There were six new cases of COVID-19 reported in Windsor-Essex today. Of those six cases, three are community acquired, one is travel related, and two remain under investigation. This brings our local total up to 2,821 cases with 45 active cases. Ontario reported 934 new cases of COVID-19 today, as compared to 834 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, 827 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 851 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The province’s labs completed 35,621 tests, which remains under the capacity of 45,000 tests.
Tomorrow will be the last day for the St. Clair COVID-19 Assessment Centre for the time being. Windsor Regional Hospital will be increasing testing capacity at their Ouellette campus assessment centre. These changes were made as a result of the Government’s changes to the testing requirements, mandating that all public assessment centres use an appointment system rather than a walk-in system. Initially, WRH was testing approximately 447 people a day, but after these changes, they now test approximately 200 people a day. Ouellette Campus is estimated to have a capacity of 330 tests a day. If the demand increases, WRH will be able to open the St. Clair Assessment Centre within 24 hours. The hours for the Ouellette Campus assessment centre remain unchanged, and they are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays. To book a COVID-19 test at WRH, click here: https://app.getcorigan.ca/.
We continue to press the Ministry of Health, Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, and Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for answers on the various issues that have been brought forward by constituents, including access to loved ones in congregate care settings, COVID-19 testing, flu shots, and more. We await responses from these various Ministries and will provide updates once we receive them. We thank you for continuing to share your concerns with our office.
Workforce Windsor-Essex conducted a second Business Impact survey to gauge the impacts of the pandemic on businesses from July 10, 2020 to August 5, 2020, focusing on accessibility of local, provincial, and federal government supports. The overall results of the survey found that local business owners found the support programs too cumbersome and confusing, they were unaware that the programs existed, or they did not qualify for support. Most of the businesses who participated fell into the retail, food, and tourism sectors. Some of the key findings include the following: over 90 percent have reported negative impacts of the pandemic; just under 30 percent are back to operating at full capacity; and over half of the businesses were not aware of the following federal and provincial government programs: Rapid Response Program, Digital Main Street, and Ontario’s Workplace PPE Supplier Directory. This is not the first time we have heard feedback that the programs in place are either inaccessible or difficult to navigate. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our caucus has called on the provincial government to provide more direct supports for small and medium-sized businesses. Specifically, we have called for a ban on all commercial evictions, a 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy, a fund to help businesses with safe-reopening costs or remote-work set-up costs, a utility payment freeze for small and medium-sized businesses, and more. This week, our caucus tabled a motion to cap food delivery charges by third-party delivery services, which are taking outrageous margins — as high as 30 per cent — from restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. We will continue to advocate for true relief for small and medium sized businesses.
Please continue to stay safe by washing your hands frequently, practicing physical distancing of 2 metres apart, and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible and where otherwise required.