The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 63 new cases of COVID-19 today. Of the new cases, 13 were from close contact with a confirmed case, three were acquired in the community, two were workers in the agri-farm sector, and 45 are still under investigation. There are currently 415 active cases in our region, bringing the total number of cases to 3,801, with 3,304 cases resolved, and 82 deaths. Across the province today there were 1,824 new cases of COVID-19. On Wednesday there were 1,723 cases, on Tuesday there were 1,707 cases, and on Monday there were 1,746 cases.
The Minister of Health announced that Windsor-Essex will be getting 24 additional provincial contact tracers. With the number of COVID-19 cases in our region rising, Windsor and Essex County’s medical officer of health says he wants to see results from the recent move to Red category before a decision is made to move to lockdown. Yesterday in the Legislature, MPP Lisa Gretzky and I urged the government to provide emergency resources to the local health unit, who have said they are on the verge of collapse because they don’t have enough staff and resources.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. There are now 23 confirmed cases on site – 17 employees and 6 patients with more results pending. The hospital has paused all admissions to its inpatient Restorative Care programs as well as all transfers out to long-term care homes.
The Greater Essex County District School Board has another case of COVID-19 today. The case was reported in a student from Forest Glade Public School and is considered high risk. The local health unit is working to contact all affected students and staff, and is reminding parents and guardians to monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19 before sending them to school each morning. Since September, the public school board has seen cases at 16 of its schools.
The Windsor Essex Transportation Services have said that all students who ride the school bus in Windsor-Essex must now wear a mask. This rule is effective immediately and replaces the previous rule that students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 were not required to wear a mask. Enforcement of this rule will start when school resumes in January. You can read more here.
Our caucus has demanded a release date for Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine plan no later than December 14, as well as transparency right now on who is making decisions on the priority list. The provincial government has said that Ontario’s plan won’t be ready until the end of month. This comes as the federal government today discussed their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, and that Canada will have approximately 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021. High-priority groups will be vaccinated first, and more doses are expected to arrive as the supply chain stabilizes. You can read more about the distribution plan here.
The Windsor Parade Corporation has released a statement saying that reservations for this year’s drive-thru Santa Claus Parade on Saturday are now full. Reservations were available online and sold out very quickly as space is limited.
Please continue to wear a face mask when out in public, continue to practice physical distancing of two metres, and wash your hands often.