The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced 65 new high risk cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex today, along with the passing of two members of the community. Due to the changes in eligibility for testing and limited testing capacity, the rise of Omicron cases, and the shifted focus of case, contact, and outbreak management to high-risk settings, these case counts are an underestimate of the true numbers of individuals who have COVID-19 within Windsor-Essex County. The health unit defines high-risk cases as those coming from individuals who are eligible for PCR testing in accordance with Ontario's current testing guidance. From Saturday to Monday, there were 142 new high risk cases in our community.
There are now 211 active high risk cases in the area, with 27 confirmed cases in the hospital, and two in the ICU. There are currently three community outbreaks, and two outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86.2 per cent of individuals five and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83 per cent have received both doses, and 53.9 per cent of residents 18 and over have received their booster shots.
Today, Toronto reported 235 new cases of COVID-19, Peel reported 90 cases, and Durham reported 80 cases. Across the province there were 1,076 cases, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 1,116 cases, and on Sunday there were 1,631 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 1,127,532 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there are currently 688 confirmed cases in hospitals, with 220 in ICUs.
ADVOCATING FOR PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS
Today, the provincial government announced that they would introduce legislation to make permanent an hourly wage increase for PSWs that was brought in during the pandemic. According to the government’s source, workers in long-term care and community care will retain pay increases of $3 per hour and workers in public hospitals will keep a $2 per hour raise. You can read more here.
My caucus colleagues and I believe pandemic pay should be paid to all PSWs – not just some. We’ve been fighting for pandemic pay to be permanent, and to be topped up to a $5 per hour increase. We’ve been fighting for PSW jobs to be permanent, full-time careers, instead of the part-time and temp-agency gigs they often are now. And we’ve been fighting for many thousands of new PSWs to be hired and trained so that every resident in long-term care can have four dedicated hours of hands on care every day and home care can finally be fixed. This is urgent, and the provincial government has been stalling and low-balling for years while long-term care residents, patients, and home care clients have suffered. The provincial government voted against making PSW pay permanent in March last year.
The Youth Wellness Hub, temporarily located at 3640 Wells Ave in Windsor opened today for anyone between the ages of 12 and 25 looking for rapid access to mental health and wellness supports. The Hub offers services related to addiction use, housing, schooling, and employment. Services are available without a referral and on a walk-in basis. You can read more here.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS
The provincial government announced that 5.5 million rapid antigen tests will be available across the province each week. Please remember to store your test kits out of the reach of children, as there have been reports of poisoning after accidental consumption. You can find participating grocery stores and pharmacies here.
First, second, and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available at one of the three mass vaccination sites, located in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall, at Hotel-Dieu Grace HealthCare, and at the Grovedale House Community Hall in Kingsville. All mass vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins. Moreover, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for individuals aged 30 years and older at any vaccination site. The Devonshire mass vaccination site is open Tuesdays from 11:30am to 6:15pm, and Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 3:30pm. Grovedale House is open from 9am to 3:45pm Tuesday to Saturday for pre-booked or walk-in appointments. Hotel Dieu's clinic will be available from 2:30pm to 6:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. To book an appointment, please visit www.wevax.ca.
Pop-up vaccination clinics will be available at the following locations next week:
- Wednesday March 16 – Downtown Mission – 664 Victoria Ave, Windsor – 9:30am to 12pm
- Wednesday March 16 – Windsor Youth Centre (WYC) – 1247 Wyandotte St E, Windsor – 4pm to 7pm
- Thursday March 17 – Windsor Water World – 400 Wyandotte St E, Windsor – 9am to 4pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.