Good afternoon everyone,
We received some good news today as most of our region will be able to move to Stage 2 of the re-opening, effective tomorrow June 25. Our region was the hardest hit during the pandemic, and we are glad to see businesses able to start re-opening. Leamington and Kingsville will be not be allowed to reopen with the rest of the region at this time. We have been calling on the Provincial government to stop placing the blame on the farmers and take responsibility for their inaction for months now.
The Provincial government also outlined a three-point plan to help Leamington and Kingsville progress to Stage Two. It includes expanded testing on all farms, support for migrant workers who contracted COVID-19 and a new public health guidance for asymptomatic workers.
The government added that workers who have to self-isolate for 14 days will be eligible for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits and some workers may be eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit if they have a Social Insurance Number and worked in Canada last year. Additionally, the new public health protocols will provide guidance on how to allow workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but show no symptoms to continue to work safely outdoors in isolation.
Monte McNaughton, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, also announced a partnership between his ministry and federal inspectors and local public health officials to conduct joint inspections on farms in the Windsor-Essex region. McNaughton also urged employers who need additional help adjusting to the current conditions to explore the nearly 200 resources on the province’s COVID safety website, found here.
The Province has extended the state of emergency in Ontario until July 15th.
On Friday June 26, the order from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments will come into effect. Today, Dr. Ahmed said the health unit does have the power to issue fines upwards of $25,000 for a business and $5,000 to an individual. You can read that article here.
You can view the full order from the WECHU here. All questions or concerns about this order should be directed to the WECHU.
There were 4 new cases of COVID-19 reported today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Windsor-Essex is now 1,365. There were no new deaths.
Please continue to wash your hands often, wear a mask when out in public and practice social distancing.