June 2022 Board of Health Meeting - Minutes

Meeting Document Type

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Aldo DiCarlo, Mark Ferrari (4:13 pm), Judy Lund, Robert Maich, Ed Sleiman

Board Member Regrets:

Gary Kaschak

Administration Present:

Nicole Dupuis, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Lorie Gregg, Felicia Lawal, Kristy McBeth, Eric Nadalin, Lee Anne Damphouse

Administration Regrets:              

Dan Sibley

QUORUM: Confirmed


  1. Call to Order
    The Chair, G. McNamara called the Regular meeting to order at 4:05 pm.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.
  3. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  4. Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr. Nesathurai noted that COVID-19 disease activity is lower, but we still need to be cautious as the pandemic is not yet over and we may see a resurgence of the virus in the fall.  There is some increased activity with Influenza, mainly due to the lifting of various public health measures.

      Dr. Nesathurai provided a brief update on Monkeypox, noting that it is part of the Smallpox family.  It was discovered in monkeys in 1958, and the first human case was reported in 1970.  Monkeys are likely not the natural reservoir of the disease, but generally rodents are, although this is up for debate.

      Symptoms of Monkeypox include feeling unwell, a rash, fatigue, headache, fever, chills and muscle aches and the rash can persist for 2-4 weeks. There are medicines that can be obtained for the illness, and if one is exposed to the disease they can be vaccinated against it. Monkeypox can be transmitted from person to person through the rash, by inanimate objects (i.e. sheets, towels) and from sexual and intimate close contact. It can also be transmitted through respiratory particles. Individuals are most infectious when they have lesions.  If you become infected with Monkeypox you will need to self-isolate or quarantine during the infectious period.  If an individual in your home has Monkeypox we monitor them for 3 weeks.  We do not ask them to quarantine, but to be responsible and not engage in unnecessary interaction, and they can attend school and work.

      From a public health risk point of view there are 29 recognized or confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Ontario. Most of the cases are in Toronto, but there are cases in other areas across the province. Most cases are among communities where men are having sex with men, but it is not limited to those communities.  We need to be cautious around stigma but we also need to provide any known public health risks. At this time the risk of Monkeypox to the community is low, we have a vaccine and we have medical treatment. We have a management plan and that will be refined as we know more about Monkeypox.

      T. Bailey noted that there was a Clinician Update posted to the WECHU website on May 26, 2022, and asked if the information shared today be posted to assist in community awareness.  N. Dupuis noted that this is already underway.  The Clinician Update was information provided by the province and we have direction to continually update our website, and prepare it in plain language so the average person can understand the disease, the symptoms and the risks that the public needs to be aware of.

      J. Bachetti asked what messaging can we give to parents for the 12-17 year age group who have not received their COVID booster shot, since there is the concern about a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.  Dr. Nesathurai said with the vaccine comes waning immunity and would encourage individuals to keep up to date with vaccinations. There is also the added pressure on the health system if we see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The emergency rooms are full and there should be messaging that there could be resource and capacity challenges come the fall.

      The question was asked why the COVID vaccine is required more frequently, compared to other vaccines, and also if the vaccine has any affect on the menstrual cycle. Dr. Nesathurai noted that he was not a vaccine expert, but some vaccines give life-long immunity, while others do not.  Like influenza, COVID-19 changes, meaning the vaccine formula also needs to change.  The virus changes, resulting in the vaccine having a time limit.  Moving forward we need to normalize lives to live with COVID through public health measures and regular vaccinations.  

      He also noted that there does not seem to be any completed evidence that COVID -19 vaccines have an effect on the menstrual cycle. N. Dupuis said that this has been reviewed by Public Health Ontario and we can share some of these reports.  So far, evidence does not support that claim.

      Motion: That the information be received.

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  May 19, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-laws (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)
      1. Procurement Policy

        N. Dupuis said that the Procurement Policy is being brought to the board for review. The policy will be brought back with other by-laws for approval.

        L. Gregg walked through the key aspects of the policy.  We have identified that the policy review period will be every two (2) years, or more frequently if appropriate.  Any non-competitive procurement requiring board approval would be reviewed in detail by administration before being brought to the Board for approval.

        Motion: That the information be received.

  7. Consent Agenda
      1. Communications Update (April – May 2022)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      2. Legacy for Children – Prenatal Block Summary and Next Steps (E. Nadalin)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      3. Regional Water Quality Monitoring (K. McBeth)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      4. Consumption and Treatment Service Site (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

        Motion: That the information be received.  

  8. New Business
    1. Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Renewal Policy (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis provided the Board with a brief update on pandemic mental health and wellbeing.  As we move to the renewal phase, mental health was identified as a priority not only externally within the community, but also for our WECHU staff.  The following motion was discussed in Committee of the Whole:

      MOTION: That the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approves two Mental Health days for all employees of the WECHU that may be used for paid time away from work in the 2022 calendar year.

    2. July Board of Heath Meeting Scheduling (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis advised there are various items that need to be brought to the Board for discussion and approval prior to the scheduled July 21, 2022 Board of Health meeting. N. Dupuis requests that the July Board of Health meeting be rescheduled to an earlier date to address various issues in a timely manner.

      MOTION: That the July 21, 2022 Board of Health meeting be rescheduled to an earlier date, preferably Thursday, July 14, 2022, on the basis that quorum can be reached.    

  9. Correspondence – None
  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 4:45 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:05 pm
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, July 14, 2022, or as determined by quorum – Via Video
  12. Adjournment
    Motion:  That the meeting be adjourned.   




    The meeting adjourned at 5:20 pm.



APPROVED BY: The Board of Health - July 14, 2022