The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 239 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend and today, with 71 cases on Saturday, 86 cases yesterday, and 82 cases today. Toronto reported 106 cases, Peel reported 49 cases, and Simcoe-Muskoka reported 80 cases. There are now 498 active cases in our region, bringing the total number to 21,742 cases, and 471 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases since Saturday, 97 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 58 are considered community spread, 28 are outbreak related, and 56 are still under investigation. There are nine workplace outbreaks, seven school outbreaks, eight community outbreaks, two outbreaks in long-term care homes, and one hospital outbreak. There are 18 confirmed cases in the hospital, six of which are in the ICU. Locally, 80.7 per cent of individuals over the age of five have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 76.8 per cent of individuals over five have received both doses. Across the province today there were 788 cases of COVID-19 reported. Yesterday there were 964 cases, and on Saturday there were 854 cases.
ADVOCATING FOR YOU IN THE LEGISLATURE
The Financial Accountability Office (FAO), the independent source of analysis for Ontario’s finances, released a new report today that shows that over the first half of the 2021-22 period beginning in July this year, the province spent $4.3 billion less than planned, including underspending in public health by $600 million and underspending in education by nearly $700 million. Again we’re seeing this government withholding money at the expense of Ontario families trying to weather and recover from the pandemic. Every time the FAO provides an update, we learn that this government is sitting on billions of dollars that should have been used to provide the things Ontarians needed, when they needed it the most. Instead, they chose not to provide paid sick days, or give our kids smaller and safer classrooms with better air quality. They chose not to speed up surgeries for the thousands of people waiting in pain, or to hire more workers in each long-term care home. They chose not to help workers or small businesses trying to bounce back. They had the money budgeted, but didn’t want to spend it on everyday people. People deserve so much better — and could have better if the provincial government weren’t withholding money. You can read the full report here.
Over the weekend, Ontario detected the first two cases of the new COVID-19 variant, Omnicron, while four other possible cases are being investigated. The confirmed cases were reported in Ottawa, and has health experts urging the public to exercise caution given that we still do not know much about it at this time. The initial takeaways show that Omnicron has more mutations than previous variants which could be concerning, as it could be more contagious than other variants to date. The federal government on Friday barred visitors from seven southern African countries in an effort to prevent the variant from crossing into Canada. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said that the province is reviewing the possible acceleration of third doses of vaccines in light of the news. You can read more here.
According to the local health unit, approximately 3,300 youth in Windsor-Essex between the ages of five and 11 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine between Thursday and Sunday. There remain additional booking times available at the mass vaccination clinic at Devonshire Mall. To make an appointment for a child between the age of five and 11 to get vaccinated, please call 226-773-2200 or visit here.
Our caucus continues to call on the provincial government to pass safety zone legislation to protect people from harassment at vaccine clinics. There have been reports across Ontario of families being harassed for trying to do the right thing and get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but also their friends and neighbours. This is unacceptable that any family would be treated this way. We need to be making it easier for parents to take their kids to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The bill that our caucus has introduced would create safety zones in places like hospitals, schools, and vaccine clinics to protect Ontarians by making it a provincial offence, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, to subject people like health care heroes and patients, kids and parents, to anti-public health harassment in these areas.
There will be pop-up vaccine clinics at the following locations this week. Children aged 5 to 11 years (or turning 5 in 2021) are now eligible to receive their vaccination at a pop-up clinic. Children must be accompanied by their custodial parent or guardian to receive a vaccine and will be required to present a health card or other form of identification.
- Tuesday November 30 – Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre (Sandwich Location) – 3325 College Ave, Windsor – 10am to 3pm
- Wednesday December 1 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
- Wednesday December 1 – Windsor Bus Terminal Downtown – 300 Chatham Ave, Windsor – 2pm to 4pm
- Friday December 3 – Leamington Municipal Building Council Chambers – 111 Erie St N, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
- Friday December 3 – WECHU Leamington Office – 33 Princess St, Leamington – 12pm to 6pm
- Saturday December 4 – Mexican Consulate – 350 Hwy 77, Leamington – 9am to 3:30pm
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has dismissed 12 classes and one bus cohort after confirming eight cases of COVID-19 at six schools over the weekend. Four classes were sent home from F.J. Brennan Catholic School. One class was dismissed at Holy Names Catholic High School. Four classes were told to stay home from Cardinal Carter Secondary School and two classes were sent home from Cardinal Carter Middle School in Leamington. One class was dismissed at St. John Vianney School. And one bus cohort from Stella Maris School in Amherstburg was dismissed. The local health unit has contacted all those affected and is reminding parents to continue to monitor their children each morning for COVID-19 symptoms and to keep them home if they are sick.
Up-to-date COVID-19 information on confirmed cases and outbreaks from each school board can be found here:
French Catholic: https://www.cscprovidence.ca/apps/pages/index.jsp...
Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board: https://www.wecdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/outbreaks
Greater Essex County District School Board: https://www.publicboard.ca/News/COVID-19Report/Pages/default.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2R6_WYMzK8njEzQqQisbpQuRQ67Cr-KEi-jEz_WYGsiaYmjCJhuLrUX0k#/=
LOCAL COVID-19 EXPOSURE POINTS
The local health unit has updated their list of possible COVID-19 exposure points in the community. You can find that information here.
Please stay safe and continue to follow all public health guidelines.