June 2021 Board of Health Meeting

Meeting Documents

Meeting held via video.

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Update (W. Ahmed)
    1. COVID-19 Update
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  May 20, 2021
  6. Business Arising
  7. Consent Agenda
      1. Temporary Foreign Workers COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy (N. Dupuis)
      2. COVID-19 COVID-19 Case and Contact Management (F. Lawal)

      3. Recruitment through the COVID-19 Pandemic (D. Sibley)
      4. COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Windsor-Essex (K. McBeth)

      5. May Communications Recap

      1. Consumption and Treatment Services Site Identification and Consultation (T. Marentette)

      2. CEO Transition (T. Marentette)

  8. New Business
  9. Correspondence
    1. The Town of Amherstburg – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario – COVID-19 Shutdown, Support for Small Business – In support of the Town of Essex’s Resolution dated April 14, 2021 regarding same
    2. The Corporation of the County of Essex – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario – Request for Discretionary Regional Reopening Strategy
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair July 15, 2021 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment


June 2021


COVID-19 Case and Contact Management


COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with the respiratory droplets of someone who is infected with the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.  On December 31, 2019, health authorities identified this novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through a series of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. On March 20, 2020, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU).

The WECHU activated its Incident Management System (IMS) which resulted in a graduated redeployment of various staff at all levels to strategize and prioritize the COVID-19 response in our community. This model evolved over time to include a comprehensive COVID Response Team of managers, case Investigators, call centre staff, epidemiology, public health inspectors, school nurses, vaccine staff, IT and administrative assistants. In addition to these internal reassignments, Case Investigators and Contact Tracers were deployed from the centralized team of the Provincial Workforce to support these efforts.

To date, Windsor and Essex County has 16,572 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 427 deaths. With the introduction of Variants of Concern (VOCs), 1,798 preliminary of confirmed VOCs cases have been identified in this region. With the VOCs currently driving the third wave of the pandemic, youth and young adults have become increasingly more likely to become infected, or hospitalised from COVID-19.


Based on the extent of cases and outbreaks experienced in Windsor-Essex County, the WECHU continues at the level where re-deployment of staff is required, and case and contact management of COVID-19 remains a priority.

Case and contact management involves interviewing and isolating all suspected and confirmed cases of covid-19 infection, and their contacts, in a timely manner. Objectives are aimed at; identifying and notifying cases and contacts of their exposure, providing education on Covid-19 transmission, offering community supports, and providing symptom monitoring. Furthermore, Case Investigators perform a risk assessment to determine how the case may have acquired the infection and to whom the case may have potentially transmitted the infection. Information is collected on all high-risk contacts connected to the case, while considering exposure settings and the nature and duration of the case’s interaction with the contact. The Contact Tracer communicates testing guidance and verifies compliance with self-isolation. As per Ministry standards, cases should be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of a positive lab result and contacts of cases are to be reached within 24-48 hours of notification to WECHU. Presently, WECHU is reaching 85-93% of cases and contacts within 24 hours, on any given week.

Our region’s experience with Covid-19 has been unique for many reasons, one being our close proximity to the United States, with a large number of essential health-care workers commuting between Ontario and Michigan on a daily basis, and posing a risk for new infection. Another being the number of outbreaks we have experienced within the Agri-Farm sector and other congregate living settings. WECHU’s high-risk priority populations continue to include those affiliated with school cohorts, workplaces with shared workspaces, acute care hospitals, long term care, rest/retirement homes, and those individuals living in congregate living settings; local shelters, correctional facilities, assisted-living facilities, and bunkhouse living situations.

Ongoing collaboration with our healthcare and community partners has been integral in the overall strategy to reduce the spread of infection in WEC. This involves liaising with Infection Control Practitioners in our local hospitals, physicians across the region, laboratories, workplace owners (including farm operators), and our municipal partners in both the City and County. Partnerships with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) Hotel and the Interim Isolation and Recovery (IRC) Hotel, have worked to eliminate isolation barriers for temporary foreign workers and other vulnerable individuals in the community, such as those without a fixed address. Furthermore, WECHU has supported, in collaboration with community partners such as the Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Service and the Erie Shores Healthcare Team, onsite monitoring and testing of Agri-Farm workers isolating at the CRC hotel.

