The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced 79 new high risk cases of COVID-19 today, along with the loss of a member 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. Over the weekend there were 201 high risk cases reported in our region. Yesterday there were 88 cases, and on Tuesday there were 60 cases.
There are now 338 active high risk cases in our community, with 34 confirmed cases in the hospital, and four in the ICU. There are currently four outbreaks in the community, one hospital outbreak, and four outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. Locally, 86.3 per cent of individuals aged five and older 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 their booster.
Today, Toronto reported 565 cases, Peel reported 163 cases, and Ottawa reported 139 cases. Across the province today, there were 2,561 new cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday, there were 2,149 cases, and on Tuesday there were 1,447 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,145,575 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there are currently 661 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 165 in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR NURSES
My caucus colleagues and I are again calling for a plan to address barriers faced by internationally trained workers – especially nurses, doctors, and other health care workers needed and wanted in Ontario. Families across Ontario need more doctors and nurses. They are going without care because of a shortage of health care professionals when we have fully trained doctors and nurses who are caught up in a broken international credential system in Ontario. In Ontario today, for people with the right university degrees, relevant work experience, training and professional credentials, being certified in Ontario can take many years. We need to fix the international credentials system so we can fill the health worker shortage and provide people with the care they need now.
WINDSOR TRANSIT CAPACITY
Transit Windsor said they are working with the local health unit and working towards increasing capacity limits on city buses that remain in place due to COVID-19. Transit Windsor said they hope to increase capacity as of April 10. 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.
The local health unit has released data on the 97 deaths in our community this year due to COVID-19. The local health unit data shows that the risk of unvaccinated individuals dying from COVID-19 was 4.1 times greater than to those fully vaccinated with a booster dose. You can read more here.
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.
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.