The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has reported two new cases of COVID-19 today. Yesterday there were two cases, and there were three cases from Saturday to Monday. There has been a total of 16,851 cases and 435 deaths related to COVID-19 in our region since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, one is from close contact with another confirmed case, and one is considered community spread. There are now 16 active cases in our region, with three of those being considered variants of concern. There are three confirmed cases in the hospital, all of which are in the ICU, and 16,400 cases have been listed as resolved. There have been 518,827 doses of the vaccine administered locally, with 76.5 per cent of adults over the age of 18 having received at least one dose, and 64.6 of adults over the age of 18 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 135 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 127 cases, and on Monday there were 130 cases.
The local health unit has announced that the five mass vaccination sites in our region are accepting walk-ins for first and second doses, and same-day appointments are also now available.
In addition, 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:
- Thursday, July 22 – Comber – 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 – Windsor – Sainte-Therese French Catholic Elementary School
- Friday, July 30 – Windsor – Assumption College Catholic High School
- Saturday, July 31 – Windsor – Frank W. Begley Public School
The University of Windsor has launched an awareness campaign called ‘Knock Out COVID’ with a goal of getting the message out to the under-25 population and get university students to get vaccinated before classes resume in the fall. The campaign connects students to reliable sources and aims to empower them to make informed choices about vaccinations to help reduce the spread of the virus. You can read more here.
ADVOCATING FOR CONTINUED ACCESS TO EYE CARE
I have heard from many constituents regarding chronic underfunding and cuts in eye care in Ontario, and this week I wrote to the Minister of Health, the Premier, and the President of the Treasury Board asking them to protect OHIP-insured eye care. I have called on them to agree to a formal negotiation process and to meet with optometrists to work out a deal to ensure residents can continue to have uninterrupted access to vision care come September. We need the government to stabilize the sector and provide the financial supports so that optometrists aren’t forced to make the difficult decision to close their clinics because they cannot afford to stay open.
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT ON THE PANDEMIC
A new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) shows that the provincial government withheld $10.3 billion from Ontarians during the pandemic, including sitting on over $1 billion earmarked for long-term care and public health. The government promised to spare no expense to tackle COVID-19 and help Ontarians make it through the pandemic, but instead chose not to spend money on supports that people needed. We continue to hear from constituents who have struggled or continue to struggle to get funds from the Small Business Support Grants, Support for Learners, and the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit. Many of you have shared your struggles with my staff, who continue to try and get you answers and share your frustrations that the processes that were set up were insufficient to deliver these supports. We continue to call on this government to revisit these flawed programs so that real support can be provided to those struggling. You can read the FAO report here.
CANADA-U.S. BORDER TO REMAIN CLOSED
The United States has announced they are extending the land border restrictions until August 21, despite the Canadian government announcing they would permit fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada as of August 9. Canadians who wish to travel to the United States can still do so by air but must submit a negative COVID-19 test three days prior to departure or proof from a health-care provider that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. You can read more here.
IN-PERSON CLASSES RESUME AT ST. CLAIR COLLEGE
St. Clair College announced that in-person classes would resume in the fall semester on September 7. COVID-19 safety protocols, such as mandatory masks indoors and physical distancing, will remain in place. You can read more here.
Art By The River is set to return to Fort Malden National Historic Site in Amherstburg on August 28 and 29. The event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, and is the first festival to be held in Windsor-Essex since the pandemic began. The event will again welcome great artists and artisans from across Ontario, but this year will have a reduced capacity and one-way traffic flow. On-site food concessions, live entertainment, and live artist workshops will not be offered this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Admission is $5 and will run from 10am to 5pm each day. You can find more information 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.