The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced a net decrease of nine cases today, along with the loss of a community member. Over this past weekend, our region reported 11 cases of COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, there have been 16,834 cases of COVID-19 confirmed and 435 deaths. Our region now has 34 active cases, with eight being variants of concern. There are 14 confirmed cases in the hospital, with one in the ICU, and 16,365 cases listed as resolved. There have been 455,902 doses of the vaccine administered locally, with 74.6 per cent of individuals over the age of 18 having received at least one dose, and 51.2 per cent of those over the age of 18 having received both doses of the vaccine. Across the province today there were 164 cases of COVID-19 reported. Yesterday there were 170 cases, and on Sunday there were 213 cases.
OVERHAULING HOME CARE
Our caucus is calling for an overhaul of Ontario’s broken home care system with an investment of $1 billion to make home care reliable enough and help seniors live at home longer. We know the healthiest, happiest place for many seniors is at home. And we all deserve home care that makes home a safe place for as long as possible. Under previous governments, home care has been eroded and turned into a for-profit patchwork that’s hard to navigate, and services are unreliable, inadequate, and chronically understaffed. People who need home care often get less than they need and less than they’re entitled to, and location can determine the level of care a person gets. In 2019, the Ontario Community Support Association said 18,000 people living in long-term care could have been at home with better home care, and the Ontario Hospital Association reported 750,000 patient days where someone was stuck in a hospital bed while waiting for home or long-term care. We need to establish provincial standards for home care, and create culturally appropriate resources and training so seniors can receive care from someone who understands their culture and language. We need to bring in a community based not-for-profit home-care system and end for-profit home care in Ontario.
MAKING SCHOOLS SAFE
With schools set to reopen in eight weeks, experts agree that the hybrid learning fiasco must end and students must be back in schools, safely. There needs to be a massive effort underway to install improved ventilation in every classroom in Ontario. There should be a herculean effort happening now to ensure small class sizes where kids can get one-on-one support when they need it, as they recover academically and emotionally from the rough year behind us. Instead, the government has so far cut $800 million from schools for the year, and repeatedly indicated that they want online learning to be a permanent fixture in our kids’ education. The Government needs to be listening to the experts, teachers, and education staff and doing more to get our kids into small, safe, well-ventilated classrooms for regular in-school learning in September. My colleagues and I will continue to advocate for a safe return to classrooms in the fall.
Leamington is planning three pop-up vaccination clinics that will run Wednesday through Friday at 33 Princess St. Moderna vaccines will be administered from 12pm to 5pm on Wednesday, and 11am to 7pm on Thursday and Friday, while Pfizer vaccines will be available for youth between the ages of 12 and 17.
Windsor Regional Hospital’s President and CEO David Musyj has said that vaccination rates among those aged 12 to 17 in our region is lagging behind the rest of the province, and he stressed that children in this age range should be vaccinated to help ensure schools can remain open with face-to-face classes and allow for the resumption of recreational sports without interruption. More information about vaccines for youth can be found on the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's website here.
NEW RESOURCE FOR SCHOOLS, CHILDCARE CENTRES, AND CAMPS
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched a new one-stop website for all necessary health and safety information for schools, childcare centres, and day and overnight camps where they can find all the public health guidance and other important information. That information can be found here.
WIFF Under the Stars will return this year from August 20 to September 11 at Festival Plaza. Due to the pandemic and unknown circumstances associated with planning for the usual festival, WIFF has instead again opted for the drive-in summer event. 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.