Local surveillance testing continues as the WECHU works with assessment centres throughout the region to detect active cases of Covid-19. WECHU have aided in surveillance testing by deploying nursing staff as needed to congregate living settings, mobile drive through clinics, and to a lesser extent individual client homes.

As with other locations in the province, the WECHU has been responsible for overseeing cases within our jurisdiction who are a result of recent travel from overseas and are undergoing mandatory isolation under federal quarantine. Travel has been identified as a risk factor in the transmission of Covid-19 Variants of Concern (VOC) to our community. VOC’s appear to be more contagious and spread quicker.  As such, isolating cases of VOC’s immediately is of great importance. As the pandemic is progressing, isolation compliance is becoming more challenging, with some cases and contacts refusing to participate in isolation efforts. The staff of the WECHU continues to work closely with local enforcement authorities to ensure proper isolation requirements are followed including issuing orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Vaccination is a key public health measure in reducing the rate of infection in our community. The WECHU continues to work with municipal and hospital partners to provide access to COVID vaccines through mass vaccination clinics across the region. This has involved the hiring of new staff and redeployment of WECHU nursing staff from Case Management to aid in vaccination efforts, with the orienting of additional team members to Case Management on a semi-regular basis.

The Case and Contact Management System (CCM) is a core database for COVID-19 case and contact management developed by the Ministry specifically for use during this pandemic. The CCM database allows for timely reporting of cases, as well as provides a means for WECHU to establish links between cases, their contacts and potential outbreaks. WECHU strives to educate and train its staff in utilizing this new and evolving system by creating ongoing educational material, such as live training sessions and orientation documents including pre-recorded training videos and corresponding tip sheets on individual CCM topics. As Covid-19 infection continues to pivot, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit will continue to keep up-to-date with ministry guidance, thereby making every effort to continue to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.


June 2021


COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Windsor and Essex County


The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) was mandated to lead the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Windsor-Essex County (WEC). The projected population of eligible individuals for vaccination in WEC in 2021 is 438,001. In order to achieve a 75% threshold coverage rate, approximately 328,501 individuals must be immunized. Based on the two-dose vaccine requirement to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series, this equates to 657,002 doses that will need to be administered. In January of 2021, the WECHU developed a three-stage plan to support the provincial rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in our community.

In April 2021, the provincial government identified seven postal codes in WEC as COVID-19 "hot spots" that were prioritized for phase 2 of Ontario's Vaccine Distribution Plan. Hot spots are categorized as having historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and transmission of the COVID-19 disease. 

In WEC, the identified areas include: 

  • N8X – South Central Windsor
  • N8Y – Walkerville and East Windsor area
  • N9A – Downtown Windsor
  • N9B – Sandwich Towne and University of Windsor area 
  • N9C – Sandwich Towne
  • N8H – Leamington area
  • N9Y – Kingsville area

As of June 4, 2021, 253,255 (71.7%) WEC adults 18 years or older received at least 1 dose of a vaccine.


Mass Immunization Clinics

In order to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to a larger proportion of individuals quickly there are 6 mass vaccination clinics supported full time across WEC, three of which are located in “hot spot” postal code areas. These sites are being supported by our municipal partners in both the City and County. In addition, Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) continues to operate 2 sites. Daily client volumes range between 400 – 1000 and collectively 202,922 individuals have been immunized at one of the 6 clinics (184,767 with first doses, 18,155 with second doses). The mass immunization clinic model was the primary method to support the vaccination of approximately 6,000 temporary foreign workers (TFW) in April and early May and is currently the primary support for youth vaccinations (12-17 years old).

Pop Up Clinics

Pop up vaccination clinics are defined as clinics in the community that target a specific location with the objective of reducing barriers to access, with a time limited operational period. The WECHU has supported 9 single day pop up clinics in various WEC locations targeting specific hot spot communities and high risk populations, youth, and the urban Indigenous community. Pop up clinics have ranged between 400 and 800 individuals in a single day.

Mobile Strategy – Mobile Teams and Delivery

Mobile teams and delivery strategies operate with the objective of reaching a specific targeted priority population, usually in one day, with lists of individuals identified beforehand. WECHU staff, and partner groups including the CRST team, travel to pre-existing sites (some without pre-existing infrastructure) to provide vaccine to designated target populations. The WECHU began leading the first mobile strategy on January 1, 2021 targeting Long Term Care Homes (19) followed by registered Retirement Homes (24). All of these facilities have received both first and second doses for the majority of interested/eligible staff and residents. Maintenance plans to vaccinate new residents and staff on an ongoing basis are being implemented.

