The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 271 new high risk cases since Friday. 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.
There are now 305 active high risk cases in our region, with 34 confirmed cases in the hospital, and seven in the ICU. There are four workplace outbreaks, 12 community outbreaks, one hospital outbreak, and 10 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 82.4 per cent have received two doses, and 53.1 per cent of residents over 18 have received their booster.
Today, Toronto reported 214 cases, Peel reported 89 cases, and Ottawa reported 103 cases. Across the province today there were 1,282 new cases of COVID-19 reported, but health officials have warned this is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday, there were 1,335 cases, and on Sunday there were 1,966 cases. There have been 1,090,101 cases in Ontario since the pandemic began, and currently there are 1,038 people in the hospital with COVID-19, with 319 of those in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR YOU IN THE LEGISLATURE
My caucus colleagues and I have returned to Queen’s Park after a two month break, despite our calls for the provincial government to recall the Legislature early as many in our community continue to struggle to make it through the pandemic. We are seeing the prices of homes and cost of living continue to rise, our health care, education, home care, and long-term care systems have been brought to their knees by cuts, workers’ wages have been held back, and our environment is under attack. We will continue to call for paid sick days, higher wages for working people, and a plan to hire tens of thousands of teachers, education workers, nurses, and health care workers. We are also putting forward legislation to tackle Islamophobia and other forms of racism in Ontario, and for the government to provide the financial supports that local businesses need to get back on track.
LICENCE PLATE STICKERS
The provincial government announced they will no longer be implementing licence plate renewal fees and corresponding stickers for passenger vehicles, effective March 13, 2022. The government said they will be issuing refunds to Ontarians for any licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020. To receive a refund, drivers will have to ensure their address is up to date on the provincial website and that they’ve paid any outstanding traffic tickets by March 7, 2022. You can read more here.
PROOF OF VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS IN WINDSOR-ESSEX
Though the province of Ontario announced that proof of vaccination requirements are scheduled to lift on March 1, the local health unit still has an order in place that requires individuals to show their proof of vaccination for facilities in our region. The local health unit has not said whether they will amend that order for proof of vaccination requirements after February 28. 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.
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. To book an appointment, please visit www.wevax.ca.
Pop-up vaccination clinics will be available at the following locations this week:
- Wednesday February 23 – Windsor International aquatic Training Centre – 401 Pitt St W, Windsor – 10am to 4pm
- Wednesday February 23 – Grovedale Arts and Culture Centre – 103 Park St, Kingsville – 11:30am to 6:15 pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.