There are 10 new cases of COVID-19 today in Windsor-Essex, with three of those from the agri-farm sector, six in the community, and one still under investigation. The total number of confirmed cases for our region is now 2,285 and no additional deaths.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases in Low German community in the region, mainly in the Kingsville-Leamington area. The risk is higher in the Low German community because some of the cultural practices and close proximity. The WECHU and Erie Shores Health Care in Leamington have been monitoring the situation and providing support and outreach for the community.
CBC Windsor is reporting that Ontario Health has selected a second vendor, DriverCheck, to undertake on-farm testing in the Windsor-Essex region. DriverCheck was contracted to perform a pilot COVID-19 testing program for truck drivers in Ontario from July 8 – September 8, 2020. A contract with private mobile testing company Switch Health, which was the first vendor hired by the province to perform testing in the region, has finished after it began at the end of June. You can read the article here.
The provincial government announced more details about the plan to re-open schools. Elementary students will be in the classroom five days a week for five hours of instruction per day as of September 8. Secondary schools will be re-opening with students alternating between attending classes in person and doing online work. The government will be investing $309 million to help re-open schools.
Our caucus has issued a statement saying that this plan stacks kids in overcrowded classrooms, while forcing high school students to do half their education alone at home with little to no help. Instead of hiring thousands of teachers, education workers and custodians so that all kids can return to school full time in the fall in smaller, safer classes, the government will instead be only spending $16,000 per school for additional staff – far less than one new staff person per school. The plan to have high school students in designated school boards forced to stay home 50 per cent of the time, learning online instead of at school, puts academic futures at risk for thousands – especially, since no teachers will be added to support that. We are urging the Ford government to add funding, and get to work getting thousands of teachers, education workers, custodians and classroom spaces lined up so that all students can join a small, safer classroom in September. You can read our full statement here.
Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a face covering or mask when out in public, and wash your hands often.