Additional mobile strategies have supported 24 locations, primarily high-risk congregate living facilities including:

  • The Southwest Detention Centre
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Private retirement homes
  • Lodging and boarding homes
  • Supportive housing for at risk populations
  • Community Living Windsor and Community Living Essex County locations

In addition, with coordination support from Home and Community Care Services, the WECHU has provided direct immunization support to approximately 200 registered homebound individuals. The WECHU has also provided support for non-registered homebound individuals through collaborations with primary care and the provision of direct client service (as required).

Pharmacy Rollout

WEC was designated as a pilot site for the vaccine rollout of AstraZeneca and 47 pharmacies have collectively administered over 37 000 doses to WEC residents over the age of 40 years.

Currently, 65 pharmacies are providing Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines (first doses and second doses) throughout Windsor and Essex County (WEC); as well, 30 pharmacies are providing AstraZeneca 2nd doses throughout WEC. Local pharmacies are actively recruiting and vaccinating individuals aged 12 and older (for those with Pfizer-BioNTech allocations). For those with Moderna allocations, they are actively recruiting and vaccinating individuals 18 years and older. Pharmacies providing Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are also providing second doses to those 70 years of age or older.

Pharmacies who participated in the early pilot project began administering second doses of AstraZeneca to individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine between March 10th and March 19th. As of June 3, 2021, 5,369 second doses of AstraZeneca have been administered to eligible individuals. The Ministry of Health will be providing 19,300 additional AstraZeneca doses to WEC pharmacies over the coming weeks.  

Health Care Provider Rollout

Starting as an early adopter of the health care provider rollout model, the WECHU engaged 8 primary care partners and locations in a pilot project using the Moderna vaccine in March/April. The pilot project involved strategic partnerships with local Family Health Teams, the Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre (multiple locations), and Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics in WEC.

In addition to the pilot project participants, the WECHU has on-boarded 46 physicians’ offices to administer both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines (based on available supply) to rostered patients in their offices and/or to the general public through physician-led clinics. As of June 2, 2021, 14,611 vaccinations had occurred through a physician-led office or clinic – this represents the 6th highest amount in the Province of Ontario. The WECHU continues to onboard new health care providers to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on a weekly basis.


June 2021


Recruitment through the COVID-19 Pandemic


This report will outline recruitment for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit throughout the ever-changing COVID-19 Pandemic. The needs of the community required additional staff across the entire Windsor-Essex County Health Unit organization.


The below information will provide a snapshot of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s staffing numbers in March 2020 and current day information.

As the WECHU moved through the pandemic, there has been increased staffing throughout Non-Union and Management, CUPE and ONA positions.

WECHU has recruited approximately 118 new WECHU staff members between the time periods of March 1, 2020 to June 1, 2021. In addition to this group of individuals WECHU has also organized over 100 volunteer staff members (paid and non-paid positions) to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Furthermore WECHU’s recruitment efforts have been supported by the Ministry of Health who hired a consultant, Ian Martin, to bring on over 40 Case Managers and Case and Contact tracing staff to assist with the large volume of COVID-19 cases in the Windsor-Essex area. WECHU has also hired a number of independent consultants to assist with the vaccine clinics. In addition, the WECHU received external assistance from other health units in Summer 2020 due to decreased capacity and increased cases. 

At the end of February 2020, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit had approximately 230 total staff members in the organization. As of June 1, 2021, there are approximately 320 total staff members representing an increase of 39.13%. At this time, ongoing recruitment continues which will increase the total overall number of WECHU staff.  

  • Non-Union/Management group had approximately 40 staff at the beginning of March 2020 and saw an increase of 47.5% in staffing by June 1, 2021 with a total of 59 permanent and contract employees.
  • CUPE group had approximately 123 staff at the beginning of March 2020 and saw an increase of 15.45% in staffing by June 1, 2021 with a total of 142 permanent and contract CUPE members.
  • ONA group had approximately 82 staff at the beginning of March 2020 and saw an increase of 48.78% in staffing by June 1, 2021 with a total of 122 permanent and contract ONA members. WECHU continues to onboard a number of new graduate nurses which will add to this overall total of contract ONA members.

