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Meeting Document Type: 

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Tracey Bailey, Joe Bachetti, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Gary Kaschak, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively 

Board Member Regrets:

Judy Lund

Administration Present:

Theresa Marentette, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Lorie Gregg, Nicole Dupuis, Dr. Felicia Lawal, Kristy McBeth, Dan Sibley, Lee Anne Damphouse

QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval

    Moved by:  Larry Snively
    Seconded by:  Rino Bortolin
    That the agenda be approved.

  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Update (Dr. Ahmed)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr.  Ahmed noted the increase of COVID-19 cases across the province with approximately 4,700 reported in Ontario today. Windsor-Essex has seen an increase with 93 cases reported today and the Variants of Concern (VOC) pose an even bigger threat.  

      We are still seeing increases amongst school-aged children but it seems to be stabilizing.  We are hoping numbers will decrease over the next few weeks with the provincial mandated school closures. The majority of cases in children are through their family and household contacts and not from attending school. 

      Cases have decreased in the senior population due to the vaccine, with a shift to the younger population in the 0-19 and 20-29 year age groups. Household contacts and community transmission are the significant drivers, with more VOC being reported every day. 

      The province is seeing a sharp increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.  We are monitoring our ICU cases, but Windsor-Essex is not seeing the same trend as the province.  With the VOC contributing up to 30-50% of cases, this could lead to more hospitalization.  

      The case fatality rate is 1.9% across the province. Windsor-Essex’s case fatality rate is 2.8%, with the majority of fatalities coming from the community.  Our LTCH/RH fatality rate is lower than the provincial average.  R. Bortolin asked if there is any data showing if the vaccine is effective to the VOCs.  Dr. Ahmed said that PHO is analyzing that data at the provincial level and he can share that when received. 

      Our region has administered 124,578 doses of vaccine, with 112,027 residents receiving at least one dose.  The province has noted various hot spots in our region, some requiring more attention, i.e. the downtown Windsor core and the west area of Windsor where we would like to offer more opportunities to receive the vaccine. 

      J. Bachetti asked about the 80+ group of individuals who cannot leave their homes. What plans are in place to help vaccinate them. Dr. Ahmed said that adults in chronic home care who are registered with the LHIN will be vaccinated.  For others who are not, we are hoping to have primary care providers come onboard to help vaccinate these individuals. T. Marentette said  starting Monday there will be two teams that will assist with vaccinating between 100-300 home bound individuals, starting in hot spots, that are registered with the LHIN.  

      Dr. Ahmed advised that our current allotment of the Pfizer vaccine is 10,500 doses a week until at least mid-May, with 2,000 of Moderna earmarked for other priorities.  We have also received a large shipment of AstraZeneca which will flow through the pharmacy channels.
      R. Bortolin asked about individuals outside of Windsor-Essex booking vaccinations in our region, and is there a way to divert that.  Dr. Ahmed said that under the provincial booking system people can book anywhere across Ontario and there is nothing we can do to avoid that. There is also nothing stopping individuals from Windsor-Essex booking elsewhere across the province. 

      E. Sleiman asked if doses of the vaccine can be mixed, i.e. if you receive the AstraZeneca can you receive the Pfizer as the second dose.  Also, some of his constituents have been asking him about their second dose appointments.  Dr. Ahmed said there has been no recommendations yet around mixing doses.  T. Marentette said that second doses will begin the end of June, and we are working on a system internally to accommodate for this.

      Moved by:    Ed Sleiman
      Seconded by:  Rino Bortolin
      That the information be received.

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  March 18, 2021
    2. Special Board Meeting:  Board Elections:  April 1, 2021

      Moved by:  Joe Bachetti
      Seconded by:  Larry Snively
      That the minutes be approved.

  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Consent Agenda
  8. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report (T. Marentette)

      T. Marentette said that the WECHU is seeing consistent challenges as we continue to operate under a pandemic.  Many of our staff remain redeployed to Case and Contact Management, Vaccine Clinics and Outbreak. 

      Moved by:  Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by:  Larry Snively 
      That the above information be received.

  9. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Town of Kingsville – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford – Resolution – Health and Safety of our Communities 
      G. McNamara said what the Town of Kingsville is looking for around inspections is related to fire and building code safety, and is beyond the scope of the health unit.  

      T. Marentette explained the health unit’s process around migrant housing.  When Temporary Foreign Workers arrive on the farm premises, our WECHU Public Health Inspectors (PHI) inspect the bunkhouses in those congregate settings. Most of them are located in the vicinity of Leamington and Kingsville.  Our PHIs inspect and approve congregate settings based on public health requirements, but they may not pass building and fire regulations.  They have their own guidelines that must be followed.

      About a year ago, we collaborated with the municipalities and agreed to align our inspections if possible, but that does not always happen due to resources and/or scheduling.  If we conduct our inspection prior to fire or building inspections, we provide our report to the municipality.  We did speak to the CAO in Kingsville and were advised at that time that there were no issues.  

      R. Bortolin noted that even from a restaurant perspective they need various inspections, but they generally do not happen at the same time.  G. McNamara agreed that scheduling all inspections at the same time would be a daunting task, especially with seven municipalities in our region.
      Moved by:  Rino Bortolin 
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the information be received.

    2. Town of Essex – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford, the Hon. Christine Elliott, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Theresa Marentette – Letter in Support of Small Business
      Moved by:   Rino Bortolin 
      Seconded by:  Tracey Bailey
      That the information be received. 

  10. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)

    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:52pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:40 pm

  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or May 20, 2021 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment

    Moved by:  Rino Bortolin
    Seconded by:  Ed Sleiman
    That the meeting be adjourned.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:45 pm.