Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - February 23, 2022

Published on February 23, 2022

 

Good afternoon,

LOCAL NUMBERS

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 44 new high risk cases today, along with the loss of a member of the community. 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. From Saturday to Tuesday, our region reported 271 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 288 active high risk cases in the area, with 34 confirmed cases in the hospital, and eight in the ICU. There are four workplace outbreaks, 13 community outbreaks, and 12 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86 per cent of individuals five and older have received one dose of the vaccine, 82.4 per cent have received both doses, and 53.1 per cent of residents over 18 have received their booster.

Today, Toronto reported 224 cases of COVID-19, Peel reported 95 cases, and Ottawa reported 72 cases. Across the province today, there were 1,425 cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 1,282 cases, and on Monday there were 1,335 cases. There have been 1,091,526 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic, and there are currently 1,106 people in the hospital, and 319 in the ICU.

 

ADVOCATING FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

Today, my caucus colleagues and I urged the provincial government to review cases of small business owners who feel they have been overlooked by the government’s small business support grant program. Throughout this pandemic, small businesses have suffered, and many have closed their doors for good. My office continues to hear from local businesses that are struggling under mounting debt and who are increasingly frustrated with the government’s failure to address issues with its grant program. According to the Auditor General, there are multiple issues with the program, including that the government awarded $210 million to ineligible recipients. Additionally, the government shut down appeals for the small business assistance grant program without notice. The government should commit to reviewing businesses’ outstanding concerns and do all they can to help our local businesses survive the pandemic.

 

ADDRESSING ISLAMOPHOBIA AND HATE CRIMES

Today, my caucus colleagues and I introduced legislation aimed at combatting Islamophobia and hate crimes. The Our London Family Act, created in collaboration with the National Council of Canadian Muslims takes multiple actions, including establishing a provincial review of hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents in Ontario, and designating safe zones around all houses of worship. We need to take real action to stamp out Islamophobia, white supremacy, and hate crimes. No one should have to fear for their safety, and we must do all we can to ensure Ontario is a place where people aren’t targeted by violence and hate because of their religion, their clothes, or the colour of their skin.

 

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.

 

VACCINES 

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.    

 

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines. 

 

  • Percy