The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has announced five new cases of COVID-19 today, with three being the result of community spread and two cases are the result of close contact with someone with the virus. There are now 2,561 confirmed cases in our region, with 2,407 cases resolved, and 75 deaths.
There has been an increasing number of teachers seeking medical exemption from work according to the organizations representing family physicians and teaching staff. You can read the full article here.
Our Caucus released a statement after five Ottawa schools reported at least one case of COVID-19. During the first days back at school, COVID-19 found its way into the hallways of five different school buildings. The provincial government needs to see this as a wake up call. It needs to create smaller, safer classes so any case that gets into a school doesn’t spread like wildfire. We need to hire and train more teachers, line up more temporary classroom spaces, and hire more education workers, including custodians to disinfect schools constantly, and bus drivers to keep kid sin smaller bussing groups.
More than 500 workers in the agri-farm sector have tested positive for COVID-19 and the province had stepped in with an emergency response after the urging of municipalities. Now, the City of Windsor is being asked to assume responsibility for operating the COVID-19 isolation and recovery centre for these workers and combine it with their existing centre targeting the city’s vulnerable population groups. You can read the full article here.
My office continues to hear lots of complaints about the level of service available at Service Ontario locations in our region. We continue to bring these concerns to the attention of the Ministry on a daily basis but have not received any response from them.
Unifor is asking the province to allow Caesars Windsor to reopen. Their plan, which needs to be approved by the provincial government, involves splitting the building into 12 separate pods, each with a 50-person cap.
Our Caucus has issued a statement following the publication of a new Ontario Chamber of Commerce report on the need to address the disproportionate economic impact of COVID-19 on women. The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on women who have lost the majority of jobs, and many women have been unable to get back into the workforce or get their businesses back on track. The she-cession has affected Black, Indigenous, racialized and disabled women most severely, as they work disproportionately on the frontlines in health care and service jobs and are at the most risk of contact with the virus. The provincial government must acknowledge that we are in a she-cession and create an action plan to support women’s economic recovery. We need to build an inclusive economic recovery that includes everyone and recognizes the devastating impact of the pandemic on women. That means investing to ensure schools are safe so parents can return to work, direct relief for small businesses, and supporting workers in sectors that will be unable to recover for months to come.
Please continue to wear a face mask or covering when in public, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often.