The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today, with three from close contact to someone who has the virus, one being travel related from outside North America, and one still under investigation. Our region now has a total of 2,556 confirmed cases, 2,398 resolved cases, and 75 deaths.
Students heading back to school this week are likely facing a mix of emotions; excitement at getting to see friends and teachers after a long time apart, and a tremendous amount of anxiety about the risk of COVID-19 and new restrictions and safety protocols. COVID-19 infections are on the rise again in Ontario, and most children are being sent into a school and a classroom where they can’t possibly physically distance. Yet the legitimate concerns of parents, teachers, education workers and kids are being brushed off by the provincial government instead of creating smaller, safer classes.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has said that if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at area schools, the community will know and the school boards will be the ones who will notify the public. Our Caucus has called on the provincial government to commit to posting a list online of all schools with COVID-19 cases, while maintaining the privacy of students and staff.
Today’s announcement by the provincial government of a ‘pause’ on re-opening due to spiking cases of COVID-19 is more talk than action. Public health and medical experts have described concrete steps the provincial government can take to make sure Stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening is successful, by curbing the climb in daily COVID-19 case numbers.
We should be making classrooms smaller and safer, and getting more school buses rolling to avoid crowding.
We should be moving more testing units onto agri-business operations in Essex, and into hotspot communities, including Northwest Toronto and Brampton.
And we should be creating a Safe Restart Fund so that small and medium-sized business can buy PPE, install plexiglass barriers and get other supplies or make modifications they need to keep their staff and customers safe — something our Caucus has been urging for months now.
Doing nothing further is not as good as taking action to stop the spread.
The City of Windsor Public Works Office reopened today. Parking services including: payments, inquiries and disputes are handled at the office at 1266 McDougall St. Residential permits and parking lot fees are also dealt with at this location. Online, document pick-up and drop box options will be maintained to help minimize the number of in-person visits. The office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Leamington has resumed some in-person services today as well. Business, marriage, lottery and liquor licencing will be available along with civil marriage ceremonies. In-person services are available by appointment only and residents will also be asked pre-screening questions and are expected to wear a mask in the facility at all times. Appointments can be made by phone at 519-326-5761 during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Please continue to practice social distancing whenever possible, always wear your mask or face covering in public, and wash your hands often.