Overall, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic has been greatly increased due to community needs. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has been able to support the community with the increase of staff amongst case and contact management, COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, and the reopening of schools throughout the year. The staff of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit have been able to adapt and pivot into new programs and services throughout the last 15 months in order to ensure that the residents of Windsor-Essex were able to access the education and resources required throughout the pandemic. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has strived to continue other programs that provide resources and services to the community outside of COVID-19.


June 2021


Temporary Foreign Workers COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy


The agri-food sector in Windsor and Essex County has been impacted greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The congregate living arrangements that exist for many Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs), similar to other congregate settings, create challenges for adhering to public health recommendations such as physical distancing and increase the risk for spread of COVID-19.  There are estimated to be between 8,000 -10,000 TFWs working and living in Windsor-Essex, majority in the Leamington and Kingsville area. There are approximately 255 farms operating in Windsor and Essex County with well over 1500 accommodations that are inspected annually by the health unit.  In 2020, there were nearly 50 COVID-19 outbreaks in agriculture settings.

In April 2021, the Ministry of Health released their Phase 2 guidance document for the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination. Within the phase 2 guidance document, high risk congregate living settings were identified as a priority for vaccination including employer-provided living accommodations for temporary foreign agricultural workers.  

Current Initiatives

Between April 18 and May 6th, 2021, vaccine appointments were reserved for TFWs at the Nature Fresh Recreation Centre vaccination clinic in Leamington. During the 13 days of targeted clinics, 4,768 workers were scheduled for their first dose vaccination across 132 area farms.  As well the WECHU hosted two pop-up clinics the evening of May 20th and 21st in downtown Leamington providing additional opportunities to both documented and undocumented workers to be vaccinated. To date over 5200 temporary foreign workers in the region have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. To achieve this the WECHU worked closely with partners at the Municipality of Leamington and partners of the Workplace Wellness for Agri-Food Workers Task Force to develop a comprehensive outreach and communication plan.  

Health Promotion Resources and outreach:

In order to promote COVID-19 vaccination, educate workplaces and workers and register temporary foreign workers for vaccination multiple health promotion strategies were used. The WECHU sent out an information memo to all farms via MailChimp that included vaccination information for employees and a link to a dedicated vaccine information page for temporary foreign workers (https://www.wechu.org/cv/covid-19-vaccine-information-temporary-foreign-workers). The website includes resources for workers developed by partnering organizations, Health Canada, the Ministry of Health and the WECHU and covers common vaccine concerns, myths and facts, accessibility, after care and frequently asked questions. Resources are available in multiple languages for viewing both in print and video. Resources were shared through the HUB Connect App, WhatsApp Groups, and social media. Health education videos in multiple languages were also shared and displayed at the vaccination site through TV monitors on site.

For mobile clinics the WECHU worked with key partners from the Workplace Wellness for Agri-Food Workers Task Force to identify outreach strategies, locations and timing of mobile clinics. Mobile clinics were supported on site with WECHU staff, staff from Essex-Windsor EMS and Erie Shores Health Care and staff and volunteers from the Migrant Worker Community Program.

Registration and Clinic logistics:

The WECHU created a dedicated pre-registration pathway for all farms with temporary foreign workers as well as a dedicated email for questions and inquiries. Farm operators were asked to identify the number of workers that were interested in receiving their vaccination, as well as provide information on mode of transportation to the site, cohorts and languages spoken by workers. The WECHU booked farms in blocks of time to ensure workers remained in their appropriate cohort.

Before vaccination day for each farm, the WECHU met with each farm operator to go over logistics for the day, including ensuring all workers had appropriate ID, completed consent (in their preferred language), FAQ documents and transportation arrangements.

On-site the WECHU utilized WE Speak centralized interpretation services to support on demand video interpretation at registration tables and within the vaccination clinic. Additionally the WECHU had support from local partners for in-person interpretation to ensure that individuals received care that was accessible and culturally appropriate. 

