The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting one new death and a new daily record of 243 cases of COVID-19. Of the new cases, 31 are related to outbreaks, five are from close contact with a confirmed case, and 207 are still under investigation. Our region currently has 1,013 active cases, 5,446 total confirmed cases, 4,337 resolved cases, 66 people in the hospital with 14 in the ICU, and 95 deaths. Across the province today there were 2,290 cases reported. On Thursday there were 2,432 cases, on Wednesday there were 2,139 cases, and on Tuesday there were 2,275 cases.
COVID-19 testing centres will remain open throughout the holidays in our region. The WRH Met Campus location is open Monday – Friday from 7am to 3pm but will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Ouellette Campus is open from 8am to 7pm all week but will shift to holiday hours from 9am to 4pm on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years Day. Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington will be open every day from 8am to 6pm. All COVID-19 testing is by appointment only and testing criteria can be found here.
Windsor Regional Hospital and the local health unit are coordinating the efforts to plan the rollout of the vaccine in our region starting next week. WRH is among 17 hospitals that will be receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the next two weeks as part of the 90,000 expected by the federal government before the end of the year. The Ontario government has said the first group of recipients to receive the vaccine will be employees who work at long-term care/retirement homes, that are not in outbreak, in Grey-Lockdown and Red-Control regions. You can read more here.
The Prime Minister announced the COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule for January 2021, which will see roughly 500,000 doses for the country. He also announced an investment of roughly $9 million through the National Research Council of Canada to support the development of treatments for COVID-19.
The medical officer of health for the local health unit, Dr. Ahmed, has said they are having ongoing discussions about what more can be done to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in our region. He noted that this lockdown is not like the first, insofar as many businesses are still open. He expects to see more positive cases for at least another week, then hopefully the effects of the lockdown will start to flatten our curve locally. You can read more here.
The provincial government said they are considering a lockdown across southern Ontario from Boxing Day until January 11, 2021 and will announce more on Monday after a meeting with hospital officials. With COVID-19 infections rising out of control and hospitals overwhelmed, the government is recklessly delaying further public health measures. Telling people to stay tuned for more news next week isn’t acceptable. We have called on the provincial government to stop sitting on a $12 BILLION COVID fund that the Financial Accountability Officer has said is largely unspent, and use it to implement powerful COVID-stopping measures like paid sick days, isolation centres, in-school and in-workplace testing, smaller class sizes capped at 15 students, and more contact tracing.
A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School in Leamington. The health unit is reaching out to anyone who is affected by the case.
Due to COVID, my staff have been working long hours trying to respond to your issues as they arise. To them to spend some uninterrupted time with their families, our office is now close for the holidays until January 4, 2021. We understand that sometimes emergencies arise, and we will be checking the email on December 21-22, to address any emergency issues. We ask that Windsor-Tecumseh constituents email details of any urgent matter to our office at [email protected] or [email protected] rather than leaving a message on our machine. Any federal matters should be directed to federal MP Irek Kusmierczyk at 519-979-2707. Any non-urgent matters will be addressed on our return. On our return, my staff and I will be working remotely until further notice Thank you for your patience and understanding.
I recognize the sacrifices expected of everyone this holiday, but please follow all public health advice to stop the spread of COVID. This means restricting who you see during the holidays to members of your own household. Please also continue to wear a mask when out in public, maintain physical distancing of two metres from other people, and wash your hands often.