The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 353 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with the loss of two members of the community. Today, Toronto reported 2,524 cases, Peel reported 1,435 cases, Hamilton reported 584 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 441 cases. Yesterday, our region had 337 cases. There are currently 2,408 active cases of COVID-19, with 45 of those in the hospital and eight in the ICU, bringing the total number to 27,175 cases and 497 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases confirmed today, 12 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 24 are considered community spread, one is outbreak related, and 316 are under investigation. There are three school/childcare outbreaks, eight community outbreaks, and eight outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 87 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 81 per cent are fully vaccinated. Across the province today there were at least 11,582 new cases COVID-19 cases, but health officials have warned that number could be an underestimate due to testing limitations and backlogs. Yesterday there were 11,352 cases, and on Monday there were 13,578 cases. The number of patients in the hospital with COVID-19 across the province has jumped to 2,081, but from 726 this time last week, and 288 of those patients are in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR YOU
My caucus colleagues and I are calling on the provincial government to recall the legislature so we can get back to helping Ontarians and ensuring they get through this wave of the pandemic. We need to pass key legislation, such as Bill 8, the Stay Home If You Are Sick act, which provides all Ontarians with paid sick days they need. We are also calling for urgent grants to get small Ontario businesses and workers through these lockdowns. We need grants tailored to cover losses, keep staff on the payroll, and cover rent. We need a deferral of HST payments for the duration of public health measures. And we need a ban on commercial evictions. We need the legislature recalled so we can pass the legislation required to help Ontarians.
COVID-19 RAPID TESTING
The federal government announced today that 140 million rapid tests will be distributed to the provinces in January on a per-capita basis, enough for one rapid test per week, per person. Each province and territory will be charged with distributing the rapid tests, and Ontario has not yet provided details on this. The current website where pop-up rapid testing location are located is available here, though there are currently no location in Windsor-Essex.
You can read more on the federal announcement here.
The local health unit has said that youth vaccination rates have plateaued and CEO Nicole Dupuis says they are continuing to have conversations and reach out to parents to provide more education. 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. 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.
The local health unit has declared five more outbreaks in long-term care and retirements homes in Windsor-Essex. The affected homes are Seasons Royal Oak in LaSalle, Chateau Park Long Term Care Centre, Seasons Retirement Communities in Amherstburg, Huron Lodge Long Term Care Home, and Devonshire Retirement Residence. The health unit has also rescinded the outbreak at Iler Lodge in Essex.
The local health unit has rescinded the outbreak status at Gore Hill Public School, D.M. Eagle Public School, and Kingsville District High School.
Up-to-date COVID-19 information on confirmed cases and outbreaks from each school board can be found here:
French Catholic: https://www.cscprovidence.ca/apps/pages/index.jsp...
Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board: https://www.wecdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/outbreaks
Greater Essex County District School Board: https://www.publicboard.ca/News/COVID-19Report/Pages/default.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2R6_WYMzK8njEzQqQisbpQuRQ67Cr-KEi-jEz_WYGsiaYmjCJhuLrUX0k#/=
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.