Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - December 8, 2021

Published on December 8, 2021

 

Good afternoon, 

LOCAL NUMBERS 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 80 new COVID-19 cases today, while Toronto reported 124 cases, Peel reported 48 cases, Hamilton reported 50 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 38 cases. There are now 530 active cases in our region, bringing the total number to 22,380 and 477 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Yesterday, our region had 51 cases, and on Monday there were 39 cases. Of the new cases announced today, 23 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 24 are considered community spread, and 33 are under investigation. There are 18 workplace outbreaks, nine school/childcare outbreaks, four community outbreaks, and two outbreaks in long-term care homes. There are 30 people in the hospital, with 14 in the ICU. Locally, 81.9 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 77.3 per cent have received two doses. Across the province today there were 1,009 new cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 928 cases, and on Monday there were 887 cases.  

 

ADVOCATING FOR ONTARIANS 

The fall session at Queen’s Park is coming to a close as we near the holiday season. This session, my caucus colleagues and I called on the government to implement safety zones around vaccine clinics and hospitals, to stop harassment of people trying get tested or vaccinated. We called for vaccine mandates for health care workers and education workers, to help protect those most vulnerable in our society. We continue to call on the government to implement 10 permanent paid sick days, plus 14 additional days during any pandemic. We are calling for all long-term care homes to be made public and not-for-profit, to hire thousands of staff, and to give them a raise to help with retention of staff who are understaffed and underpaid, and we have called for a $10-a-day child care deal with the federal government to help families. We will continue to lay out positive proposals to help Ontarians get through this pandemic. 

 

COVID-19 TESTING 

My caucus colleagues and I are calling for the broad and urgent roll out of free rapid COVID tests to all Ontarians, after new modelling from Ontario’s Science Table was released yesterday. We need to prevent another COVID-19 wave, and we need to let people take a rapid test before visiting with loved ones. Last week, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Health asking for consideration of rapid COVID-19 tests to be sent home with childcare aged children over the holidays, similar to the program that will see rapid antigen tests given to elementary and secondary children to take home over the holidays. The government currently has more than five million unused tests in Ontario that should be used to help prevent further spread of the virus. 

 

HOLIDAY GATHERINGS 

The acting Local Medical Officer of Health is asking the community to limit social gatherings to less than 10 people during the holiday season as the health unit continues to monitor local COVID-19 data in the wake of surging numbers in our community. The new restrictions announced yesterday in a letter of instruction are set to go into effect on Friday and the local health unit will reassess and make any necessary modifications to their recommendation two weeks after these new restrictions come into effect. These restrictions include a maximum of 10 people allowed in a social gathering indoors, and a maximum of 25 people for outdoor gatherings. You can read more here.

  

VACCINES   

My office has received some inquiries about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and its availability in Windsor Essex. We have been advised by the Health Unit that the supply of J&J is limited in the province, and we are awaiting supply here in Windsor-Essex, which will also be limited. Residents are asked to contact their health care provider to discuss a request for a dose of this vaccine, or if they do not have a health care provider, they can contact the WECHU directly at 519-258-2146. Currently there is a list of individuals that have allergist referrals for the doses that will be processed once we receive vaccines. Additional requests outside of allergist referrals will be subject to supply availability. Residents that are medically able to receive an mRNA vaccine are encouraged to do so. 

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 9 – Windsor Essex Community Health Centre (Sandwich Location) – 3325 College Ave, Windsor – 10am to 3pm  
  • Friday December 10 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm  

 

COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS 

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has dismissed two classes and a bus cohort after four new cases of COVID-19 were reported. The cases were found at Our Lady of Annunciation and St. Rose elementary schools, and St. Anne Catholic elementary, where an outbreak has been declared. The Greater Essex County District School Board added nine more COVID-19 cases to nearly 250 confirmed cases. The new cases were discovered at D.M. Eagle, David Suzuki, Legacy Oak Trail, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Edward elementary. Two staff cases were also found at A.V. Graham. 

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#/=     

 

OMICRON VARIANT 

An official statement from Pfizer says that a three-shot course of their COVID-19 vaccine was able to neutralize the omicron variant in laboratory tests by increasing neutralizing antibodies by a factor of 25. This has not yet been confirmed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), who is the federal regulatory body responsible for reviewing and recommending the third dose more widely in Canada. You can read more here.

 

SURVEY RESULTS ON REMOTE WORK 

The results from a Workforce WindsorEssex survey launched in October to gain an understanding of the relevance, benefits, and drawbacks of working remotely in Windsor-Essex  shows that 75 per cent of respondents describe working remotely as either a very positive change or positive change, and 84 per cent said they would keep working remotely if they had the choice. You can read more here.

 

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.  

 

  • Percy