The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 297 new COVID-19 cases today, 576 cases yesterday, and 415 cases on Saturday. We also lost two members of the community due to COVID-19 over the weekend, and have 67 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 15 in the ICU. Today, Toronto reported 1,879 cases, Peel reported 1,310 cases, and Hamilton reported 437 cases. There are now 3,356 active cases in our region, bringing the total number to 29,380, with 503 deaths related to COVID-19. Of the confirmed cases since Saturday, 109 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 56 are considered community spread, five are travel related, six are outbreak related, and 1,112 are under investigation. There are two workplace outbreaks, two school/childcare outbreaks, 16 community outbreaks, one hospital outbreak, and 11 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 84.1 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 78.8 per cent are fully vaccinated. Across the province today there were 9,706 cases of COVID-19, but health officials have warned that numbers could be underestimated due to testing limitations and backlogs. Yesterday there were 11,959 cases, and on Saturday there were 13,362 cases. Total number of cases in Ontario is 888,297, with 2,467 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and 438 in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR SAFE SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE
My caucus colleagues and I are calling for all children under five to qualify immediately for free PCR tests, as they are the only group who is unable to get vaccinated. The government’s decision to not allow access to COVID tests for most Ontarians is wrong, and for parents of little ones who cannot be vaccinated, its especially awful. We are also calling for N95 masks for all child care staff, every day; smaller child care group sizes; faster boosters for child care staff; rapid tests for families and staff in child care; paid sick days and family care days; and for the government to resume tracking and reporting COVID-19 cases in child care.
As local education workers have sounded the alarm bells of staff shortages when in-person learning resumes due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, my caucus colleagues and I continue to call on the provincial government to urgently implement measures to keep schools safe and prevent further shutdowns of Ontario schools. Some of our demands include:
- Free rapid tests for all students and education workers and restoring PCR testing availability
- A vaccination blitz for students, including the 5-11 cohort, with in-school clinics with parents' permission
- A robust outreach campaign to parents to encourage vaccination of children, including culturally relevant outreach applicable to different communities
- Mandatory vaccinations for all teachers and education workers
- Reduced class sizes and bus loads starting in the new year
- Improving ventilation in classrooms
- Free N95 masks for all teachers and education workers
- Enhanced supports for teachers and staff to address critical learning gaps caused by previous shutdowns
The province’s GO-VAXX bus will be at the Tecumseh Arena and Recreation complex tomorrow from 10am to 4pm, with staff administering first, second or booster shots. There are approximately 300 spots available, and staff will be administering either Pfizer or Moderna, depending on availability and provincial guidelines. Anyone eligible for a dose can book an appointment by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 or by vising the provincial booking site 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. Appointments are needed, with no walk-ins being accepted at this time. 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 Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. To book an appointment, please visit www.wevax.ca.
Pop-up vaccine clinics will be offered this week at the following locations:
- Tuesday January 11 – Windsor Bus Terminal Downtown – 300 Chatham Ave, Windsor – 9am to 11am
- Tuesday January 11 – CMHA – 1400 Windsor Ave, Windsor – 1pm to 4pm
REDUCED ELECTRICITY RATES
The Ontario Energy Board has announced off-peak electricity rates for 21 days, starting January 18, 2022. The off-peak pricing is 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, and will automatically apply to residential customers and small businesses. You can read more here.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.