The Windsor-Essex County Health unit is reporting 94 new high-risk cases, along with the loss of four 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. 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 Monday there were 360 cases reported in our region.
There are now 656 active high-risk cases in Windsor-Essex, with 68 confirmed cases in the hospital, and 12 in the ICU. There are nine workplace outbreaks, 21 community outbreaks, six hospital outbreaks, and 17 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 85.7 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, 81.6 per cent have received two doses, and 51.9 per cent of individuals over 18 have received their booster shot.
Today, Toronto reported 328 cases, Peel reported 198 cases, and Ottawa reported 152 cases. Across the province today there were 2,092 cases reported, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday, there were 2,088 cases, and on Sunday there were 2,887 cases. There has been a total of 1,058,241 cases in Ontario since the pandemic began, and there are currently 2,554 patients in the hospital, with 474 in the ICU.
TRUCKER CONVOY PROTEST
Today, my colleagues MPP Lisa Gretzky, MPP Taras Natyshak, and I released the following statement on the trucker convoy protest that is blocking the Ambassador Bridge:
The Ambassador Bridge is a vital crossing that thousands of essential frontline workers, families, truck drivers and small businesses rely on every day. While everyone has the right to protest, this is not simply a protest — it’s a blockade. Blocking frontline workers from doing their jobs to save lives, feed our communities and keep our economy going is wrong. This blockade at the Ambassador Bridge is hurting our community, our national and provincial economy, and must end immediately.
No one wants the pandemic to continue. We are all tired, especially the frontline workers who have been working flat out to save lives, and make sure our families have the necessities. The fastest way to end the pandemic is to get vaccinated and to follow public health advice.
The Premier must stop pandering to extremists and anti-vaxxers, and put an end to the anti-public health convoys causing misery and frustration in communities across the province. The Premier has the power to provide support to local law enforcement to put an end to the blockades and occupation. Ontario needs the Premier to stop the blockade at Ambassador Bridge today.
The Premier has the power to take away the Commercial Vehicle Operator Certificates (CVOR) of any convoy protestor that doesn’t leave. Under the Highway Traffic Act, the government can cancel the driver’s licence, plates, and CVOR for misconduct, ignoring existing laws, or “any other sufficient reason”.
ADVOCATING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
I continue to hear from local small businesses who are struggling during the pandemic and many who are unable to access the resources they need to keep their doors open. Today, I wrote a letter to the Premier, urging them to boost the supports available under the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, make it easier for local small businesses to access it, provide financial assistance to businesses to implement new vaccine certificate protocols, and urge the federal government to work with the province to reinstate the commercial rent assistance program.
TENANT INFORMATION SESSIONS
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), is hosting monthly tenant rights information sessions to inform tenants about their rights during COVID-19. They will cover details around rights/protections related to rent, evictions, and maintenance/repairs, Bill 184, and rights in regards to heating and air conditioners. The next information session is being held on Tuesday February 22 at 7pm. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP 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; 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 next week:
- Wednesday February 9 – Cardinal Carter High School Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 120 Ellison Ave, Leamington – 2:15pm to 6pm
- Wednesday February 9 – Catholic Central High School Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 441 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor – 3pm to 6pm
- Thursday February 10 – Mackenzie Hall Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 3277 Sandwich St, Windsor – 9am to 3pm
- Thursday February 10 – Consulate of Mexico Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 350 Hwy 77, Leamington – 2pm to 6pm
- Friday February 11 – St. Clair College Downtown Campus Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 201 Riverside Dr. W, Windsor – 9am to 3:30pm
- Friday February 11 – Windsor Essex Hospice (Leamington) Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic – 197 Talbot St W, Suite 701, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.