The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 432 new high risk cases, along with the loss of five members of our community, since Saturday, with 105 of those cases from today. 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. There are now 1,268 active high risk cases in our region, with 96 confirmed cases in the hospital, and 14 of those in the ICU. There are currently 15 workplace outbreaks, 26 community outbreaks, 10 hospital outbreaks, and 26 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 85.5 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 81.1 per cent have received two doses, and 50.9 per cent of residents over 18 have received their booster.
Today, Toronto reported 603 cases, Peel reported 431 cases, and Hamilton reported 173 cases. Across the province today there were 3,043 cases reported, but health officials warn that number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 3,960 cases, and on Saturday there were 4,855 cases. The total number of cases across the province since the pandemic began is 1,033,294, with 2,983 patients in the hospital with COVID-19, and 583 of those in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
My caucus colleagues and I are again calling on the provincial government to make vaccines mandatory for health care and education workers after a Radio-Canada investigation found that only one hospital in the province opposed the vaccine mandate. We need to protect our loved ones, especially children who cannot yet receive a vaccine, and ensure that they are as safe as they can be in school and health care settings.
We also continue to call on the government to pass the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, which would provide 10 employer-funded paid sick days for all workers, plus an additional 14 days during public health emergencies, such as pandemics.
RESTRICTIONS EASING TODAY
Today, the province began easing the following restrictions:
- Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
- Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
- Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
- Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
- Shopping malls;
- Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
- Meeting and event spaces;
- Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; and
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
- Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
- Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.
Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements will continue to apply in existing settings. 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 next week:
- Tuesday February 1 – Windsor Bus Terminal Downtown – 300 Chatham Ave, Windsor – 9am to 12pm
- Tuesday February 1 – CMHA – 1400 Windsor Ave, Windsor – 1pm to 4pm
- Wednesday February 2 – Adie Knox – 1551 Wyandotte St W, Windsor – 9am to 2:30pm
- Wednesday February 2 – Windsor Bus Terminal Downtown – 300 Chatham Ave, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- Wednesday February 2 – St. Anne Catholic High School – 1200 Oakwood Ave, Belle River – 11am to 6pm
- Thursday February 3 – Forest Glade Arena – 3205 Forest Glade Dr, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
- 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.