The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 43 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 43 yesterday, along with the loss of two members of our community. In Toronto today, there were 110 new cases, in Peel there were 65 cases, in Hamilton there were 42 cases, and in Middlesex-London there were 26 cases. Of the confirmed cases in our region yesterday and today, 34 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 25 are considered community spread, 10 are outbreak related, and 17 are under investigation. There are now 297 active cases in our region, bringing the total number of cases to 19,742, with 456 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are 15 workplace outbreaks, five school outbreaks, two community outbreaks, and two outbreaks at long-term care/retirement homes. There are 22 confirmed cases in the hospital, with six of those in the ICU. Locally, there have been 612,772 doses of the vaccine administered, with 83.2 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 77.2 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 668 cases of COVID-19.
LEGISLATURE RESUMES NEXT WEEK
Next Monday, my caucus colleagues and I will return to Queen’s Park after the Premier prorogued the Legislature last month. COVID-19 is still among us, and our health care heroes are burnt out and hospitals and long-term care homes are understaffed worse than ever. Surgeries are backlogged and the waits are long and painful. Our kids’ classrooms are packed, case counts are piling up in schools, and there aren’t enough staff to give kids one-on-one attention when they need it. Small businesses are trying to rebuild, taking on extra responsibility without extra resources. We are calling for the government to commit to:
- A plan to hire thousands of nurses and personal support workers
- A safe schools plan including smaller class sizes and hiring more teachers and education workers
- Mandatory vaccines for health and education workers
- A round of grants to help local businesses get back on their feet
- Safety zones and proper enforcement of vaccine certificates
The government’s current budget cuts $800 million from education, cuts public health units to 10 from 35, and continues funding cuts in long-term care. Over the last year, the provincial government withheld $5.6 billion earmarked for fighting COVID-19. We need to change course to get back on track. We need to invest in health care and our kids instead of cutting deeper.
The provincial government has announced that they will be introducing a mandatory vaccination policy for staff at long-term care homes. All in-home staff, support workers, students, and volunteers must be vaccinated by November 15, 2021 unless they can provide a valid medical exemption. LTC homes will also start randomly testing fully vaccinated staff, caregivers, and visitors to try to detect breakthrough cases. My caucus colleagues and I are calling for mandatory vaccinations to apply to all health care and all education workers. Today’s announcement for mandating vaccinations for long-term care workers should have come months ago, and the delay has had devastating consequences. No unvaccinated person should be inside a classroom, an ICU, an emergency room, or anywhere else in the health care and education system. You can read the government’s announcement here.
The University of Windsor will be hosting two vaccination clinics for anyone looking for their first or second dose. The clinics will run from 10am to 3pm on Thursday October 7 and Friday October 8 next week at the Faculty of Education Parking Lot near the corner of University and California avenues. No health cards are required.
The local health unit will be holding pop-up vaccination clinics at the following locations. No appointment required:
- Ongoing until October 8 at the parking lot at 33 Princess St in Leamington – open 7 days a week from 11am to 7pm
- October 4, 5, and 6 at the Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre (Sandwich) 3325 College Ave – from 10am to 3pm
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
The French Catholic school board has said that the COVID-19 outbreak at Sainte-Ursule Catholic Elementary School in McGregor has closed the school until further notice. School staff will be providing each student with the necessary computer equipment to ensure continuity of learning during the closure. Three additional cases have been reported at Georges P. Vanier Catholic Elementary School.
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has dismissed two classes of students from Catholic Central High School after one confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported.
The Greater Essex County District School Board is reporting confirmed cases from students at Giles Campus French Immersion Public School and Sandwich West Public School. A staff case at Kingsville Public School has also been reported.
All students and staff who have been affected by COVID-19 cases will be contacted and advised to follow the direction of the local health unit. All parents are reminded to continue to monitor their children each morning before school 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:
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#/=
COVID-19 POTENTIAL EXPOSURE POINTS
The local health unit has updated their website with a list of potential local COVID-19 exposure points. You can find this information here.
The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association will be hosting a flea market at the Pelissier St. parking garage on October 24 from 10am to 2pm. For more information about the event, or on becoming a vendor, please visit: https://www.downtownwindsor.ca/fleamarket/
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.