The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 51 new cases of COVID-19 today. Of the new cases, 21 are related to outbreaks, 10 are from close contact with another confirmed case, three are considered community spread, and 17 are under investigation. Our region now has 262 active cases, bringing our total to 13,200 cases, 39 confirmed cases in the hospital, with 10 in the ICU, 12,545 cases listed as resolved, and 393 deaths. Across the province today there were 1,631 new cases, though the higher case count today is due to a “data catch-up process”. On Sunday there were 1,299 cases and on Saturday there were 990 cases.
My colleagues and I are proposing that people should be able to leave work without having their pay docked if their chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine comes during their work hours. No one should have to choose between keeping their appointment for their life-saving COVID-19 vaccine or losing out on wages they need to pay their bills.
Dr. Ahmed has reported that 4.74 per cent of the local population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2.73 per cent have received both doses. These numbers are ahead of many regions on a per capita basis. Dr. Ahmed has also said that our region is expecting 12,000-13,000 doses by the end of the month, up from the roughly 4,000 vaccines we are currently receiving.
Leamington’s vaccination clinic opened today at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre at 249 Sherk St. The clinic is vaccinating those 80 years of age and older who have an appointment. Residents can call 519-251-4072 to register if they meet the eligibility requirements and will then be selected at random to schedule an appointment.
Three more COVID-19 cases were reported at local schools in the public school board. Two students at Coronation Public School and one student at Kingsville District High School have tested positive. Anyone affected has been notified and are following the direction of the local health unit.
Our caucus released a statement saying that the Premier’s decision to lift the evictions ban today is unsafe and unethical. The pandemic is far from over, and thousands of people are struggling due to lost jobs and income that is in no way their fault. This decision to lift the eviction band in the middle of the pandemic will cause thousands of Ontarians to risk exposure to COVID-19 as they look for a new home, crash with friends, and potentially face homelessness.
The Downtown Mission has resumed use of the former Central Branch of the Windsor Public Library as a temporary shelter. The building had been used to deal with an outbreak of COVID-19 and will reopen to accommodate 35 people. The Downtown Mission is working with the local health unit to transition back to its location on Victoria Ave by the end of March. You can read more here.
Windsor Regional Hospital says they are still facing a backlog of nearly 3,000 elective procedures as of yesterday but both campuses are running at nearly 100 per cent capacity since the lockdown was lifted last month. Chief of Staff, Dr. Saad, has said that procedures will need to run at 120 per cent or higher for the next year in order to catch up. The hospital is prepared to extend hours for procedures to increase capacity. You can read more here.
St. Clair College says their Personal Support Worker program is full for the April semester and a waitlist has been started for the June semester in both Windsor and Chatham. Last week it was announced that the provincial government is providing funds to relieve tuition for 6,000 students across the province in the shortened PSW program. You can read more here.
MP Brian Masse has asked for forgiveness for low-income Canadian who received CERB payments and wants to see the federal government adjust the rules to account for those who are financially vulnerable. You can read the full story here.
The City of Windsor will be receiving funding to help cut the $38 million budget deficit by more than half. The City will be receiving $5.1 million from the Municipal Relief Fund – Phase 2, $6.1 million from the Safe Restart – Public Transit Phase 3, and $8.1 million in provincial COVID-19 Financial Relief for Municipalities funding. You can read more here.
Please stay diligent and continue following public health advice by staying at home, only going out for essential trips, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently.