The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting five new COVID-19 cases today. Yesterday there was one case, and on Monday there were three cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic our region has had 16,790 cases and 434 deaths related to COVID-19. Of the cases announced today, two are from close contact with another confirmed case, one is considered community spread, one is travel related outside of North America, and one is under investigation. There are currently 54 active cases in our region, with 14 of those being variant of concern cases. There are seven confirmed cases in the hospital, five in the ICU, and 16,302 cases have been listed as resolved. There are currently no active outbreaks in our region, for the first time in more than eight months, and there have been 391,608 doses of the vaccine administered. Locally, 73.7 per cent of individuals 18 years of age and older have received at least one dose, while 34.9 per cent of adults 18 years of age and older have received both doses. Across the province today there were 255 cases reported. Yesterday there were 296 cases, although 80 of those cases were from 2020, and on Monday there were 270 cases.
The local health unit has received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine today; however, CEO Theresa Marentette said that anyone getting the second dose of a mRNA vaccine this week would get either Pfizer or Moderna, depending on what the clinic has stocked. Anyone who received AstraZeneca as their first shot and wants an mRNA vaccine as their second shot will receive Moderna. You can read more here.
Dr. Ahmed said that the local health unit is continuing to work on outreach to get people in hot-spot postal codes vaccinated. He says there are 34 pharmacies and 15 physician offices offering vaccines in these areas, in addition to pop-up clinics. The downtown area and the Fontainebleau neighbourhood have a vaccination rate under 50 per cent for first doses, so the Health Unit will look into increasing the outreach in these neighbourhoods. You can read more here.
Our caucus is calling for provincial funding and an urgent action plan to help people quickly get the procedures and surgeries they need, hundreds of thousands of which have been delayed by COVID-19. Thousands of people are coping with pain and worry while they wait for procedures like cancer scans, hip replacements and even heart surgeries. While the Government announced today that they would invest $30 million into a Surgical Innovation Fund, the Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) confirmed that it will take $1.3 billion to tackle the province-wide surgical backlog — and even at that level of funding, it will take more than three years. The government’s budget shortchanges surgeries by about $700 million, forcing people to wait so much longer. By the end of September 2021, the backlog of delayed surgeries will balloon to 419,000, and the diagnostic backlog will soar to nearly 2.5 million procedures, according to the FAO. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) estimates that when completely skipped procedures are included, the backlog soars to 15.9 million surgeries, diagnostic exams, screenings, and other medical procedures. We need a strategy to get people their surgery quicker, and we will continue to push the Government for more investment to address these serious backlogs.
JUNE 27 MIRACLE
We are five days away from the June 27 Miracle, which will be taking place on Sunday. Last year the charitable event saw more than two million pounds of non-perishable food items donated; enough to feed nearly 30,000 families. This year, organizers are again asking for anyone who can donate to please help by putting one non-perishable food item on their doorstep for collection by a volunteer. A range of items will be accepted, from personal hygiene items to non-perishable food items to dog food for pets. Collection will start at 12pm and finish at 4pm and the organizers are still asking for volunteers. You can learn more by visiting their website 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.