Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - March 23, 2022

Published on March 23, 2022

 

Good afternoon,

LOCAL NUMBERS

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced 88 new high risk cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex today. 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. Over the weekend there were 201 high risk cases reported in our region. Yesterday there were 60 high risk cases, and over the weekend there were 201 high risk cases.

There are now 311 active high risk cases in the region, with 26 confirmed cases in hospital and three in the ICU. There are currently three community outbreaks, one outbreak in the hospital, and four outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86.3 per cent of individuals five and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83.2 per cent have received two doses, and 50.6 per cent of residents 12 and over have received a booster.

Today, Toronto reported 467 cases of COVID-19, Peel reported 166 cases, and Hamilton reported 111 cases. Across the province today there were 2,149 cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 1,447 cases, and on Monday there were 1,680 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,143,014 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there are currently 611 people in the hospital across the province, with 174 patients in the ICU.

 

ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY PLANT IN WINDSOR

The province has announced that Windsor will soon have a $5 billion electric vehicle battery plant. My local colleague, MPP Lisa Gretzky released the following statement:

“Windsor workers, auto sector leaders and Windsor families should be very proud of the efforts they made in order to secure an electric vehicle battery plant in our city. The people of Windsor have worked hard to fight for local auto manufacturing jobs and to put Windsor on the map as the automotive capital of Canada. Electric vehicles are the future of the auto sector and this battery plant is one critical requirement in keeping and attracting auto jobs.
 
This investment into Ontario-made batteries and electric vehicles comes despite the government’s decisions to undermine our auto sector here in Windsor. They refused to fight for the third shift at the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant, and they didn’t stand up for workers when Nemak closed their doors. My colleagues and I fought alongside those workers every time. When it comes to electric vehicles, they ripped out charging stations and cancelled the electric vehicle incentive program that helped families afford vehicles like the Chrysler Pacifica, which is made right here in Windsor.
 
We won’t rest until all workers, and more, are back on the job. We need an electric vehicle incentive in order to be competitive, and in order to make sure the people who make these cars aren’t paying more to drive them then our neighbours in other jurisdictions.”
 
The new plant aims to have an annual production capacity in excess of 45 gigawatt hours and will create and estimated 2,500 new jobs in Windsor and the surrounding areas. You can read more about the announcement here.

 

ADVOCATING FOR HIGHER ODSP AND OW RATES

My caucus colleagues and I are calling on the provincial government to raise the rates for ODSP and OW that have remained frozen since the government formed in 2018, despite increasing costs and hardships during the pandemic. We have watched homelessness soar. We have seen food and housing costs rise through the roof, exacerbated by two years of the pandemic. Skyrocketing rents mean that working people as well as people living with a disability are being forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads and eating. Many are Black, Indigenous, or racialized people. Livable social assistance supports are a solution. A liveable $20 minimum wage is a solution. Rent control and fixing the financialization of housing that lies beneath the renovictions and constant rent hikes – those are solutions. The government must ensure that all Ontarians can stay housed and afford to eat.

 

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.

 

VACCINES   

The mass vaccination site in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall is scheduled to close on Saturday April 2, according to the local health unit. Walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccination will be accepted until 3:30pm that day, while students in grades 7-12 that have not started or finished their vaccination series for Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and/or Meningococcal Disease and want to receive the vaccine at Devonshire Mall, must book at appointment before April 1, pending availability. You can read more 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 this week:  

  • Friday March 25 – YMCA Gym – 500 Victoria Ave, Windsor – 8:30am to 3pm

 

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines. 

 

  • Percy