The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 127 new high risk cases of COVID-19 today. Due to the changes in eligibility for testing and limited testing capacity, the rise of Omicron cases, and the shifted focus of case, contact, and outbreak management to high-risk settings, these case counts are an underestimate of the true numbers of individuals who have COVID-19 within Windsor-Essex County. The health unit defines high-risk cases as those coming from individuals who are eligible for PCR testing in accordance with Ontario's current testing guidance. Yesterday there were 119 cases, and on Wednesday there were 136 cases.
There are now a total of 638 active high risk cases in the area, with 66 confirmed cases in the hospital, and nine in the ICU. There are currently seven workplace outbreaks, 18 community outbreaks, six hospital outbreaks, and 16 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 85.8 per cent of individuals five and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 81.8 per cent have received two doses, and 52.3 per cent of residents over 18 have received their booster shot.
Today, Toronto reported 380 cases, Peel reported 192 cases, and Hamilton reported 111 cases. Across the province today there were 2,907 cases reported today, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday, there were 3,201 cases, and on Wednesday there were 3,162 cases. There has been a total of 1,067,511 cases in Ontario since the pandemic began, and currently there are 1,829 patients in the hospital with COVID-19, and 435 in the ICU.
AMBASSADOR BRIDGE BLOCKADE
Today, the Premier declared a state of emergency for 42 hours over the continued protests at the Ambassador Bridge and in Ottawa. The Premier said his government would use legal authorities to enact temporary orders that make it clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people, and services along critical infrastructure. This includes protecting international border crossings, 400-series highways, airports, ports, bridges, and railways. It will also include protecting the safe and essential movement of ambulatory and medical services, public transit, municipal and provincial roadways, as well as pedestrian walkways. Fines for non-compliance will include a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment. You can read more here.
These actions are long overdue, and my local colleagues, MPP Lisa Gretzky and MPP Taras Natyshak, and I have been calling for the concrete actions from the government all week. The Premier has had the power all along to help Windsor-Essex and put an end to the blockade on the Ambassador Bridge. Instead, he refused and withheld resources for days. In that time, we’ve seen auto and manufacturing workers lose wages, heard from essential workers struggle to get across the border for work, and thousands of Windsor families worried about making their next mortgage payment or keeping food on the table. The government has let the convoy protests grow and spread across the province for over two weeks. They watched as people lost income and had to shutter their businesses. The Premier’s action has had a deep impact on Windsor’s economy that could have lasting repercussions. We need fast, decisive action, such as suspending commercial operating licenses for vehicles that are breaking the law and taking part in this blockade, to get the Ambassador Bridge reopened immediately.
Windsor Regional Hospital have issued a Code Orange, as staff are told to be ready for any potential heightened alert due to the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge. You can read more here.
Today, the Prime Minister said that everything, with the exception of deploying the Canadian Armed Forces, is on the table to bring an end to the ongoing protests around the country. The Prime Minister declined to give specifics about how or when the protests would end over concerns of violence. You can read more here.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS
The provincial government announced that 5.5 million rapid antigen tests will be available across the province each week. You can find participating grocery stores and pharmacies here.
TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS ISOLATION AND RECOVERY CENTRE
The federal government announced that Windsor-Essex will receive funding to continue the Isolation and Recovery Centre for temporary foreign workers. The Centre provides accommodations for workers who have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it. You can read more here.
First, second, and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available at one of the three mass vaccination sites, located in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall, at Hotel-Dieu Grace HealthCare, and at the Grovedale House Community Hall in Kingsville. All mass vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins. Moreover, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for individuals aged 30 years and older at any vaccination site. Grovedale House is open from 9am to 3:45pm Tuesday to Saturday for pre-booked or walk-in appointments. Hotel Dieu's clinic will be available from 2:30pm to 6:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and from 12pm to 4pm on Tuesday and Friday. To book an appointment, please visit www.wevax.ca.
Pop-up vaccination clinics will be available at the following locations next week:
- Monday February 14 – Mackenzie Hall– 3277 Sandwich St, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- Monday February 14 – Gino and Liz Marcus Complex – 1168 Drouillard Rd, Windsor – 1:30pm to 6pm
- Tuesday February 15 – Windsor Bus Terminal Downtown – 300 Chatham Ave, Windsor – 9am to 11:30am
- Tuesday February 15 – CMHA – 1400 Windsor Ave, Windsor – 1pm to 4pm
- Tuesday February 15 – Connections Early Years – 795 Giles Ave, Windsor – 2pm to 6pm
- Wednesday February 16 – St. Clair College Sportsplex (Gym C) – 2000 Talbot Rd, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- Thursday February 17 – Mackenzie Hall – 3277 Sandwich St, Windsor – 2pm to 6pm
- Thursday February 17 – Multicultural Council of Windsor – 245 Janette Ave, Windsor – 2:30pm to 6pm
- Friday February 18 – Forest Glade Arena – 3205 Forest Glade Dr, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- Friday February 18 – Adie Knox – 1551 Wyandotte St W, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- Friday February 18 – St. Anne’s High School – 1200 Oakwood Blvd, Belle River – 11am to 6pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.