The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19 today. Of the new cases announced, eight are from close contact with another confirmed case, two are considered community spread, and 11 are under investigation. There are now 253 active cases of COVID-19 in our region, bringing our total to 13,627 cases, 21 confirmed cases in the hospital with four people in the ICU, 12,973 cases listed as resolved, and 401 deaths. Across the province today there were 1,546 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 1,699 cases, and on Sunday there were 1,791 cases.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has advised my office that they have set aside appointment times for those 80+ who have pre-registered and not yet received their appointment. The health unit hopes to finalize those appointments by the end of the day. If by the end of the day today those residents of Windsor-Tecumseh who are 80+ years of age and have pre-registered for the vaccine, have not heard from the local health unit, they are encouraged to provide us with a copy of their pre-registration confirmation and their telephone number so we can pass this on to the health unit and have them follow up directly. You can reach us at [email protected] or [email protected]
The health unit's new web portal to book vaccine appointments for those aged 75+ is now available. Individuals who are eligible for a vaccine will now be able to book an appointment time at one of the mass vaccination sites. A telephone booking system is also available at 226-773-2200. All up-to-date information is available through the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website here. Unlike the previous system, the new system allows eligible people to book a vaccine appointment slot at one of the mass vaccination clinic, including as a couple. There are currently limited long-term appointments in the booking system as upcoming vaccine supply shipments are unknown. As the local health unit is able to confirm the upcoming vaccine supply, the number of appointments available will be adjusted into the booking system.
What’s Happening In Our Schools
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at W.F. Herman Secondary Academy and is unrelated to the outbreak that was lifted at the school last week. This new outbreak is limited to a single cohort. Northwood Public School is reporting a new case of COVID-19 from a student who has tested positive. Yesterday, a staff member at the school tested positive. The school board says all close contacts have been notified and are following the direction of the local health unit.
Legislative Proposals By Our Caucus To Support You In The Pandemic
Our caucus has called on the provincial government to organize, fund and deploy mobile teams to vaccinate people in their homes who are otherwise unlikely to get their shot – including home care recipients, housebound elderly people, and folks with disabilities. Experts say mass vaccination sites aren’t appropriate for many seniors due to the difficulty of navigating booking, risk of exposure to COVID-19, mobility issues, and the need to stand in lines – an impossibility for those who are especially frail.
Today our caucus tabled a bill to raise the wage floor for personal support workers (PSWs), permanently. Many people think that Ontario has a shortage of PSWs. The reality is that Ontario has a shortage of non-precarious, fair-paying PSW jobs. PSWs enter this field because they care about people and have a vocation to help. This new bill was proposed to resolve the poor working conditions and inequalities many PSWs face on the job. The bill urgently and permanently adds the temporary PSW pandemic pay to the minimum pay of support workers and requires that they are paid per kilometre travelled between work sites. The bill calls on the government to develop programs to provide training, education and professional development for all support workers and long-term care staff that provide care. The bill also establishes the Support Worker Wage Review Commission so that PSW wages are regularly reviewed and do not fall backwards in the future.
Our caucus tabled a second bill today to guarantee essential workers have access to presumptive coverage for mental health benefits through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). We need to ensure that workers who are deemed essential, or who are working in a workplace designated as essential have protection from any mental-health related injuries they suffer due to their work during the pandemic. This bill would entitle these workers to access WSIB benefits for chronic or traumatic mental stress injuries.
The Integrative Canadian Group Organization (IGCO), a local non-profit organization, will be at 395 Wyandotte Street West distributing pasta, dry goods and notebooks to the community this Thursday March 25 at 1pm.
Please stay diligent and continue following public health advice by staying at home, only going out for essential trips, wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently.