Let me start off today by saying to all those who continue to work during the pandemic ensuring our loved ones are cared for and not abandoned, feed and educate our families, our first responders and everyone who provides all those services that are essential to our day to day lives, and we take for granted every day, that your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 199 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with three additional deaths linked to the virus. Of the new cases, 31 are related to outbreaks, nine are from close contact with another confirmed case, and 159 are under investigation. Our region now has 9,045 total cases, including 2,512 active cases, 6,343 cases listed as resolved, 86 confirmed cases in the hospital, of which 16 are in the ICU, and 174 suspected cases in the hospital. The province reported 3,519 cases today, a new single-day high, along with 89 more deaths, also a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. On Wednesday there were 3,266 cases, on Tuesday there were 3,128 cases, and on Monday there were 3,270 cases. The seven-day average of new daily cases reached a new high of 3,141.
I join Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) is thanking their provincial health care partners for stepping up to assist with continued bed capacity concerns at Windsor's two acute care campuses. As of today, more than 50 patients have been transferred to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH). The patients who transferred to HDGH are those who have completed their acute care treatment at WRH, but mostly require post-acute beds until they can be safely discharged back to local long-term care facilities currently facing outbreaks. From an acute care standpoint, WRH has so far identified five patients appropriate for transfer to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). These transfers to LHSC are non-critical acute care patients who require further hospital treatment and supervision. For more information, please click here.
Windsor Regional Hospital is expanding the hours of operation for its Met Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Effective Monday January 11, Met will be operating during the same hours as Ouellette Campus, which are seven days a week from 8am to 7pm. To schedule a COVID-19 test at either campus, visit their website here.
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.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, announced today that elementary schools in southern Ontario will remain closed until at least January 25 for in-class learning, while schools in northern Ontario will reopen to in-class learning as planned. Earlier today, Dr. Ahmed the Medical Officer of Health for our region issued a statement saying that if the province did not take this step, he would again put an order in place to enforce it in our region. This does not apply to students who have already returned to school earlier this week. They will continue in class learning. Meanwhile, our caucus is urging the Premier and his Cabinet to take active steps and make additional investments immediately to safeguard children, educators and their families with robust in-school asymptomatic testing programs and capping class sizes at 15 so that everyone in schools can physically distance themselves when in-class learning resumes. Parents also need real financial supports when they have to stay home, including paid family care days.
Windsor West MP Brian Masse is calling for rapid COVID-19 testing at our two border crossings in a letter that was sent to Canada’s Public Safety and Health Minister. By giving customs agents access to rapid testing, the risk of the virus being carried across the border would be significantly reduced, MP Masse suggested. You can read more 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.