The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 142 new COVID-19 cases today. Of the new cases, 11 are related to outbreaks, three are from close contact with another confirmed case, two are considered community spread and 126 are under investigation. Our region now has 9.815 cases, with 2,728 cases considered active, 6,877 cases listed as resolved, 99 cases in the hospital, with 17 of those in the ICU, and 210 COVID-19 related deaths. The province reported, 3,338 cases of COVID-19 today, as deaths related to the virus surpassed 5,000. On Sunday there were 3,945 cases and on Saturday there were 3,443 cases.
As a reminder, for the safety of my staff and the public, my office is not taking appointments for in-office visits but will remain available to assist constituents with provincial matters by telephone 519-251-5199 and email at [email protected] or [email protected]. Staff will be working remotely, so you may have to leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
I am calling on the Provincial Government to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination program after Windsor Regional Hospital announced on Friday that a three-week stall is looming unless vaccine allotments increase for our region. It was reported that we won’t have enough supply to vaccinate any additional people between January 24 and mid-February as the supply we have is only enough to provide second doses to those who have received their first doses. We need the Provincial Government to accelerate vaccinations urgently, and publicly release the full vaccination schedule and detailed plan. Vaccine supplies have been available in Ontario for more than three weeks, yet instead of an urgent mobilization to get the vaccine into the arms of people who need it most, we’re seeing the Provincial Government struggle to figure out how to move this life-saving vaccine out.
The City of Windsor is expanding the emergency childcare plan to January 22nd. It was initially supposed to run from January 4th-8th but is now extended to run between January 11th-January 22nd. The emergency childcare is available for children of health care workers and others on the front lines whose children are enrolled in school. The application form can be found here.
The local health unit is reporting that Windsor-Essex is the first region in the province to vaccinate all long-term care homes, for those who wanted to receive a vaccination and were eligible. The local health unit said they will circle back to the homes for any residents, staff members or essential caregivers still needing the vaccine, based on the fact that individuals who might have been positive will need to recover before receiving the shot. Vaccinations will now begin at our region’s 25 retirement homes with mass distributions still about three months away. You can find more here.
Windsor Regional Hospital announced that some same-day appointment for COVID-19 testing will be available after expanding hours at Met Campus to match the hours at Ouellette Campus. The hospital said that a same-day test will show up if available when you go to book a test online. They also reminded people that if you have a scheduled test you no longer need, it’s important to cancel. While test results take an average of 2-5 days to return, only people who test positive will be contacted. You can read more here.
The Provincial Government said they will not be considering a curfew as part of the new lockdown restrictions that will be announced tomorrow in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. You can read more here.
Our caucus is calling for Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, to attend the Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight tomorrow to explain if and why he has recommended delay after delay in taking action. The Emergency Oversight committee is the body tasked with reviewing the Provincial Government’s emergency orders, which are made unilaterally behind closed doors. These delays in action have hurt Ontario, and we need tough new public health measures, backed by a major investment in immediate supports like paid sick days for every Ontarian, safe isolation facilities, and direct financial help for small business owners and individuals.
A reminder that the deadline to apply for financial support under the government’s Support for Learners program is February 8 and provides one-time funding for parents to help offset costs during the school year. More information is available here.
Please follow all public health guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, including wearing a face mask when out in public, continuing to practice social distancing of two metres from other people, and washing your hands often.