A reminder that the June 27 Miracle food drive is coming up and volunteers will be picking up non-perishable goods from people’s doorsteps between 12-4pm that day to help those in need. You can find more information here.
Although Windsor-Essex County has not been allowed to move into Stage 2 of the re-opening at this time, there were a couple of changes that are effective in our area starting on June 12:
- Social gathering limits are being expanded to up to 10 people. People must still practice social distancing from people outside their direct household in such gatherings
- Places of worship will be allowed to re-open, and the Province will be providing a guidance document which will include measure such as limiting attendance to 30 per cent of the building capacity and social distancing. Here is the guidance document that the Ministry provided to our office.
We have been hearing from many of you how frustrated you are that Windsor-Essex is not being allowed to move to Phase 2. We learned the shocking news from the Niagara Region, that Niagara Public Health was not consulted before the Provincial government announced Monday that Niagara was not being included in Phase 2 of the re-opening of Ontario’s economy. The Premier claimed that the decision was made in consultation with local health officials. It’s now been revealed that Niagara Region Public Health only found out about it when the Premier put out a press release. We are seeking clarification from our own Medical Officer of Health as to whether he was consulted.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting that there are 43 new cases of COVID-19 in our region, and a new outbreak in Country Village Long-Term Care Home. There are now 1,066 cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex and 67 deaths. Thirty-four of the new cases are related to the agriculture industry, but the decision to keep Windsor-Essex in Phase 1 was made before these numbers were known. As the Health Unit noted, the decision to do mass testing in agri-food sector and the drive-thru testing led by WECHU was expected to show a temporary rise in the number of new cases in our region, and points to the importance of improving the living conditions of those in the agri-food industry and the importance of having proper information. We must continue to rely on the best advice of our medical experts. The Provincial government needs to do a better job at telling us what is preventing our region from opening up so that steps can be taken to allow struggling businesses to move to Phase 2. Ontarians have worked hard and sacrificed in the battle against COVID-19 – they deserve all the facts. People here must be part of the conversation if we are going to find a way to move forward.
The Provincial government announced that all childcare centres in the province will be allowed to reopen on Friday, June 12, but we have raised some serious red flags. Childcare centres have only been given three days notice and there isn’t enough financial support in place. As childcare centres would have to adhere to a number of restrictions and meet provincial guidelines, including limiting children and staff to groups of 10 or fewer day over day, higher costs associated with screening, personal protective equipment, and cleaning, means that many childcare centres could face fee hikes or permanent shut downs. You can read our statement here.
Minister Lecce told parents who opt to keep their children out of childcare that they will not lose their spots or be charged during this period of time. The emergency childcare centres run in many Ontario municipalities to support healthcare workers and first responders will be wound down between now and June 26. The government also announced that summer day camps will be allowed to re-open as part of Stage 2. Details can be found here.
Prime Minister Trudeau announced that draft legislation will provide support for Canadians with disabilities, an expansion to the wage subsidy, leniency for Canadians unable to meet judicial timelines such as bankruptcy, and offer further flexibility to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) while providing consequences for those “knowingly and wrongfully” accessing the CERB. The Prime Minister stressed that the government will not punish those who make mistakes in claiming the CERB, only those deliberately defrauding the system.
The Canadian government announced the launch of a personal protective equipment (PPE) supply hub website to connect businesses with supplies of PPE, and partnerships with three businesses to ensure medical equipment is available for frontline workers. You can find that here.
The Prime Minister also noted that the federal government received one shipment of 160,000 litres of hand sanitizer on Saturday, and is expecting seven more ships in the coming days, along with almost one million face shields and seven million pairs of gloves.
Please continue to practice social distancing, wearing a face mask in public places, and washing your hands often.