The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with the loss of three community members, and 20 new cases yesterday. Of the new cases reported today, 3 of the cases are close contact with a confirmed case, 2 of the cases are community acquired, 1 case is outbreak related, and the remaining 5 cases are under investigation. There are 151 cases that are currently active in which 71 of those cases are variants of concern. In the hospital, there are 19 people with cases of COVID-19, 17 people from Windsor-Essex, with 12 people in acute care and 7 in ICU. There are 16,091 total resolved cases in Windsor-Essex. In Ontario, there were 469 cases reported today, 525 new cases reported yesterday, and 663 new cases reported on Sunday. Today’s case count in Ontario is the first time that the number of cases has been below 500 since the end of September 2020.
STAGE 1 REOPENING
My office has been receiving a lot of questions about Stage 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen plan and what it means when it goes into effect on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 12:01AM. This is the current summary of what is permitted under this phase of reopening:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people;
- Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the particular room;
- Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
- Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
- Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households;
- Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions;
- Day camps for children permitted to operate in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals;
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open outdoors for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance with no more than 10 performers, among other restrictions;
- Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators; and
- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens with capacity and other restrictions.
For more details about what life will be like under Stage One of the Re-opening Plan, please visit https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082#BK12 to read the full regulation. You can also call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line if you have specific questions at 1-888-444-3659.
We are all looking forward to reopening. Many constituents and businesses have made a number of sacrifices and have followed the necessary public health measures, which has led us to where we are today. However, we all want to be confident that this lockdown will be our last. With the Delta variant starting to spread in Ontario, we are calling on the Premier to listen to public health experts and implement a hotspot vaccination strategy to ensure that people living and working in hot spots can get their second dose sooner rather than later. The province had designated 114 hotspots across the province in April, seven of which were in Windsor-Essex County. The provincial government then decided to shift to a per-capita distribution back in the middle of May. We know that COVID-19 can spread rapidly in factories, warehouses, and other large workplaces, and we need to fully vaccinate workers in order to keep everyone in the province safe, reduce the spread of COVID-19, and make this reopening successful.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINES
There has been some confusion with the announcement made by the Province last week that Ontarians who are 70 years of age and older and those who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna before April 18th are eligible to book a vaccine. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit clarified that they are currently booking appointments for those aged 70 years and older who had their first dose over 28 days ago and for any other individuals who received their first dose between March 8th and March 31st. This is because they want to ensure that everyone who needs their first dose can receive it, but they are working towards expanding the eligibility to meet the province’s criteria by the middle of this week. To learn more about the current eligibility, please visit wevax.ca. We will share any additional updates as soon as possible.
JUNE 27TH MIRACLE
As the need continues to grow in our community with food shortages increasing, the June 27th Miracle will take place again this year. Organizers are asking that groups who wish to benefit from this year’s event to register in advance. Like last year, residents can leave food donations on their front porch, and volunteers will pick it up. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering for the event, please visit www.june27miracle.ca.
GRADUATION CEREMONIES FOR THE GREATER ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
The Greater Essex County District School Board announced that graduation ceremonies for Grade 8 and Grade 12 students will be virtual rather than in-person. This decision was made in consultation with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. Individual schools will manage the distribution of diplomas and awards.
While it’s encouraging to see the number of cases decline across the province, please continue to stay safe and remain vigilant with following public health measures. Practice physical distancing of 2 metres with members outside of your household, wear a mask while you’re out in public, and wash your hands frequently.