The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 today and three additional deaths – one from a long-term care home and two in the community. Of the new cases announced, five are related to outbreaks, 10 are from close contact with a confirmed case, seven are considered community spread and 10 are under investigation. Our region now has 263 active cases, bringing the total to 12,816, with 42 confirmed cases in the hospital with seven people in the ICU, 12,177 cases listed as resolved, and 376 deaths. Across the province today there were 975 new cases of COVID-19. On Monday there were 1,058 cases and on Sunday there were 1,087 cases.
The local health unit has created an online pre-registration form for remaining health care sector workers who qualify for the vaccine. Dr. Ahmed is asking employers or one individual from the organization to fill out the form for eligible workers and it is expected that between 5,000 and 6,000 individuals will qualify. You can read more here and find the link to the online registration form.
The Province has announced that each Public Health Unit is now being expected to develop their own vaccine strategy. The Minister of Health added that those who wish to receive a vaccine going forward will have the option to set up an appointment either through an online portal, a telephone booking system, or through their family doctor, depending on which public health unit they live in. The Health Minister did not provide more details and only said a finalized plan will be ready “within a very short time.” When the provincial government adjourned the Legislature in early December for two and a half months, a move that our caucus opposed, we urged them to recall the house so that a more robust vaccination plan could be developed.
The federal government said today that they are ready to deploy a new COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen, once it receives approval from Health Canada. 10 million doses have been secured. You can read more here.
42 students in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board tested positive for COVID-19 at Cardinal Carter Catholic Middle School in Leamington. The Greater Essex County District School Board also reported cases of COVID-19, where a staff member at Central Public School, a student at LaSalle Public School, and two students at King Edward Public School tested positive. The local health unit is working to contact students and staff who may have been affected. Parents are being asked to continue to monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning and keep them home if they are sick.
A recent report from People for Education released today shows that 72 per cent of Ontario principals say ensuring physical distancing in schools has been their biggest pandemic challenge to date. Our caucus continues to call on the government to cap class sizes at 15 students, implement broad, asymptomatic testing in schools, invest in better ventilation, and provide paid sick days so parents can stay home with their kids if they are sick. We’re going to keep pushing for these solutions to help stop the spread.
Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare have announced that the COVID-19 outbreak on 3-South in the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility has been rescinded. The outbreak was the result of three staff and five patients testing positive for the virus.
Windsor City Council has approved the on-street patio program again this year to help restaurants. Restaurants will again be permitted to use city parking spaces for outdoor patios from April 1 to mid-November to allow for additional capacity. You can read more here.
If you have any questions or require assistance with provincial matters, my office is happy to help in any way that we can. Please contact either the Constituency by phone at 519-251-5199 or email at [email protected] or the Queen’s Park Office at 416-325-6773 or [email protected].
I know everyone is tired, mentally and emotionally, from the toll that COVID-19 has taken. It is so important to remember that each new case or death from COVID-19 is a friend, family member, or loved one. Please stay diligent and continue following public health advice by staying at home, only going out for essential trips, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently.