The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 46 new COVID-19 cases today, while Toronto reported 175, Peel reported 104, Hamilton reported 89, and Middlesex-London reported 27. Yesterday, our region had 51 cases, and on Tuesday there were 62 cases. Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 18,276 cases and 439 deaths related to COVID-19 in our region. Of the new cases announced today, 16 are from close contact with another confirmed case, nine are considered community spread, four are outbreak related, one is travel related, and 16 are under investigation. There are currently 486 active cases in the community, with 341 of those being variant of concern cases. There are 16 workplace outbreaks, three community outbreaks, and 14 confirmed cases in the hospital, with five of those in the ICU. Locally, a total of 575,997 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 79.4 per cent of individuals over the age of 12 having received their first dose, and 72.4 per cent of individuals over 12 having received both doses. Across the province today there were 865 new cases of COVID-19 reported, with 67 per cent of the cases in unvaccinated people. Yesterday there were 656 cases, and on Tuesday there were 525 cases.
NEW COVID-19 MODELLING
Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Table released new modelling late in the day yesterday that shows more than 85 per cent of the eligible population needs to be vaccinated to avoid another lockdown this fall, and Ontarians need to reduce contact to about 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels until vaccination levels are high enough to protect the population. It is clear that the government must use all of the resources available to break down barriers and urgently vaccinate every eligible Ontarian. With schools about to resume, we must cap class sizes and accelerate the vaccine certificate program rollout. You can read the Science Table’s modelling projections here.
Windsor Regional Hospital are expecting more interest in both vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, due to the announcement yesterday of the provincial vaccine certificate program that is coming into effect on September 22. The mass vaccination centre in the former Sears building at Devonshire Mall, the Ouellette Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre, and the new Paediatric Urgent Medical Assessment (PUMA) Clinic are all open this weekend, including Labour Day. More information on where to get a COVID-19 test or a vaccine is available here.
The local health unit will be hosting a vaccine pop-up clinic tomorrow from 6pm to 9pm at the Sunset Amphitheatre in Seacliff Park, Leamington. No appointment is required.
Additionally, the "Destination Vaccination" WECHU bus will be making the following stops tomorrow:
- Friday, September 3 - Stop 1 at Dieppe Gardens (78 Riverside Drive W, from 11a.m.-7p.m.), Stop 2 at John Atkinson Memorial Centre (4270 Alice Street from 11a.m.-7p.m.), Stop 3 at Forest Glade Arena (3205 Forest Glade Drive from 11a.m.-7p.m.)
RETURN TO SCHOOL PLANS
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board released their finalized plan for the return to school next week. You can find it here.
Similarly, the Greater Essex County District School Board has released their finalized plan which is available here.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities released the Postsecondary Education Health Measures Framework for Fall 2021 with a memo that says effective September 7, physical distancing and capacity limit requirements for indoor instructional spaces will be removed. This comes as students, faculty, and staff at universities and colleges are already getting set to return to classes. The last-minute guidelines should have come months ago and issuing a memo that undermines those guidelines is unconscionable. Students, faculty and staff at Ontario’s colleges and universities should not have to risk contracting COVID-19, or be forced to endure prolonged campus closures, because the government refuses to listen to experts and invest in safety. My caucus colleagues and I are calling on the government to immediately re-instate physical distancing requirements and provide financial investment in capacity limits. We are also calling on the government to work with colleges and universities to provide a range of other safety measures, such as culturally-responsive mental health supports, support for international students, onsite rapid testing, upgraded ventilation systems, and any other COVID-19 safety upgrades needed to keep campuses safe during the fourth wave of this pandemic.
The province announced that the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board will be given an investment to create a childcare addition to St. Theresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary School which will create 73 new childcare spaces. My caucus colleagues and I continue to call on the provincial government to help childcare centres remain afloat and to support parents who help keep our province running. As we continue to reopen the province, we must ensure that childcare centres are safe, that staff are vaccinated, and that we provide paid sick days and family care days so that parents can stay home with their child if they are sick. We continue to call on the government to pass a bill introduced by my colleague, MPP Peggy Sattler, the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, which would establish 14 government-funded paid sick days while the pandemic is ongoing. You can read the government’s announcement here.
Please continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines.