The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 today. Between Saturday and Monday there were 13 cases reported. Our region has now had a total of 16,872 cases and 435 deaths related to COVID-19. Of the new cases reported today, one is from close contact with another confirmed case, and two are considered community spread. There are now 25 active cases in our region, with three of those being variants of concern. There has been a total of 532,011 doses of the vaccine administered locally, with 75.4 per cent of eligible residents over the age of 12 having received one dose, and 64.8 of eligible residents over the age of 12 having received both doses. Windsor Regional Hospital reported not having any positive COVID-19 patients for the first time since October 12, 2020. Across the province today there were 129 COVID-19 cases. Yesterday there were 119 cases, and on Sunday there were 172 cases.
RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
Today marks six weeks until the return of school for most Ontario students. The past year has been an enormous struggle for so many families, and too many have seen their kids’ mental and emotional health suffer. With six weeks to go, parents need to know how the government will keep their children safe while ensuring an uninterrupted, in-person school year, complete with extracurriculars. My caucus colleagues and I are calling for the government to release a plan that includes small class sizes, improved ventilation, extra mental health supports, curriculum adjustments, paid sick days for all parents, teachers and education workers, and having as many students vaccinated as possible.
Students with the Greater Essex County District School Board have until August 6 to opt-out of in-person learning. Students and parents must submit an opt-out form, or they will be automatically enrolled to attend school in-person. The opt-out form will be sent to families through email and will be shared on the school board’s website tomorrow. The link to the school board’s website is here.
The Health Unit has opened mobile, pop-up clinics which will be offered from 10:00AM to 3:00PM at the following locations this week:
- 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 federal government announced today that Canada now has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to fully vaccinate everyone eligible in the country following this week’s shipment of 3.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 1.4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine. You can read more here.
INVESTMENT IN NURSING
My caucus colleagues and I are calling for action and investment on nurse training, recruitment and retention as nurses in hospitals and other health care settings cope with spiralling burnout and understaffing. Hospitals all over Ontario struggled with staffing shortages before the pandemic after years of cuts and funding freezes. As the pandemic wanes, burnout is causing nurses to leave for a less stressful environment, which leaves each shift understaffed, which causes further burnout, and more nurses leaving. We need a plan to address the problem of recruiting and retaining nurses .
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.