The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 87 new high risk COVID-19 cases 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. Yesterday there were 79 high risk cases, and on Wednesday there were 88 high risk cases.
There are now 292 active high risk cases in our region, with 34 confirmed cases in the hospital, and three in the ICU. There are currently five community outbreaks, two hospital outbreaks, and five outbreaks in long-term care/retirement homes. One new outbreak was declared at Erie Shores HealthCentre in Leamington in the 2-Centre inpatient unit. Locally, 86.3 per cent of individuals aged five and over have received one dose of the vaccine, 83.2 per cent have received two doses, and 50.6 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have receive a booster.
Today, Toronto reported 510 new cases, Peel reported 167 cases, and Ottawa reported 192 cases. Across the province today there were 2,761 new cases of COVID-19, but health officials warn this number is an underestimate due to testing restrictions. Yesterday there were 2,561 cases, and on Wednesday there were 2,149 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,148,336 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there are currently 667 confirmed cases in hospitals across the province, with 161 patients in the ICU.
ADVOCATING FOR AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE
My caucus colleagues and I continue to call on the provincial government to sign a $10 per day child care deal. Parents in Ontario paying crushing, mortgage-sized fees for child care could have gotten the relief of $10-a-day child care for months now. Instead, the provincial government has dragged their heels on signing a deal with the federal government, leaving families struggling and in the dark about their plans, while every other province and territory has signed on. The child care system is broken. We need the government to commit to helping families by getting a $10-a-day child care deal signed, an we need to give early childhood educators the wages an decent benefits they have always deserved.
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 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 next week:
- Monday March 28 – Adie Knox – 1551 Wyandotte St W, Windsor – 9am to 2:30pm
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.