The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 158 new high risk cases today, along with the passing of five members 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. Yesterday there were 186 new cases, and on Tuesday there were 115 cases. There are now 1,174 active high risk cases in our area, with 69 confirmed cases in the hospital, and 12 in the ICU. There are 14 workplace outbreaks, 22 community outbreaks, nine hospital outbreaks, and 24 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 85.6 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, 81.3 per cent have received two doses, and 51.3 per cent have received boosters.
Today, Toronto reported 762 cases, Peel reported 370 cases, and Hamilton reported 173 cases. Across the province today there were 4,098 new cases reported, but health officials have warned this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 3,909 cases and on Tuesday there were 2,622 cases. The total number of cases across the province since the pandemic began is 1,043,923, and there are currently 2,797 people in the hospital, with 541 in the ICU.
Three COVID outbreaks have been rescinded at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in units RH3, RH4, and 2South. Only 3North remains in outbreak. You can find a full list of outbreaks here.
Health Canada approved PCR tests will now be available on the U.S. side of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel for travellers looking to cross into Canada. Assure Covid Travel Clinics has made arrangements with the Tunnel to offer PCR tests with a one-hour turnaround time for results. Starting this week, travellers will be able to order their test kits online and stop to pick them up at the operations office in front of the shop on the Detroit end of the tunnel. Travellers would then take the tests with them to their destination to perform when needed. When needed, the test is conducted via a telehealth visit with one of Assure Covid Travel Clinic’s specialists, who will supervise the sample collection and the processing of the test at the traveller’s location. You can read more here.
SAFETY ZONES TO PROTECT PATIENTS
My caucus colleagues and I are calling on the government to implement safety zones to prohibit protests near hospitals, schools, and clinics in light of news that a convoy will be making its way to Toronto this weekend. Patients and health care workers should not have to deal with obstacles to get the health care they need, or to get to work. We have been calling for safety zone legislation for months, and now we need the government to act fast.
The local health unit and provincial officials conducted an enforcement blitz as businesses reopened this week. In total, 111 businesses were visited, with 47 receiving warning, and four receiving tickets. Some common issues were lack of a safety plans, which need to be regularly updated and reviewed by staff, as well as not having clearly visible signage for capacity limits and masking guidelines. You can read more here.
The acting Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex is urging transplant recipients and people who have been treated for cancer to get their booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, as they are more at risk of dying to the virus. 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 Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington. 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. Nature Fresh will have appointments for Tuesday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. 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 this week:
- Friday February 4 – University of Windsor Education Building (Gym) – 2555 College Ave, Windsor – 9am to 3:30pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.