The Windsor- Essex County Health Unit is reporting 39 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths. One death was from a long-term care or retirement home and five were from the community. Of the new cases announced, 10 are related to outbreaks, 11 are from close contact with another confirmed case, three are considered community spread, and 15 are under investigation. Our region now has 12,233 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 452 of those cases are considered active, 68 cases are in the hospital with nine in the ICU, 11,449 cases are listed as resolved, and there have been 332 deaths linked to the virus. Across the province today there were 1,172 new cases. This number is again below the recent average and it is not clear whether the figure is reliable, as the province cautioned yesterday that there were some data errors that could affect counts for a few days. On Tuesday, the province reported 745 cases, and on Monday there were 1,969 cases.
The Minister of Education announced today that classes would be resuming in-person learning next week on Monday, February 8 for our region while Toronto, York and Peel would have a delayed return on February 16. Windsor-Essex medical officer of health, Dr. Ahmed, said most children get COVID-19 from household contacts, not school transmission, and indicators are pointing in the right direction for students to return to in-class learning in our region. Our caucus continues to call for additional supports to safely reopen our schools for in-person learning, including capping class sizes at 15 students per class, upgrades to infection control measures in schools, and paid sick days to ensure nobody goes to work when they are sick.
A reminder that the deadline to apply for financial support under the government’s Support for Learners program is February 8, which is next week. The program provides one-time funding for parents to help offset costs during the school year. More information is available here.
Tony Blaks Union Bakery on Tecumseh Road East has decided to cancel their paczki promotion this year because of COVID-19 and citing the health and safety of the community, his family, staff, and customers. The bakery says over the past few years they have been making more than 1,000 dozens on paczki day.
Please follow all public health guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, including staying home wearing a face mask when out in public for an essential trip, continuing to practice social distancing of two metres from other people (even if you are wearing a mask), and washing your hands often.