The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 today. Yesterday there were 34 cases, on Sunday there were 51 cases, and on Saturday there were 29 cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 16,423 cases and 424 deaths related to the virus. Of the cases announced between today and yesterday, 12 are from close contact with another confirmed case, six are community acquired, three are from outbreaks, and 29 are under investigation. There are currently 360 cases listed as active, with 195 of those being identified variants of concern. There are 21 people in the hospital, two in the ICU, and 15,639 cases listed as resolved. There have been 246,632 doses of the vaccine administered in our region. Across the province today there were 1,039 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 1,446 cases, on Sunday there were 1,691 cases, and on Saturday there were 1,794 cases.
My office has heard from many constituents about the challenges and frustration around trying to book an appointment for the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite the announcement last week from the provincial government that those who received their first dose between March 10 and 19 could book this week for their second shot. We continue to seek answers from the Ministry of Health and will provide any additional information as it becomes available. It is now being reported that fewer than half of the pharmacies who signed up initially for the pharmacy pilot project will be stocking the second dose, which Dr. Ahmed has said is due to limited supply and logistical challenges. However, Dr. Ahmed did say that our region should have enough vaccine to administer second shots to those eligible, and around 4,500 doses have been earmarked for our region. Details on which pharmacies will be carrying the second doses can be found on the health unit’s website here.
Dr. Ahmed is pleading with residents to get vaccinated after reports that some people are turning down vaccines because of the brand. He has assured residents that all vaccines approved and available in Canada go through strict regulatory requirements and are effective in preventing hospitalization from COVID-19. Dr. Ahmed is urging all residents to not wait for one vaccine or another, but to get any vaccine that is available.
Talks are underway to turn the former Sears store in Devonshire Mall into a mass vaccination site. No details about the discussions have been released at this time. In Windsor, there are currently mass vaccination clinics set up at the University’s Windsor Hall on Ouellette Ave, the WFCU Centre and St. Clair College Sportsplex. Current eligibility for first doses of the vaccine is open to anyone aged 12 or up. You can call 226-773-2200 or book an appointment online at www.wevax.ca
Moderna has said that their vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12 and will apply for authorization with the FDA in the United States and other global regulators in early June. You can read more here.
POSSIBLE EXPOSURE POINT
The local health unit has updated their website with a new possible COVID-19 exposure point. You can find that information here, along with the date and time of possible exposure.
LOCAL TOURISM INDUSTRY
The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA) has received a Safe Travel Stamp from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, certifying downtown Windsor as a safe destination for travellers when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The stamp shows businesses within the DWBIA’s boundaries have adopted the appropriate health and hygiene policies and was supported by the local health unit. 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.