The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 66 new cases of COVID-19 today, while Toronto reported 166 cases, Peel reported 117 cases, Hamilton reported 53 cases, and Middlesex-London reported 19 cases. Yesterday, our region had 73 cases, and on Wednesday there were 46 cases. There are now 543 active cases in our region, with 384 of those being variants of concern cases, and a total of 18,852 cases and 444 deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded since the pandemic began. Of the new cases announced today, 24 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 14 are considered community spread, three are outbreak related, one is travel related, and 24 are under investigation. There are 16 workplace outbreaks, two community outbreaks, one outbreak at a long-term care home, and 17 confirmed cases in hospital, with three of those in the ICU. Locally, a total of 586,303 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 80.8 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 73.7 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 848 cases of COVID-19 reported. Yesterday there were 798 cases, and on Wednesday there were 554 cases.
PROTECTING STAFF AND PATIENTS IN HOSPITALS
Windsor Regional Hospital announced that their staff will need to be vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 22, 2021. Those who have not received a shot by then will be told to stay home, unpaid, for two weeks. Any staff who is not vaccinated following this two-week period will be terminated. You can read more here.
My caucus colleagues and I are calling for the government to act on our proposed legislation to create Safety Zones around places like hospitals to protect people from anti-public health harassment. We need to make targeted harassment of people upholding public health rules in Safety Zones a provincial offence, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000. The proposed legislation would also protect people’s rights to access and patronize businesses free from harassment.
COVID-19 CASES IN SCHOOLS
The Greater Essex County District School Board has said that a student at Queen Victoria Public School and a student at Bellewood Public School have tested positive for COVID-19. Close contacts of both cases have been notified and are following the direction of the local health unit. Up-to-date COVID-19 reports of schools in the public-school board can be found here.
As the first week of school wraps up and we've already seen cases in our local schools, we continue to urge the government to make class sizes smaller, improve ventilation to minimum standards, roll out comprehensive rapid testing to schools province wide, and implement 14 government-funded paid sick days and family days so that parents who need to stay home with a child that has been exposed to COVID-19 can do so without worrying about losing a pay cheque.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the federal advisory body on vaccines, has recommended giving third doses of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to certain immunocompromised individuals with the following symptoms:
- Active treatment for solid tumour or hematologic malignancies.
- Receipt of solid-organ transplant, taking immunosuppressive therapy.
- Receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy).
- Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
- Active treatment with certain immunosuppressive therapies.
You can read more here.
Vaccines remain available at the mass vaccination site located in the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall for residents 12 years of age and older. You can find up-to-date information about where to get vaccinated at www.wevax.ca
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.