The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting three new COVID-19 cases today. Yesterday there were eight new cases, and on Saturday there were 16 cases and one death related to COVID-19 in the community. Since the pandemic began, there have been 16,784 cases of the virus reported, and 434 deaths. Of the new cases announced today, one is from close contact with another confirmed case, and two are under investigation. There are currently 63 active cases in our region, with 24 of those confirmed as variants of concern. There are six cases in the hospital, five in the ICU, and 16,287 cases have been listed as resolved. In total, 381,384 doses of the vaccine have been administered locally, with 73.4 per cent of individuals 18 and over having received at least one dose, and 32.4 per cent of individuals 18 and over having received both doses of the vaccine. Across the province today there were 270 cases reported, the fewest on a single day in more than nine months. Yesterday there were 318 cases, and on Sunday there were 355 cases.
A reminder that anyone who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9 can book or reschedule their second dose at a shortened interval. Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette said today that anyone receiving their second dose at a mass vaccination site starting Wednesday should expect to receive Moderna as their second vaccine. This is due to a delay in a Pfizer shipment this week, an increasing number of Moderna vaccines the province has received, and the interchangeability of the two mRNA vaccines. Recipients will still need to give their consent at the vaccination site before receiving their second dose. Please call the health unit at 226-773-2200 or visit www.wevax.ca to book your appointment.
A walk-in clinic is scheduled for tomorrow from 5-9pm at 2285 Howard Ave for Moderna and to those 18 years of age and older. Anyone seeking a second dose are asked to bring proof of their first dose. You can read more here.
ADVOCATING FOR LIVE ARTS
Today, our caucus asked the provincial government to give live arts organizations clear guidelines for Step Two of the provinces reopening plan so that organizations can plan accordingly. The live arts sector deserves to know the precise limits on outdoor audience capacity, and other restrictions, in advance of Step Two. With regards to the performing arts sector, the government’s current guidelines for Step Two state “Outdoor open, including live music, with spectator capacity and other restrictions”, but details or clarification beyond that are missing. Arts and culture organizations across Ontario have been hit extremely hard during this pandemic, and many are struggling due to heavy revenue loss, with very little financial supports offered to weather this difficult time. Our caucus has been urging the government to provide small and medium-sized businesses with a third round of support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grants Program, and to revamp the program to fix its many glitches and stop leaving businesses out.
UPDATE ON CLASS ACTION ORDER FOR BUSINESSES
The local health unit has updated a class action order and letter of instruction for businesses to help ensure that safety remains a top priority as we continue to reopen. The new requirements include the following:
- Businesses must report to the local health unit if two or more people tested positive within a 14 day interval at the workplace
- The health unit may implement either a full or partial workplace closure if five or more employees likely contracted the virus at the workplace
- During a closure, workers must isolate for 10 days or the amount the workplace is closed
- Employees are not allowed to work at any other workplace during their time in isolation.
- Outbreak specific testing direction will be provided by the health unit for workers impacted by a closure.
You can read more here.
UPDATE ON BORDER RESTRICTIONS
The federal government announced that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to return to Canada without a mandatory quarantine starting at 11:59pm on June 5. While non-essential travel is still discouraged, travellers returning to Canada will be required to prove they have two doses of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive. You can read more here.
The June 27 Miracle will be taking place next Sunday and is asking for anyone who can, to please help by putting one non-perishable food item on their door step for collection by a volunteer – even dog food will be accepted! All donations will go to helping those in need and collection will start at 12pm and finish at 4pm. They are also in need of volunteers, and you can learn more by visiting their website here.
Carousel of Nations is being held virtually again this year, and offering takeout and online entertainment due to COVID-19. The event will continue next weekend from June 25-27. 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.