The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 40 new COVID-19 cases today. Yesterday there were 40 cases, and on Tuesday there were 28 cases. There have been 15,676 total cases and 414 deaths in our region since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the new cases announced today, 13 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 14 are considered community spread, one is travel related, and 12 are under investigation. Our region has 367 active cases, with 44 per cent of those being a variant of concern. There are 11 confirmed cases in the hospital, with five in the ICU, 14,895 cases listed as resolved, and 179,702 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Across the province today there were 3,424 new COVID-19 cases reported. Yesterday there were 2,941 cases, and on Tuesday there were 2,791 cases.
Starting today, anyone aged 50 and older can book a COVID-19 vaccine, along with those who have high-risk health conditions, and a number of essential workers who cannot work from home, including those in education, childcare, food, and manufacturing sectors. Those eligible can book their vaccine by calling 226-773-2200 or online at www.wevax.ca
The local health unit has announced that a total of 14 local pharmacies, two in each of the hot spot postal codes, will soon be administering the Moderna vaccine, though the list of which pharmacies specifically is still being finalized. The participating pharmacies will start off with 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine per week. The list of pharmacies, once confirmed, will be posted to the health unit’s website https://www.wechu.org/
Dr. Saad, the Chief of Staff at Windsor Regional Hospital, said he believes Windsor-Essex could reach herd immunity against COVID-19 by the summer. Herd immunity is achieved when enough people are immune, either through vaccination or infections, or a combination of both. Dr. Saad believes we need to have around 80 to 85 per cent of the population vaccinated to do this, and that could be reached by mid to late June. You can read more here.
The provincial government has approached the governor of Michigan about possibly allowing essential workers who cross the border from Canada for work to be vaccinated in the United States. There are no further details about what this plan might look like. You can read more here.
FIGHTING FOR SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE
Today, our caucus has written to the OPP Commissioner asking the Ontario Provincial Police to evaluate whether a criminal investigation is warranted into disturbing reports of senior deaths due to dehydration and neglect in long-term care. This request follows up on the revelations from reports by the Canadian Armed Forces, Auditor General, and Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.
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.