can read more here.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.