The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting two new COVID-19 cases today. Over the weekend there were only three cases reported. There has been a total of 16,849 cases and 435 deaths. Of the new cases announced today, one is travel related and one is under investigation. There are currently 15 active cases in our community, with three being variant of concern cases. There are three confirmed cases in the hospital, all of which are in the ICU, and 16,399 cases have been listed as resolved. A total of 515,361 doses of the vaccine have been administered locally, with 76.4 per cent of adults over the age of 18 having received at least one dose, and 63.9 per cent of adults over the age 18 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 127 new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there were 130 cases, and on Sunday there were 177 cases.
The local health unit will be operating pop-up clinics at the following locations between 10am and 3pm over the next two weeks. No appointments are needed:
- Wednesday, July 21 – Windsor – William G. Davis Public School
- Thursday, July 22 – Lakeshore – Centennial Central Public School
- Friday, July 23 – Windsor – Assumption College Catholic High School
- Tuesday, July 27 – Windsor – William G. Davis Public School
- Wednesday, July 28 – Leamington – Queen Elizabeth Public School
- Thursday, July 29 – Date and location to be determined
- Friday, July 30 – Windsor – Assumption College Catholic High School
- Saturday, July 31 – Windsor – Frank W. Begley Public School
RETURN TO SCHOOL
As we continue to wait for a Back-to-School plan from the provincial government, my caucus colleagues and I are again calling for the provincial government to release a plan and make the necessary investments to ensure schools are safe for kids to return to in September. We know that kids are struggling with their mental and emotional health and are desperate to get back to school, and back to extracurricular activities. This should be the top priority for Ontario. Parents, teachers, and education workers need to know what is going to happen in schools in September and how the government will ensure that they will be safe. We are calling for a provincial program to proactively reach out to families about vaccinating children over 12, to provide them with information to help them make the decision, and the appointment, to get kids vaccinated before mid-August. We are also fighting for ventilation upgrades, 14 paid sick and family care days so parents can keep sick kids home from school, small class sizes, and more mental health professionals in schools to help kids recover from the longest school shutdown in Canada.
FUNDING FOR PSW STUDENTS
The province has announced that 65 students training to be PSWs at Westervelt College will be receiving up to $13,467.50 to cover the costs of tuition, books, and mandatory fees and a stipend for their clinical placement. Eligible students must begin their training in a PSW program at a participating private career college between May 1 and July 31, 2021 and apply through Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
Our Official Opposition caucus has been calling for the provincial government to support PSWs through the introduction of the Support Workers Pay Act, which was introduced by my colleague MPP Jamie West. This bill was proposed to resolve the poor working conditions and inequalities many PSWs face on the job. If passed, the bill would urgently and permanently add the temporary PSW pandemic pay to the minimum pay of support workers and require workers to be paid per kilometre travelled between work sites. The bill also calls on the Minister of Long-Term Care to develop programs to provide training, education and professional development for all support workers and long-term care staff that provide care. The bill demands that the ministry recruit and retain the number of support workers required to deliver adequate and appropriate care; and to ensure support workers are paid while learning on the job.
DAY AND OVERNIGHT CAMP INFORMATION SESSION
The local health unit will be holding a free webinar for day and overnight camp operators and staff on Friday, July 23, 2021, from 1:30PM-3:30PM. The webinar will be hosted by two public health nurses and a public health inspector, and they will discuss best safety practices and public health guidance around day and overnight camps. Registration is open until Thursday, July 22, and you can register by calling the health unit at 519-258-2146 ext. 1555 or online here.
HOSPITAL CATH LAB CLOSED
The Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette Campus will remain closed for the remainder of July to repair damage as a result of last week's due to flooding. Patients who were scheduled for procedures are being notified. Any emergency and/or in-patients who would normally receive treatment at the Cath Lab will be diverted to other hospitals outside of our region. You can read more here.
CANADA CHILD BENEFIT PAYMENTS
The federal government announced that the Canada Child Benefit payments are set to max out at $6,833 for children five years of age and under, and $5,765 for children six to 17 this year. The payments are tied to inflation, and will rise by one per cent, resulting in roughly $5 more per month, per child. You can read more here.
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.