The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 36 new cases of COVID-19 today. Of the new cases announced, one is related to an outbreak, eight are from close contact with another confirmed case, five are considered community spread, and 22 are under investigation. Our region now has 274 active cases, bringing our total up to 13,260 cases, 39 confirmed cases in the hospital with 12 in the ICU, 12,592 cases listed as resolved, 34,203 vaccine doses administered to area residents, and 394 deaths. Across the province today there were 1,316 new cases reported. Yesterday there were 1,185 cases, and on Monday there were 1,631 cases.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered at local area pharmacies to individuals between the ages of 60 and 64. Our office is waiting for clarification from the Ministry of Health on whether people who had a birthday already this year and turned 65, or those who have a birthday later in the year and don’t yet meet the age requirements, qualify for the vaccine now. So far, Rexall in Windsor, LaSalle and Amherstburg, as well as the Costco pharmacy in Windsor have their online portals available to register on their waitlist. You can find those online portals here and here, respectively.
According to the CBC, the vaccination efforts for residents in long-term care has dramatically reduced the COVID-19 linked deaths in the province. Today marked the fifth straight day in Ontario without any additional resident deaths reported. You can read more here.
Dr. Wassim Saad, the chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital, has cautioned that people who receive their full vaccination should still be cautious, and that no vaccine is 100 per cent effective. He also said there are too many unknowns to start lifting restrictions at this point, due to the number of variants and the shortage of vaccines available. You can read more here.
The local health unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Herman Secondary Academy after two students tested positive. The school remains open, however close contacts have been notified and are following the direction of the health unit. Our caucus continues to call for a cap to class sizes at 15 students, broad asymptomatic testing, better ventilation, and paid sick days so parents can stay home if their children are sick.
Our caucus is worried about looming education cuts from the provincial government after learning that Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is expected to cut 167 elementary and secondary teachers this fall. Students have faced a year of turmoil and are dealing with huge challenges in learning and their overall well-being. Our school communities took it upon themselves to take extra precautions to care for each other, and now instead of announcing help, the provincial government is taking away their supports. We need more caring adults in schools, not less to help kids get back on track.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are being given at the Windsor International Aquatic Centre to some people experiencing homelessness who are currently temporarily sheltered at the Downtown Mission’s 850 Ouellette Ave location. The Mission said that all guests who receive a negative test result can request a placement at the temporary shelter. You can read more here.
Please stay diligent and continue following public health advice by staying at home, only going out for essential trips, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently.