Starting today, our region moved into Stage 2 of the re-opening framework, with the exceptions of Leamington and Kingsville. With that being said, tomorrow Friday June 26 the order from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments will come into effect. The health unit does have the power to issue fines upwards of $25,000 for a business and $5,000 to an individual for non-compliance. You can read that article here.
The testing protocol for employers/workers on farms has been released. This guidance is to help farming employers and workers understand what they should do if a worker without symptoms tests positive for COVID-19 in a targeted workplace COVID-19 testing campaign. You can find that information here.
I am continuing to meet with local leaders on the issue of COVID-19 in our agri-farming communities and last weekend I wrote an Op-Ed with my colleagues Taras and Lisa about the need for the Government to step up to protect migrant workers. There is also a rally in Leamington this Sunday June 28 at 12pm in support of migrant workers, meeting at the corner of Talbot and Mill St near the Giant Tomato.
The One-To-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund has been expanded and is available to Ontario families of children or youth on the spectrum. The expanded services include respite services to support caregivers during the day, evening or weekend, at home or elsewhere as well as online or in-person recreational and cultural activities and camp programs. The deadline to apply is tomorrow Friday June 26. You can apply here.
Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington is relaxing its visitor restrictions to allow more patients to see loved ones. It includes COVID-19 Palliative Care patients being able to see a family member who doesn't live in the same household. The visitor will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe during the visit. Anyone who enters the hospital will have to answer screening questions at the main entrance and no children under the age of 18 are allowed inside.
Due to COVID-19, it has been announced the Windsor International Film Festival has been cancelled this year.
There were 4 new cases of COVID-19 in our region, bringing the total number to 1,369. No additional deaths were reported.
The Prime Minister announced that the federal government is launching the Canada Student Service Grant to give post-secondary students or recent grads affected by COVID-19, and who volunteer in their communities, grants of between $1,000 and $5,000. The amount of the grant will be based on the number of hours worked between June 18 and September 18. More information can be found on the government site through the I Want to Help portal here.
In April, the federal government launched a competition to fund research to stop and contain the spread of COVID-19. The prime minister announced 139 research teams will be supported across the country, representing an investment of almost $110 million.
While we have seen the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in our area drop lately, it is important that we day vigilant and continue to practice social distancing as much as possible, wearing a face covering in public to reduce the possible transmission, and wash our hands often. We need to make sure that we continue to move forward.