The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting three new COVID-19 cases today. Yesterday there were no new cases, and on Tuesday there was one new case. There has been a total of 16,846 cases and 436 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the confirmed cases today, one is from close contact with another confirmed case and two are under investigation. There are currently 19 active cases in our community, with five being variant of concern cases. There are three confirmed cases in the hospital, one in the ICU, and 16,391 cases have been listed as resolved. A total of 500,101 doses of the vaccine have been administered locally, with 75.9 per cent of adults over the age of 18 having received at least one dose, and 60.9 per cent of adults over the age of 18 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 143 new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there were 153 cases, and on Tuesday there were 146 cases.
ONTARIO ENTERING STEP THREE OF REOPENING PLAN
The province will enter Step Three of the reopening plan tomorrow. Some of the new restrictions under this step include:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 100 people
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people
- Indoor dining with no limits to the number of patrons per table
- Retail with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
- Indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings with physical distancing
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with capacity limits
- Museums, casinos and bingo halls with capacity limits
For full details on what is allowed under Step Three, please see here.
COVID-19 RECOVERY PROGRAM
Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has launched a COVID-19 recovery program for local residents who have had the virus. The program will offer individualized education, treatment, and supports for patients who are experiencing any chronic conditions – either physical or emotional – associated with the virus following a diagnosis. Patients can be referred to the COVID Recovery Program (CRP) through their primary care physician and through the acute care hospital system. You can find more information here.
EASING RESTRICTIONS ON CONGREGATE CARE SETTINGS
The provincial government announced that as Ontario enters Step Three of the reopening plan tomorrow, some COVID-19 related restrictions in congregate care settings, such as residences for adults with developmental disabilities, will be lifted. The changes coming into effect include
- Scheduled indoor and outdoor visits for non-essential visitors are permitted in alignment with social gathering limits as outlined in the provinces reopening plan
- Overnight absences are permitted for all residents, with an updated active screening process with no requirements for a negative COVID-19 test for fully immunized residents
To ensure safe visits and activities for everyone, people who wish to visit a friend or family member in a congregate care setting should contact the residence administration to schedule a time slot and confirm COVID-19 requirements. You can read the full details here.
COVID-19 PUBLIC INQUIRY
My caucus colleagues and I continue to call for an independent, judicial public inquiry into the province’s COVID-19 response, in the wake of a new Toronto Star analysis. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence showing that it hasn’t been public health experts calling the shots during the pandemic. It was lobbyists with special insider access to the Premier. As a result, the rest of Ontarians struggled through COVID, with cases running out of control and painful lockdowns. We need a full, non-partisan, judicial public inquiry to get to the bottom of just what happened in this pandemic. You can read the entire analysis here.
CLIMATE AND JOBS
As we continue to see the effects of climate change across the country, our caucus is urging the province to launch a zero-emissions vehicle strategy. We are calling for a comprehensive platform to tackle the climate crisis and create jobs – recognizing that transitioning to a net-zero emissions economy requires shifting from internal combustion engine vehicles to zero-emission vehicles. We need a plan that includes help for manufacturers to retool to electric, financial incentives for people to buy electric passenger vehicles, and $600 per household to cover the cost of buying and installing a charging station at home. We need to act now to address the climate crisis for the benefit of the next generation.
Please continue to stay safe by washing your hands, wearing a mask when you’re out in public, and practice physical distancing of 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.