Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update - October 28, 2021

Published on October 28, 2021

Good afternoon, 

LOCAL NUMBERS 

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 17 new COVID-19 cases today, while Toronto reported 54 cases, Peel reported 45 cases, Hamilton reported 17 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 13 cases. Yesterday, our region had 25 cases, and on Tuesday there were 30 cases. There are now 173 active cases in the community, with 109 of those being variants of concern cases, and bringing our total to 20,471 cases and 464 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, six are from close contact with another confirmed case, six are considered community spread, and five are under investigation. There are currently three workplace outbreaks, two school outbreaks, six community outbreaks, and 12 confirmed cases in the hospital, with five of those in the ICU. A total of 636,831 doses of the vaccine have been administered locally, with 85.5 per cent of individuals 12 and over having received one dose, and 81.1 per cent of individuals 12 and over having received both doses. Across the province today there were 409 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 321 cases, and on Tuesday there were 269 cases.  

 

ADVOCATING FOR LONG-TERM CARE  

Today, the provincial government announced a bill called The Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021, which they say will double the maximum fines levied on long-term care homes that break the law, increase the power of long-term home care inspectors, and allow the Ministry to put in place a long-term care home supervisor to run a home. You can read the government’s announcement here.

The pandemic highlighted what we always knew about the long-term care system - it is broken. The incremental dismantling of the system and repeated disinvestment by successive governments has left thousands of families mourning avoidable losses. My caucus colleagues and I continue to call on the government to take the profit out of long-term care and ensure that the system protects our most vulnerable. We need to immediately pass the Time To Care Act to legislate a minimum standard of care for long-term care homes. And we need to immediately pass the More Than A Visitor act to enshrine caregiver rights. We need to stop putting profits before people, and ensure that we have the necessary standards and resources in place. That includes better wages and working conditions for staff, a moratorium on new for-profit homes, and creating national long-term care standards. 

 

VACCINES  

There will be pop-up vaccine clinics at the following locations this week. 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  

  

COVID-19 TESTING 

The provincial government announced that COVID-19 take-home tests will be available at all public schools across the province soon. If a student develops a COVID-19 symptom while at school, or is identified as a close contact of a positive case, they can pick up a test at their school, take the test at home and drop it off at a community location for processing.  You can read more here.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE TO THE LAW AND SERVICES 

Community Legal Education Ontario provides an excellent site called Steps to Justice that has a has a wealth of legal information that may answer your COVID questions. They have just updated their COVID-19 Recovery Benefits Chart https://stepstojustice.ca/resource/covid-19-recovery-benefits/.    

  • Wondering if you might qualify for the proposed Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit that was announced by the Federal Government on October 21?  They note that when it comes in effect as proposed, no worker in Ontario can apply for it because there are currently no government lockdowns in the Province.   https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/covid-19/who-can-get-the-canada-worker-lockdown-benefit-cwlb/    
  • Wondering what your entitlement to Employment Insurance as it relates to COVID?  They address it here.
  • Wondering about who makes the decision about vaccination of students?   They address it here.  
  • What are your rights if you have to stay home as a result of child care?  You may find your answer here - yes we realize that current levels of support for this is insufficient and we haven’t given up the fight for proper benefits for those families forced to stay home because a child’s class has been sent home due to COVID.    
  • How does COVID affect your rights as a landlord or tenant?   You might find your answer here.

These are just a few of the many topics they cover.  I urge you to visit the site and poke around.   If you find something useful that you think someone might benefit from, suggest they too visit the site.    

 

HELPING TOURISM BUSINESSES 

My caucus colleagues and I are again calling for the provincial government to pass the Taxation Amendment Act (Travel Ontario Tax Credit) which would help tourism businesses make it through the low season. The bill would offer all households $1 back for every $1 spent, up to $1,000 to eat, stay, play, and tour in Ontario. Local tourism and hospitality businesses have struggled through the pandemic, and they need and deserve more help to make it through the winter. We need to secure those jobs. Support entrepreneurs’ dreams. And boost local economies until the catch up. 

 

EASING CAPACITY RESTRICTIONS 

New regulatory amendments approved today by the provincial government will allow for large-scale organized events outdoors to immediately resume. This means that events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies, as well as other outdoor recreational amenities, such as ski hills, can operate without capacity restrictions. You can read more here.

 

FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT 

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has issued a flood watch for our region, specifically along the shores of Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River. Flooding in low lying properties and roadways is possible, and people are encouraged to take extra caution and to avoid areas where flooding is occurring. You can read more here.

 

Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.  

 

  • Percy