The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has announced four new cases of COVID-19. All four of the cases are the result of close contact from someone with the virus. Our region now has a total of 2,594 confirmed cases, 2,427 resolved cases and 76 deaths. Provincially, the number of cases continues the recent spike we have seen over the last 3 days. Today, Ontario had a total of 313 cases, the highest since June.
As classes resume, and my colleagues and I have returned to the Ontario Legislature, our caucus is calling for the provincial government to cap school busses at 50 per cent capacity, better protecting students and drivers and preventing the spread of COVID-19. The government’s scheme for education includes putting as many as 70 students on a bus together, packed in like sardines and without the ability to physically distance from each other. The 50 per cent cap on bus capacity, we are calling for means hiring bus drivers. In our region, we have seen 10 bus driver submit their resignations since last week. We need to take action to make sure our kids are safe. That means smaller, safer classrooms, smaller bus cohorts, schools with better ventilation and modern facilities like touchless faucets, and it means hiring the teachers, bus drivers, custodians, education assistants and other education workers to make it all happen.
Our Caucus is calling on the government to open more COVID-19 testing sites right away as more than two million students and staff head back to school, and line ups at some testing centres grow out of control. To date, 13 schools and 56 child care centres have already had COVID-19 cases. We have also called for in-home testing for people with disabilities, when getting to a testing centre or waiting in a line is a barrier.
The Ontario government announced they will be investing $175 million this year to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects. You can read the full statement here.
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Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a face mask or face covering when in public, and wash your hands often.