Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - October 15

Published on October 15, 2020

Good evening,

Congratulations to Dave Cassidy and the entire Unifor bargaining team for securing future investment at the Windsor Assembly Plant!

Windsor-Essex has reported one new case of COVID-19 today, and the case was community acquired. This now brings the local total to 2,744 cases with 61 active cases. Ontario reported 738 cases of COVID-19 today, as compared to 731 cases yesterday, 746 on Tuesday, and 807 cases on Monday.

The Government’s penny pinching has made the second wave worse — and they’re still withholding $9.3 billion that is meant to help with the pandemic, according to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer (FAO). Today, the FAO released a new $37.2 billion deficit projection — but pointed out that the number includes $9.3 billion earmarked for pandemic funding that the Government is sitting on, refusing to allocate. That figure includes $6.7 billion specifically earmarked to combat the pandemic, and $2.6 billion in contingency funds. That money could save seniors in long-term care, now facing a new wave of deadly outbreaks. It could be spent to dramatically boost COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. And it could make schools safer with smaller classes.

Having three or four long-term care residents in a room is a dangerous cause of COVID-19 spread — and the Government knows it’s happening all over the province, and isn’t taking action to stop it. With a second wave upon the province, we are calling on the Government to release a plan, funding, and a timeline for moving residents into safer, one- and two-resident rooms. As of today, there are 65 nursing homes battling an outbreak. On Oct. 6 in a legislative committee meeting, Minister Merrilee Fullerton and her staff acknowledged that the multi-bed wards were still in place, but said they’re “monitoring” the situation and have not set a date by which all residents need to be safe and protected. According to reporting by QP Briefing, the owner of one for-profit care home chain, Schlegel Villages, said the province has banned moving newly-admitted residents into multi-bed rooms, but allows residents already living in multi-bed rooms to stay there. So far, 1,900 people have died of COVID-19 in long-term care in Ontario. We need to take action to protect folks this time with more PPE, thousands more staff, better infection control, testing, and a plan to quarantine sick residents.

Please continue to listen to public health experts and wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing of 2 metres apart, and wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible and where otherwise required.