Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - January 7, 2022

Published on January 7, 2022

 

Good afternoon,

LOCAL NUMBERS

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 359 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with the loss of four members of the community. Toronto reported 2,405 cases, Peel reported 1,745 cases, York region reported 965 cases, and Hamilton and Middlesex-London both reported under 500 cases. Yesterday, our region had 558 cases, and on Wednesday there were 353 cases. There are now 2,644 active cases in our community, with 49 confirmed cases in the hospital, and nine in the ICU. The total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is 28,092 cases, with 501 deaths related to COVID-19. Of the new cases announced today, 10 are from close contact with another confirmed case, nine are considered community spread, one is outbreak related, and 339 are under investigation. There is one workplace outbreak, two school/childcare outbreaks, 14 community outbreaks, one hospital outbreak, and 11 outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 87.1 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received one dose of the vaccine, and 81.1 per cent are fully vaccinated. Across the province today there were 11,899 cases reported, but health officials have warned that numbers could be underestimated due to testing limitations and backlogs. The total number of cases in Ontario is now 853,270, with a record-breaking 2,472 people in hospital with COVID-19, and 338 in the ICU.

 

ADVOCATING FOR WORKERS

Today, I wrote a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, in calling for more federal supports for workers in Windsor-Essex. I have heard from so many of you, and know how hard workers in Windsor-Essex have been hit by the pandemic. Particularly, the impact on two of our region’s largest employers, Caesars Windsor and Stellantis, is significant in how it will affect our economy. In the wake of the Omicron variant, which health officials say we are only starting to see the impact of, and the added restrictions put in place this week by the province, it is crucial that workers are not left behind without the support they need. I have asked the Honourable Minister to ensure the gaming industry is included with the new Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, including coverage for workers who are in furlough, and to include the auto industry in the new Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program at subsidy levels equal to what they were under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program.

 

COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORTS

Today, the provincial government announced a $10,000 grant for eligible businesses that are subject to closures under the new restrictions. The Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will be available to the following businesses:

  • Restaurants and bars;
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms);
  • Performing arts and cinemas;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Meeting or event spaces;
  • Tour and guide services;
  • Conference centres and convention centres;
  • Driving instruction for individuals; and
  • Before- and after- school programs.

You can read the government’s news release here.

This announcement is too little, too late. The provincial government denied direct financial aid to family-run businesses that qualified for grants throughout the pandemic, while handing out money to companies that didn’t need the help and didn’t qualify. Today’s announcement is more of the same. Unless we see immediate, substantial investments by the government, our main streets will be hit with another wave of closures that will hurt jobs, end generations-old family legacies, and destroy the livelihood of entrepreneurs. We need a grant program that recognizes the real needs of small business owners and workers.

 

COVID-19 IN LONG-TERM CARE

The local health unit has declared COVID-19 outbreaks at the following long-term care and retirement homes: Chartwell Oak Park LaSalle, Chartwell St. Clair Beach, and The Village at St. Clair

My caucus colleagues and I are calling for urgent action to staff up and send help to long-term care homes to help care for residents, and implement proper infection prevention and control. That would require and immediate raise for personal support workers (PSWs), hazard pay, N95 masks, and paid sick days. We are calling for a staffing level that requires enough staff in every homme to give each resident four hours of hands-on care per-day.

  

COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE SETTINGS

The local health unit has declared an outbreak at Delta Chi Hospital Early Childhood Centres – Coronation Campus in Windsor. The local health unit has also rescinded the outbreak at the following child care centres and schools: George P. Vanier Elementary School, Cosmopolitan Kids Inc. – Delta Chi Hospital Campus and Academie Ste. Cecile Child Enrichment Centre.

The Toronto Star is reporting that further delays for elementary students are being considered past January 17. My caucus colleagues and I have called on the government to instead take action to make it safe for kids to return to school. We should be adding vaccines to the student immunization list, holding in-school clinics specifically for teachers, education workers, and students, creating smaller class sizes, and testing the air quality in every classroom. We know that kids are struggling with isolation, personality changes, anxiety, depression, eating disorders or other challenges to their wellbeing. Families deserve better — schools should be a priority.

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#/=   

 

VACCINES

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

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.    

 

  • Percy