Good evening everyone,
There has been only one new case of COVID-19 reported today in Windsor-Essex. The case is attributed to travel outside of Canada. This brings up the new total to 2,664 cases locally. Ontario reported 538 new cases of COVID-19, compared to 625 cases yesterday.
The Province’s backlog of COVID-19 tests hit a record today of more than 82,000. The positivity rate of tests for the province is currently 1.75% and has been steadily increasing.
The Provincial Government announced that they will invest $461 million into temporary wage increases for personal support workers and direct support workers in home and community care, long-term care, hospitals, and social services sectors. PSWs will receive either $2 or $3 per hour, temporarily, during the second wave. Other health care workers they work side-by-side with will get nothing. During the first wave, most essential workers — but not all — received a $4 hourly pandemic pay bump. Meanwhile, because the Government was trying to save money, the province failed to recruit PSWs over the summer, leaving long-term care dramatically understaffed even as a second wave grows in Ontario. Thousands of PSWs have left their jobs, and long-term care homes are understaffed even more than when the COVID-19 crisis began. PSWs are run off their feet, doing incredibly challenging work. Their jobs take a massive physical, mental and emotional toll. They deserve a permanent wage increase, full-time jobs, and benefits. And the people they care for deserve for them to have that stability, too.
The Province has changed the guidelines for COVID-19 school and child care screening. There are now two sets of questions. The first set of questions will ask about symptoms such as fever and cough. If students are exhibiting these symptoms, they will be asked to stay at home until an alternative diagnosis or negative COVID-19 test is provided. The second set of questions will ask about common symptoms associated with other illnesses, such as runny noses or headaches. If students are exhibiting one of the symptoms, they will be asked to stay home for 24 hours and can return if the symptoms are improving. If they have two or more symptoms, they will be asked to stay at home until an alternative diagnosis or negative COVID-19 test is provided. You can find the updated guidance here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. The new online tool will be available for download on Friday, October 2nd.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is urging people to get the flu shot, which will be available in the community by the end of October. Seniors over the age of 65 will have a higher dosage available to them. WECHU is also working on a plan to provide Grade 7 vaccinations outside of schools in order to decrease the burden on the local school system.
On October 19, Transit Windsor will begin fare collecting and front door loading. Riders will be asked to reload their Transit Windsor Smart Cards at either the Windsor International Transit Terminal at 300 Chatham St. W. or Transit Centre at 3700 North Service Rd. E. before October 19.
As always, please continue to follow public health guidelines by washing your hands frequently, maintaining physical distancing, and wearing a mask when required.