The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting an increase of 39 cases of COVID-19 today, the biggest one-day increase since July 26. Of the new cases, 10 are residents of a long-term care home, seven are workers in the agri-farm sector, eight are close contacts of a confirmed case, two were community acquired, one is travel related to Michigan and 11 are still under investigation. There are now 150 active cases currently in our region for a total of 3,009 cases, with 2,783 listed as resolved, and 76 deaths. A record-breaking 1,575 cases of COVID-19 were reported today across the province, as well as 18 new deaths. On November 11, Ontario reported 1,426 cases, on November 10 there were 1,388 cases, and on November 9 there were 1,242 cases.
The latest modeling released today shows that Ontario could see between 3,000 and 6,500 new COVID-19 cases per day by mid-December and will now exceed the 150-bed intensive care threshold within the next two weeks. This projection would become a reality by December 13 if cases continue to grow at the current rate.
I would like to remind everyone that our office is open by appointment only and we are not taking any walk-ins at this time in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you would like to make an appointment, please call the office at 519-251-5199 or email at [email protected].
There are four outbreaks in long term care and retirement homes in our region. Iler Lodge in Essex has 15 residents and one staff member with the virus, Lifetimes on Riverside has four residents and four staff members, Riverside Place has two staff members, and Berkshire Care Centre has one staff member who has tested positive.
The Greater Essex County District School Board is reporting two cases of COVID-19 at two Windsor Schools; Frank W. Begley Public School and Hon. W.C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute. Everyone deemed to be a close contact of the confirmed cases has been notified and is following directions from the health unit. You can find a COVID-19 report with confirmed cases at GECDSB schools here.
Nearly 1,900 students returned to school at the Greater Essex County District School Board this week and 800 at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, after choosing to opt back in for in-person learning. Our Caucus has been calling for the provincial government to invest in hiring more teachers and staff in order to have smaller class sizes and upgrades to schools to ensure proper infection control measures are in place, such as touchless faucets.
Windsor Regional Hospital announced they will be expanding the use of online screening for COVID-19 so that people going to the hospital for scheduled appointments and procedures can expedite the COVID-19 screening process by completing an online screening form before they arrive. You can find the online screening form here.
Given the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases being reported across the province, our Caucus today released a statement calling for a two-week circuit-breaker action, where only hot zones only would return to modified Stage 1 for a temporary period to stop the spread. Modifications we propose include:
- Schools should stay open, capped at 15 per class
- Restaurants and bars should be open for takeout and delivery, and given provincial funding to support them through the circuit breaker period
- Small businesses that are non-essential should be given funding to support them through the circuit breaker period
- Hospitals should continue scheduled surgeries as long as it’s safe – the NDP believes this circuit breaker could prevent surgeries and diagnostics from being cancelled, as they were in the first wave
Please continue to wear a mask or face covering when in public, practice physical distancing of two metres, and wash your hands often.