The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 today in our region, while Toronto reported 141, Peel reported 61, Hamilton reported 26, and Middlesex-London reported 20. Yesterday our region had 45 cases, and on Monday there were 48 cases. There are now 429 active cases in the community with 231 of those being variants of concern cases. The total number of cases is 19,114 with 448 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases reported today, 14 are from close contact with another confirmed case, 14 are considered community spread, one is travel related, and 15 are under investigation. There are 18 workplace outbreaks, two community outbreaks, one outbreak at a long-term care home, and 16 confirmed cases in hospital, with five in the ICU. Locally, a total of 591,018 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 81.4 per cent of residents over the age of 12 having received one dose, and 74.4 per cent of residents over the age of 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 593 cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were 577 cases, and on Monday there were 600 cases.
ADVOCATING FOR COVID-19 SUPPORTS
The Financial Accountability Office released a new report today showing that the provincial government withheld critical funding in health care, children and social services, and post-secondary education in the first quarter of 2021. The government underdelivered by a total of $2.6 billion in the first quarter, withholding $1 billion in funding for health care, $531 million in funding for children and social services, and $33 million from post-secondary education. This is in addition to the $2.7 billion in COVID-19 money allocated from the federal government to help fight COVID-19 that the provincial government hasn’t touched. Our hospitals continue to be overwhelmed and in dire need of government support, not only for the ongoing flood of COVID-19 patients filling our ICUs, but the huge backlog of procedures delayed by COVID and the massive understaffing of critical care providers like nurses. Children and youth, especially those who are particularly vulnerable, like kids with autism, have been hit hard by the pandemic, and our colleges and universities need support from the government to keep their doors open and help young people recover from a horrible year — academically and emotionally. It is irresponsible for the government to withhold COVID-fighting money, promised health care dollars, social services funding, and funding to colleges and universities in the midst of a pandemic.
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
St. Clair College has reported seven COVID-19 cases to the local health unit, and 117 letters have gone out asking students to monitor for symptoms. None of the cases has resulted in any outbreaks on campus. You can read more here.
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board announced that a class was dismissed today at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School, and the Greater Essex County District School Board announced a positive case at Lakeshore Discovery. There are now 10 schools with the public-school board and 11 schools with the Catholic board dealing with COVID-19 cases. Parents are reminded to monitor their children for symptoms each morning and keep them home if they are sick.
To find up-to-date information from the public-school board about COVID-19 cases, see here.
To find up-to-date information from the Catholic school board about COVID-19 cases, see here.
The Paediatric Urgent Medical Assessment (PUMA) Clinic, operated by Windsor Regional Hospital at the former COVID-19 assessment centre at the Met Campus, says they are looking to add more staff due to high demand. The Chief Nursing Executive at WRH would like to remind residents that the clinic is by appointment only, and other options are available in the community, such as MedLabs, if you are having trouble booking an appointment, especially if It is for testing directed by the local health unit. The PUMA Clinic is open from 12pm to 8pm every day. To book an appointment, you can call 519-973-4443 or visit their website here.
My caucus colleagues and I are calling on the provincial government to implement a new last mile strategy to surpass the 90 per cent vaccination goal. The number of Ontarians getting vaccinated has barely gone up since August 31. We need vaccine certificates to apply to all non-essential businesses and activities, not a list of exemptions and contradictions. We need Safety Zone legislation to protect hospital and small businesses employees and patrons from harassment. We need mandatory vaccines in health care and education. We need these measures now to help protect the progress we’ve made, and to finally put COVID-19 behind us.
The local health unit will be operating a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Sunset Amphitheatre at Seacliff Park in Leamington on Saturday September 18 from 6pm to 9pm. Vaccines are available daily from 8am to 3:30pm at the former Sears store in Devonshire mall for anyone who is looking for their first or second dose. No appointment needed. For more information, visit www.wevax.ca
BEACH WATER ADVISORY
The local health unit is recommending that residents avoid swimming at Belle River Beach, Mettawas Beach, Cedar Beach, Colchester Beach, and Holiday Beach due to high levels of bacteria in the water. You can find more information here.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.