The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has reported 41 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death in the community. Yesterday there were 59 new cases and on Wednesday there were 46 new cases. There has been a total of 16,011 cases and 421 deaths related to COVID-19 in our region since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the new cases announced today, one is outbreak related, 15 are from close contact with another confirmed case, nine are considered community spread, and 16 are under investigation. There are 343 active cases, with about half of those being variants of concern. There are 21 confirmed cases in the hospital, three in the ICU, 15,247 cases have been listed as resolved, and 207,835 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Across the province today there were 2,362 new cases of COVID-19 reported. Yesterday there were 2,759 cases, and on Wednesday there were 2,320 cases.
The local health unit has announced that the highest priority healthcare workers and essential staff at retirement and long-term care homes can now book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Employment identification will be required. Second doses for these workers can ONLY be booked by calling 226-773-2200. High risk healthcare workers eligible for the second dose, include:
- All hospital and acute care staff in frontline roles with COVID-19 patients and/or with a high-risk of exposure to COVID-19, including nurses and personal support workers and those performing aerosol-generating procedures;
- All patient-facing health care workers involved in the COVID-19 response;
- Medical First Responders;
- Community health care workers serving specialized populations;
- Long-term care home and retirement-home health care workers, including nurses and personal support workers and Essential Caregivers;
- Individuals working in Community Health Centers serving disproportionally affected communities and/or communities experiencing highest burden of health, social and economic impacts from COVID-19;
- Critical health care workers in remote and hard to access communities, e.g., sole practitioner; and
- Home and community care health care workers, including nurses and personal support workers caring for recipients of chronic homecare and seniors in congregate living facilities or providing hands-on care to COVID-19 patients in the community.
You can read more here.
A local doctor is again holding a drive-thru vaccination clinic, happening tomorrow Saturday May 15 at 1720 Howard Ave. Available to those who need their first doses, there will be at least 1,000 doses of the vaccine available on a first come, first serve basis. The shots will be available to anyone over the age of 30, those over 18 living in a hot spot postal code, individuals with high-risk health conditions, and residents included in the province’s group one and two of essential workers. The drive-thru clinic will run from 9am until 3pm.
The local health unit has requested that anyone who has received their vaccine outside of Windsor-Essex, whether from out of province, or out of country – in Michigan for example – to please let them know by completing this brief questionnaire. All responses are anonymous and confidential.
ADVOCATING FOR YOU IN THE LEGISLATURE
We continue to hear from constituents who are concerned about the ban on the use of outdoor recreational amenities under the current Stay-at-Home order. My colleague and our deputy leader, MPP Sara Singh, will force a vote on a motion Monday calling on the provincial government to safely re-open outdoor amenities in the province immediately. The government is keeping outdoor amenities like cricket pitches, basketball and tennis courts, skate parks, volleyball nets, and golf courses off limits despite expert advice to do the opposite. Parents and their kids have been cooped up at home for months on end. They are frustrated, feeling isolated, and at the end of their rope. Needlessly robbing people of activities that are good for our physical and mental health is unnecessary and only piles on to the struggles people are enduring. We hope that the Government will listen to the expert advice of their own Science Table and vote in favour of this motion.
POSSIBLE COVID-19 EXPOSURE POINT
The local health unit has updated their list of possible exposure points, including the dates and times of the possible exposure. You can find that list here.
Windsor Regional Hospital Met Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre will be open Monday May 17 through Friday May 21 next week from 8:30am to 3:30pm to ensure the continued availability of same-day appointments. Ouellette Campus COVID-19 testing centre will remain open seven days a week from 8am to 3pm. To book an appointment, visit here.
PROTECTING OUR KIDS AGAINST COVID-19
Local unions representing teachers in Windsor-Essex have said that they are pleased that students will soon be eligible to receive their first shot of the vaccine, but said there remains other safety concerns, such as addressing class sizes and existing gaps in COVID-19 prevention measures. We share these concerns, which is why my colleagues and I continue to advocate for the government to cap class sizes at 15 students, ensure there is better ventilation and infection control measures, such as touchless facets, in school, and more mental health supports. We are also calling on the government to release a plan for children 12 and up to get their vaccines — and to allow for parents to book as a family so that they don’t have to book a separate vaccine appointment for each of their kids. You can read more on the comments from the local unions here.
FEDERAL REOPENING GUIDELINES
The federal Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has released preliminary guidelines about when Canadians might be able to gather, and under what circumstances. According to Dr. Tam, the federal recommendation is that provinces should begin to lift public health restrictions only once 75 per cent of all adults have had at least one vaccine dose, and 20 per cent are fully vaccinated. Currently 50 per cent of Canadian adults have had one shot. 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, practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart at all times when around others who live outside your household, and washing your hands frequently.