The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 50 new COVID-19 cases and the loss of one member of the community. Toronto reported 93 cases today, Peel had 41 cases, Hamilton had 27 cases, and Middlesex-London had 21 cases. Yesterday, our region reported 39 cases, and on Monday there were 27 cases. Of the new cases announced today 22 are from close contact with another confirmed case, eight are considered community spread, two are travel related, and 18 are under investigation. There are currently 347 active cases in the community, with 212 of those being variants of concern cases, bringing the total number of cases to 19,408 and 451 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are 13 workplace outbreaks, five school outbreaks, one community outbreak, and one outbreak in a long-term care home. There are 22 confirmed cases in the hospital, with nine of those in the ICU. There have been 601,509 doses of the vaccine administered locally, with 82.1 per cent of individuals over 12 having received one dose, and 75.5 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses.
My caucus colleagues and I are calling for the vaccine certificate program, which went into effect today, to be improved in order to protect people, and Ontario’s progress in the fight against COVID-19. The version of the program implemented by the government is full of loopholes, and unvaccinated people can still be in places that require a vaccine certificate – to make a purchase, or to work a shift. On top of that, the government is not requiring vaccines for places like malls and non-essential retail. Plus, people could be subjected to ongoing harassment and intimidation over the use of certificates because the government has not agreed to implement Safety Zone legislation, which would ban anti-public health protests from areas around businesses, hospitals, and clinics. The government has also not given local businesses more resources to help them check vaccine certificates, or a robust plan for enforcement. We need Safety Zone legislation to help protect people’s right to access and patronize a business free from harassment, protect the progress we’ve made as a province, and to make targeted harassment of people and businesses a provincial offence, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is hosting a pop-up vaccine clinic at 33 Princess Street in Leamington on September 23rd and 24th from 12:00PM-7:00PM. Health cards are not required, and no appointment is needed.
Windsor Regional Hospital Is reporting that 96 per cent of their employees are fully vaccinated or have complied with the hospital’s policy requiring staff to be vaccinated or provide a valid medical exemption. There are 140, or just under 4 per cent, of employees who have not complied and have been suspended without pay for two weeks. You can read more here.
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
The local health unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in one St. Clair College program, affecting two different semesters. You can read more here.
The Greater Essex County District School Board is reporting more COVID-19 cases in their schools, as three student cases were identified at Tecumseh Vista Elementary, Ford City Public School, and Kingsville Public School yesterday. Today, a student at LaSalle Public School tested positive for COVID-19. The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board reported two cases at Assumption College Catholic High School and one case at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School. And the French Catholic School Board identified one case at Saint-Michel Catholic Elementary in Leamington. Close contacts have been notified and are following the direction of the local health unit. Parents are being reminded to continue to monitor their kids each morning for symptoms and to keep them home if they are sick.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in the Catholic school board, see here: https://www.wecdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/outbreaks
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in the public school board, see here: https://www.publicboard.ca/News/COVID-19Report/Pages/default.aspx#/=
The health unit has updated their list of COVID-19 outbreaks in the region. You can find that information here.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.