The Windsor-Essex County health Unit is reporting 70 new COVID-19 cases today along with one additional death in the community. There has been a total of 16,219 cases and 422 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Yesterday there were 16 cases, and on Monday there were 24 cases. Of the new cases announced today, two are outbreak related, 25 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 13 are considered community spread, and 30 are under investigation. There are now 358 active cases in our region, with 158 being variants of concern. There are 20 confirmed cases in the hospital, one in the ICU, and 15,439 cases have been listed as resolved. There have been 225,513 doses of the vaccine administered, and 61.5 per cent of individuals 18 and over in our region have received at least one dose. Across the province today there were 1,588 new cases reported, the lowest single-day case count since March 24. Yesterday there were 1,616 cases and on Monday there were 2,170 cases.
THANK YOU TO PSWs
Today is Personal Support Workers Day, and I would like to sincerely thank all for all the incredible work they do, especially over the last 14 months while helping care for loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. The past 14 months have been incredibly challenging, and we continue to advocate for more supports for PSWs, such as ensuring PSWs can access fulltime jobs with benefits, permanent paid sick days, permanent wage increases, and staffing compliments that help workers and the people they care for.
ADVOCATING FOR YOU IN THE LEGISLATURE
Today in the Legislature, my colleagues MPP Marit Stiles and MPP Jessica Bell tabled a bill to ensure children and youth are put front and centre in Ontario’s post-pandemic recovery. If passed, the Centering Youth in Pandemic Recovery Act would establish a post-pandemic Child & Youth Action plan, created in consultation with youth leaders and experts in education, child development and mental health, as well as boards and frontline workers, to be reviewed every two years by the premier. It would create a COVID-19 Recovery Youth Secretariat to consider Ontario legislation through a lens that optimizes the well-being of children, youth, and young adults; and a standing committee to report to the government on findings. The government must step up to put children and young adults at the centre of all efforts to boost the province’s economic and social services as we move towards recovery.
We are also calling on the provincial government to commit to signing a funding agreement with the federal government to invest in giving childcare workers fair wages and better working conditions. A new study has shown that childcare workers are at a breaking point due to neglect, overwork, and poor pay, with close to 50 per cent considering leaving the sector at some point during the pandemic. Our childcare workers, parents, and children deserve so much better.
Our caucus has also called for a full, independent judicial inquiry into Ontario’s over all COVID-19 response. The pandemic may have been more brutal and deadly in Ontario than it needed to be. Our hospitals neared the brink of collapse. Thousands of beloved parents and grandparents were left unprotected and perished in long-term care. And frontline workers worked without proper PPE, without paid sick days and without enough testing and contact tracing to keep them safe. We need to know what went right. There are lessons to be learned from the incredible success stories created through the hard work of nurses and frontline health care workers, local public health authorities, hospitals, teachers and education workers, municipal councils and non-profits and their staff. But a lot went wrong, and sorrow for survivors, victims and families hurt by bad choices and broken systems is not enough. Let’s give people justice and accountability. And let’s make sure that we never, ever again have a government that makes a public health emergency even worse. Specifically, we are requesting that the inquiry examine, at a minimum:
- Ontario’s pandemic readiness, failure to learn lesson from SARS, and the impact of cuts before the pandemic
- Ontario’s speed of response, and how quickly the province moved out funding and supplies like PPE to protect people and stop the spread
- The protection of seniors in long-term care
- Supports for local businesses and workers
- COVID-19 in schools, and education during the pandemic
- The introduction of the disastrous colour-coded restrictions system, and repeated failures to follow, or disclose, expert recommendations
- The impact of mixed messaging, poor communications and contradictory directives
- The inequities experienced by people living in hotspots, and by people more likely to contract COVID-19, or die from the virus
- The rollout of the vaccine program
A COVID-19 vaccine walk-in clinic will be held tonight from 5pm to 8pm at 2285 Howard Ave for individuals 18 and over who have not yet received their first shot. Appointments can also be booked by emailing [email protected].
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Tam, has said that she expects Canadians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose to be able to choose which vaccine they receive as their second. A new study out of Spain has shown that giving Pfizer as a second dose to AstraZeneca produced twice as many antibodies as a second dose of AstraZeneca. The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) is still awaiting further data from another study being done in the United Kingdom. You can read more here. Our caucus continues to call on the provincial government to develop a comprehensive plan for speeding up second doses for all vaccines, and for vulnerable people and those most at risk to be prioritized.
SOME SURGERIES TO RESUME AT HOSPITALS
Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie Shores HealthCare will implement a locally developed and regionally supported plan to gradually resume non-urgent and non-emergency surgeries that do not require an in-patient stay/bed post-surgery. Both hospitals are asking for the public’s patience in regards to rescheduling the thousands of surgical procedures that have been postponed over the last year. Patients are being asked not to contact the hospitals or surgeons’ offices about a postponed appointment, and surgeons will look at their cases to prioritize who can be scheduled and when. You can read more here.
COVID-19 TESTING CENTRES
Windsor Regional Hospital’s two testing centres at Ouellette Campus and Met Campus will be open for testing COVID-19 on Victoria Day, Monday May 24. Ouellette Campus is open seven days a week from 8am to 3pm, and Met Campus is open Monday to Friday next week from 8:30am to 3:30pm. To book a test at either Met or Ouellette Campuses, go to https://app.getcorigan.ca/
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.