The Windsor Essex County Health Unit reported 174 new cases of COVID-19 today along with three additional deaths. Of the cases announced today, 25 are related to outbreaks, four are from close contact with another confirmed case, two are considered community spread and 143 are under investigation. Our region now has 2,471 active cases, bringing the total number to 8,676, with 6,035 cases listed as resolved and 170 deaths. The province reported 3,128 cases today, 3,270 cases on Monday, 2,964 cases on Sunday, and 3,363 cases on Saturday.
Today, I put out a statement along with my colleagues, MPP Lisa Gretzky and MPP Taras Natyshak, echoing the call from Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath for the government to recall the legislature immediately. My office has been flooded with questions from my constituents since this pandemic started and now ten months in, we’re still asking the government for answers. We knew the second wave was coming, so why didn’t this government plan for it? This government refuses to spend the billions in allocated COVID-19 funds to help our long-term care homes and hospitals, as thousands are getting sick and dying. Now we need the government to send in the military for support. It didn’t have to be this way. We must recall the Legislature now so we can get back to work and get the necessary resources and support to the people of Windsor-Essex.
Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) is moving as many as 20 patients to hospitals in Chatham and Sarnia because there are no more beds available. This comes as a high volume of patients who are positive with COVID-19 required admission to WRH. Hospital President and CEO David Musyj says because WRH is a regional hospital, they have to create capacity for the sickest people. As of yesterday, WRH has 74 in-patients admitted to the hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, much higher than the 27 confirmed during any single day in the first wave back in May. Chatham-Kent Health Alliance said they will be temporarily cancelling all elective and non-urgent procedures starting Thursday in response to the rising critical care needs in the community and region. CKHA will not be cancelling cancer surgeries and procedures.
WRH received its second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine which will allow for approximately 1,500 people to receive the second dose. WRH has vaccinated just under 3,000 people so far and continues to vaccinate around 500 people per day with focus on priority groups set by the provincial government.
The local health unit said guidelines have been set for residents, staff and caregivers to receive vaccinations at long-term care homes currently under an outbreak. Dr. Ahmed says the goal is to have all long-term care homes vaccinated within the next seven to ten days. More details can be found here.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Windsor Police Service according to a release from the local health unit and is confined to a single area within the service. WPS says they have taken the necessary steps to mitigate further spread of the virus within the workplace.
The OPP announced they are reducing access to their facilities and detachments to processing of routine criminal record checks, vulnerable sector checks and finger printing to essential workers and volunteers only. Anyone seeking entry must make an appointment first and those individuals will be pre-screened and will be required to wear proper PPE before entering the building. Appointments can be made by calling a local detachment between 8am and 4pm daily.
Please continue to wear a face mask when out in public, continue to practice physical distancing of two metres, and wash your hands often.