Good evening everyone,
There were 27 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Windsor-Essex today. The cases include 13 from community transmission, 8 from workers in the agri-farm sector, 2 from healthcare workers, and 4 which are under investigation. This brings our total up to 2,077 cases. As we continue to see community cases increasing, please continue to be diligent in following the public health guidelines. Wash your hands frequently, maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres, and wear your mask in public. Please remember that face masks should cover your nose, mouth, and chin at all times when you are wearing it.
Ontario’s auditor general has confirmed she’ll be looking into a deal the government signed to contract out COVID-19 testing in the Windsor-Essex region. On July 6, the government confirmed that testing for the virus had been done on 19 of 175 farms in the region. On July 21, the government confirmed to CBC Windsor that the number was stalled at 19. The Government’s failure to test and isolate migrant farm workers has not only allowed these folks to get sick – it has also forced our region’s struggling small businesses and workers to stay on lockdown even longer. Testing zero farms in the past 15 days is unthinkable. People, businesses and agribusinesses in our region need help, and the Government signing this deal has left families and businesses in our region are paying the price.
The provincial government has failed to provide a plan or funding that are needed to ensure kids can return to schools and child care centres in a safe and supportive way. It’s simply not good enough to leave this to school boards without any additional resources or funding from the province. We’ve heard a lot of talk from the government about re-opening schools, but what parents need is real action and proper funding to make that possible. Our caucus as the Official Opposition has put forward an emergency action plan to help get kids safely back to class five days a week in the fall, including the following measures: putting enough teachers, education workers and alternative classrooms in place for all students to return to school five days a week, in small, safe classrooms; paid sick leave and parental leave in any modified return; immediate funding to stabilize the child care sector to prevent fee increases and layoffs; increased funding for teacher hiring, bussing, school repairs and cleaning; and real collaboration with frontline education workers, students, parents and school boards through a COVID-19 recovery school advisory group.