The Windsor-Essex Health Unit announced today that there were no new cases of COVID-19 in our region. Yesterday there were five cases, and on Tuesday there was one case. Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been 16,790 cases and 434 deaths related to COVID-19 in our region. There are currently 55 active cases in our community, with 14 of those being variants of concern. There are seven confirmed cases in the hospital, with five in the ICU, and 16,301 cases have been listed as resolved. Locally, there have been a total of 397,710 doses of the vaccine administered. Across the province today there were 296 new cases. Yesterday there were 255 cases, and on Tuesday there were 296 cases.
ONTARIO REOPENING PLAN
The province announced that we would move into Step Two of the Roadmap To Reopening framework next week on June 30. In Step Two, the restrictions will ease to allow for the following:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people;
- Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity;
- Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions;
- Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions;
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity of the particular room;
- Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of physical distance;
- Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions;
- Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25 per cent capacity and with other restrictions.
You can read the full guidelines here.
ADVOCATING FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
Our caucus has again called for a new and vastly improved round of grants for Ontario businesses, and other supports to keep workers on the payroll, and successfully open and stay open. Getting workers back to work is the foundation of the recovery. But without help from the government, business owners are worried that they may not make it to their reopening day or much beyond that. Too many local businesses have already been forced to board up shop and walk away from their dream. It’s costing people their jobs. It’s taking families’ livelihoods away. And it’s crumbling cornerstone businesses in our neighbourhoods. The province’s first two rounds of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant have been too little help for some, and no help at all for many thousands of businesses it turned away. My office continues to receive emails and calls from local businesses who are struggling, and waiting on payment from the government for previous rounds of funding. Our reopening plan includes:
- A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments that would be open to any business that has experienced revenue decline in the third wave, compared to pre-pandemic
- A $1,000 tourism and local restaurant tax credit that would give families the ability to travel in Ontario and support businesses like restaurants, hotels, outfitters, and attractions.
- Targeted reopening support for personal care and service-based businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants who need access to a Safe Reopening Grant to guarantee they can afford public health protections
- Access to forgivable loans for businesses who may need access to capital to reopen and drive economic recovery.
JUNE 27 MIRACLE
We are now four days away from the June 27 Miracle, which will be taking place on Sunday. In 2020, the June 27 Miracle collected more than two million pounds of non-perishable food items, 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.
ONTARIO’S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH STEPS DOWN
Dr. Williams held his last weekly COVID-19 briefing today and was joined by his successor Dr. Kieran Moore. Dr. Moore will be replacing Dr. Williams as the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on Saturday, who moves into the role from his former role as the local medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. You can read more here.
UPDATED VISITOR POLICY FOR WINDSOR REGIONAL HOSPITAL
Windsor Regional Hospital is easing their visitor restrictions further as there has been a downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our community. Effective Friday, June 25th, 2021, WRH will expand visiting hours to 12-hour blocks as follows: 8 am to 8 pm (except Critical Care units) and 10 am to 10 pm (Critical Care units only). There are some exceptions to the vistor policy, and this can be found in further detail 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.