The Windsor-Essex County Health unit is reporting 25 new COVID-19 cases today, along with the passing of another member of our community. Toronto reported 66 cases, Peel reported 16 cases, Hamilton reported 11 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 16 cases. Yesterday, our region had 30 cases, and on Monday there were 13 cases. Of the new cases announced today, seven are from close contact with another confirmed case, five are considered community spread, two are travel related, and 11 are under investigation. There are 174 active cases in the community, with 75 of those being variants of concern cases, bringing the total number of cases to 20,448 and 464 deaths related to COVID-19. There are six workplace outbreaks, five school outbreaks, four community outbreaks, and 12 confirmed cases in the hospital, with five of those in the ICU. There have been 636,261 doses of the vaccine administered locally, with 85.4 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 81 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 321 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 269 cases, and on Monday there were 326 cases.
ADVOCATING FOR NURSES
Earlier this week, my caucus colleagues and I called for the government to launch a massive, province-wide hiring and retention strategy to address Ontario’s health care staffing crisis. We called for the government to hire thousands of nurses and personal support workers, a retention plan to ensure skilled nurses stay in the sector, and funding to put enough nurses on every shift in every health care setting to prevent worker burnout. According to the Ontario Science table, 43 per cent of nurses in Ontario are considering leaving the sector, and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union estimated in September that more than 16,000 vacancies existed in the province.
Today, the provincial government announced that they will spend $100 million to add 2,000 more nurses over the next few years. One of the programs being funded will provide up to $6,000 a year in tuition for personal support workers to become registered practical nurses, and up to $10,000 a year in tuition to registered practical nurses to become registered nurses. You can read the government’s announcement here.
There will be pop-up vaccine clinics next week at the following locations. Vaccines are available to anyone over the age of 12 looking for their first or second dose. No health card or appointment required:
- Friday October 29 – WECHU Leamington office – 33 Princess St, Leamington – 9:30am to 3:30pm
- Friday October 29 – Leamington Half Century Centre – 160 Talbot St East, Leamington – 10am to 3pm
Our interim Medical Officer of Health advises that a recent study found there is no correlation between risk of miscarriages for pregnant women in the first trimester and receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends anyone who is pregnant receive a full vaccine course. You can read more here.
RETURN TO EXTRACURRICULAR SPORTS
High school sports will resume on November 22, 2021 according to the Windsor-Essex County Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WECSSAA). Convenors for each sport will be holding meetings to see which teams will be involved and to set schedules. Practices can begin immediately, provided that all athletes have followed the vaccination requirements from the health unit. You can read more here.
The local health unit is urging everyone over the age of 6-months to get their flu shot. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to prevent additional outbreaks and reduce the spread of the flu. Individuals and their families can get the flu shot at no cost from their healthcare provider, most walk-in clinics and participating pharmacies. High-dose flu vaccine, recommended for those 65 years and older, is available from healthcare providers and participating pharmacies. A list of pharmacies providing flu vaccines in Windsor and Essex County can be found on the WECHU website at www.wechu.org/flu. Please note that only children 5 years of age and older can receive their flu shot at pharmacies. To learn more about ways to stop the spread of the influenza virus and make informed decision about vaccinations, visit www.wechu.org/flu or speak with your local healthcare provider or pharmacist.
The local health unit is reminding everyone to celebrate Halloween safely by remaining vigilant and following public health measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19. You can find their guidelines here.
The WFCU is bringing back a drive-thru trick-or-treat alternative this year at four of the credit union’s locations. The event will take place on Saturday October 30 between 3-5pm at the WFCU’s Tecumseh, Amherstburg, Leamington, and South Windsor locations. Kids will receive a Halloween treat bag filled with activities and candy to enjoy. To participate, participants should follow these instructions:
- Pull up to the drive-thru teller window.
- Children are encouraged to say ‘trick-or-treat’ from the safety of the vehicle and WFCU Credit Union staff will hand treat bags through the drive-thru drawer.
- The adult driving the vehicle is asked to retrieve the treat bags from the drive-thru drawer.
- Once treat bags are retrieved, please move ahead so that the vehicle behind you can participate in the trick-or-treating fun.
There will be strict COVID-19 safe measures in place including:
- All visitors MUST remain in their vehicles
- Contactless delivery of Halloween treat bags
- Drive-thru drawers will be sanitized between each vehicle
Mask wearing and hand sanitization
The WFCU asks residents to please refrain from participating in the drive-thru event if you have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, travelled outside of Canada or to an area with a current outbreak, or had cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 14 days.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.