Farm Experience Evaluation

In order to better understand the effectiveness of this strategy, a feedback evaluation survey was sent to all farms at the end of the 3-week blitz.  There were 57 completed surveys, and the findings are as follows:

  • Vaccination Registration Process:
    • 80% received the initial registration email in a timely manner
    • 70% Agreed that the WECHU provided them with the resources they needed to help the worker make an informed choice
    • 71% felt supported during the registration process
  • Communication:
    • The following communication methods were rated as being very helpful and helpful:
      • Email – 93%
        WECHU Vaccine Webpage for TFWs* - 75% *Google Analytics report showed 1164 visits to the dedicated webpage, from 836 unique users during the 3-week time period (April 18 - May 6)
      • Phone call/Video meeting – 63%
      • Vaccine day logistics checklist – 73%
  • Vaccination Day Logistics:
    • 80% of respondents felt their workers were well supported at the vaccination clinic
    • 75% said the vaccination clinic was well organized and our workers were able to flow through the process without issue (arrival, registration, vaccination, waiting and exiting).
  • Feedback
    • Positive
      • Well organized
      • Process was quick at the vaccination centre
      • Very thankful
    • Suggestions for Improvement
      • Reduction in the number of spread sheets required
      • Increased flexibility with scheduling appointments
      • More information sharing directly with the workers
  • Successes and Challenges
    • Successes
      • High uptake by farms
      • Well established clinic location
      • Safely and efficiently immunized several thousand TFWs
      • Excellent partnerships from community agencies
      • COVax information uploaded ahead of time helped make day-of registration fast
      • “What to Expect on Vaccination Day” information and consent forms provided ahead of time and in multiple languages helped to reduce day-of questions
    • Challenges
      • Complicated registration system – multiple forms and emails
      • Farms having to coordinate group transportation that kept work cohorts separated
      • Tight timelines for all tasks
      • Resource intensive for everyone involved (WECHU, Farms, Partners)
      • Translations required in multiple languages for every resource
      • Addressing vaccine hesitancy amongst workers and farm owners

Overall, the targeted clinics for Windsor-Essex TFWs were well received and highly successful.  The partnership between the municipality of Leamington, the farm owner/operators, several community organizations and the WECHU was a critical component of the process.

Future Plans

Moving forward, there will be ongoing promotion of the community vaccine clinics to late adopters and newly arriving workers who did not accept airport vaccination. Targeted “pop-up” clinics have been held on off hours in evenings to address access and hesitancy issues. There will also be continued engagement with our community partners to ensure that every worker who would like a vaccine is able to receive one.

Agencies who provided direct support to this vaccine project include:

  • Municipality of Leamington
  • C.A.R.E for International Workers (made up of 9 different organizations)
  • Migrant Worker Community Program
  • Consulate of Mexico in Leamington
  • Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. (OHCOW)
  • Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG)
  • Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA)
  • Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WE-LIP)
  • Erie St. Clair LHIN
  • The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO)
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Workplace Wellness for Agri-Food Workers Task Force


  1. National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (2020). Rapid Review: What factors increase the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings? How do outcomes compare to outbreaks in community settings? https://www.nccmt.ca/knowledgerepositories/covid-19-rapid-evidence-service


Communications Department


June 2021


May 2021 - Communications Recap

May Metrics


News Releases Issued




Media Advisories Issued




Media Statements or Notifications




Media Requests Received1




AM 800 Morning Segments2




YouTube Live Media Briefing Videos3




Wechu.org page views4




YouTube Channel Subscribers




Email Subscribers5




Emails Distributed




Facebook Fans




Facebook Posts




Twitter Follower




Twitter Posts




Instagram Followers




Instagram Posts




LinkedIn Followers




LinkedIn Posts




Media Exposure8




Media Monitoring Highlights

This is a complex graphical representation of data. Please contact us for detail

Trending Themes

This is a complex graphical representation of data. Please contact us for detail

Top Sources

This is a complex graphical representation of data. Please contact us for detail

Media Participating in Teleconference for YouTube Live

  • AM 800 CKLW, Blackburn News, CBC Windsor, CTV Windsor and the Windsor Star join every day. CFTV and Radio Canada joined us in May on a few occasions.

Current Notable Projects

  • Supporting ongoing vaccine rollout in the region.
  • Working on engagement strategy for parents and students regarding vaccine questions and answers.
  • Regular communication with the Ministry of Health about provincial initiatives and their planned launch dates.

Data Notes:

Most requests are related to the local COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Media requests received is a compiled list of documented requests we captured for interviews, data clarification, or general request for information from the media. Given the volume of requests during COVID-19, many exchanges with the media through text messages or quick phone calls to correct errors may not be captured. In many instances, each request led to multiple interactions with reporters.

2. Dr. Ahmed joined Mike and Lisa on the AM 800 Morning Drive every morning at 8:06 a.m. starting on Wednesday, March 17, 2020. On August 17, 2020, we went to a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule with holidays off. He continues to do join Mike and Lisa every other morning to keep the community informed.

