The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has announced three new cases of COVID-19 today. Of the cases announced, one is the result of close contact with someone with the virus, one is in a retirement home and one is still under investigation. Our region now has 2,364 confirmed cases, 2,467 resolved cases and 76 deaths.
The Greater Essex District School Board is reporting its second confirmed case of COVID-19 which is connected with Public Alternative Secondary School – Mason Centre on Cameron Ave. According to the board, the individual did not enter the building and there are no close contacts within the school. Our Caucus continues to call on the government to make the necessary investments to keep students safe. We need smaller class sizes, which means hiring more teachers and finding additional classrooms. More buses so they can operate at 50% capacity to ensure social distancing is in place. And upgrades to our schools for infection control for things like touchless faucets and better ventilation.
Today our Caucus asked the provincial government why they are forcing families to pay $400 for a COVID-19 test that should be free and that undermines public medicare. Private for-profit testing is gouging families, and letting those with deep pockets jump the queue. Instead, the Government has allowed testing to fall short of targets, and lines to stretch for hours.
Ontario is in desperate need of action to cope with the second wave of COVID-19 infections. The provincial government has failed to announce any changes to make people safer. Ontario’s daily case count rose to 478 cases Tuesday. 141 cases have been reported so far in Ontario’s schools, and 29 long-term care homes are now experiencing outbreaks. There’s so much more that could be done to make people better off right now. We should be hiring thousands of long-term care staff and putting much stronger infection controls in place, lowering class sizes to no more than 15 and capping school bus capacity, opening more public health testing sites, and putting more PPE in the hands of every frontline worker. We should be making people safer in congregate care, bolstering hospital capacity and devising a system to keep scheduled surgeries going if infections continue to grow. And we should be giving workers the financial stability they’re going to need to get through the second wave. Instead, today the government announced a vague promotion of flu vaccinations and completely ignored concerns raised by pediatricians Monday that regular flu vaccination clinics in doctor’s offices won’t happen this fall because of physical distancing, and didn’t offer alternative plans to get millions of people vaccinated.
Caesars Windsor has announced that they will reopen on October 8, pending the required approvals. The casino reopening will be limited to slot machines only and a maximum of 50 guests as per provincial indoor gathering guidelines. Due to this restricted capacity, only invited Caesars Rewards members will have access to the casino until restrictions are expanded. Those members will be notified by email and will be required to make a reservation in advance.
The Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore has announced that they are opening a second rink and plans to get the third up and running in the next few weeks. The facility will be open on the weekend of September 26 and 27 for the first time since mid-March. Parents will have access to the rink as well with on parent per child under the age of 18 and all visitors must wear a mask and adhere to all COVID-19 protocols. More information is available here.
Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, and wash your hands often.