3. We changed the platform we broadcasted live videos from Facebook to YouTube at the end of June. YouTube Live videos started on June 23, 2020. Prior Public Health Update videos on YouTube were exported videos recorded through Facebook Live.

4. Website analytics are provided by Siteimprove. The metric provided is for page views to wechu.org. Previously, we were report on the local-updates webpage only.

6. Email subscribers are those individuals who signed up to receive promotional emails from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit over the last 30 days. The analytics are provided through Mailchimp.

7. Social media metrics are provided through Hootsuite.

8. Graphs and media exposure information in this report were generated using Meltwater Media Monitoring Solution. Significant changes in numbers can be partially attributed to configuration changes made to the new service to better monitor and report media activity. News stories may be duplicates or missing as the platform is currently being optimized to better track Windsor-Essex County Health Unit mentions in the media landscape.

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Tracey Bailey, Joe Bachetti, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Gary Kaschak, Judy Lund, Ed Sleiman

Border Member Regrets:

Larry Snively

Administration Present:

Theresa Marentette, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Lorie Gregg, Nicole Dupuis, 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 4:37 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval

    Moved by:  Judy Lund    
    Seconded by:  Joe Bachetti
    That the agenda be approved.

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

      Dr. W. Ahmed noted that positive cases of COVID-19 are declining, not only in our region but also across the province.  We saw a significant increase in positive cases in the December to January timeframe and since then cases continue to decline overall and we seem to be going in the right direction. 

      Cases were higher in the younger population, likely due to the higher vaccination rate in our older population.  Vaccination has commenced for those 12 -17 years and we should see a decline of cases in this age group as well. Hospitalization rates are also decreasing, and all of these results are due to the benefits from the vaccine.  As case rates continues to decline in our community, we will be in a much better position when the province decides to start relaxing restrictions.  The Delta Variant of Concern (VOC) is still a concern in some regions of the province, but not necessarily in Windsor-Essex.

      From an exposure perspective, 30% of cases are from close contacts, 30% from household contacts, and 30% from community transmission. 

      Data is indicating that Canada has surpassed all other countries in administering first doses of the vaccine and we are in a good position to see the same with second doses.  Windsor-Essex administers, on average, just over 5,000 doses per day and our vaccine coverage rate for individuals 12 years and older for one dose is at 72%.  Coverage rates for individuals 18+ who have received their first and second dose is 27.4%.

      The majority of vaccinations continue to be administered at St. Clair College SportsPlex and Downtown Windsor Hall, followed by other mass sites, pharmacies, primary care providers and targeted mobile clinics.  Overall 70% of doses administered has been Pfizer BioNTech, 15% Moderna and 15% AstraZeneca.  

      R. Bortolin noted some of the comments made in the media yesterday around those who have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine might receive Moderna as their second dose, due to the increased amount of Moderna expected in our region.  He also noted that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) stated individuals who received AstraZeneca as their first dose, that an mRNA is preferred for the second dose. 

      Dr. Ahmed said there is evidence based on mixing of vaccines.  Based on criteria all mRNA vaccines will react the same way, so mixing Pfizer and Moderna will not reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.  For those who have received AstraZeneca as their first dose there is strong data that mixing these vaccines will not decrease the effectiveness.  Many countries support the interchangeability.  G. McNamara said we want to ensure we are not creating confusion for our communities around the vaccines.  We need to provide the public with a level of comfort that the messaging from health professionals is uniform and consistent. 

      R. Bortolin noted the 3 Steps for Reopening the province, and since we are seeing the positive results in our region, is there a possibility to move to the next stage sooner, and what are we looking at in terms of numbers.  Dr. Ahmed said that the provincial criteria for Step 2 is to have at least 70% first dose coverage.  Windsor-Essex is ahead of the province with 73% and transmission of the virus and cases are declining. R. Bortolin would like to see Dr. Ahmed advocate to the province, as the Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex, that we move to Step 2 before the provincial reopening date of June 30, 2021. Dr. Ahmed said he could express his interest in our region moving forward earlier.

      J. Lund asked if there are individuals who have contracted the virus after receiving the vaccine.  Dr. Ahmed said that the majority of individuals who have become severely ill from COVID-19 and hospitalized generally have not been vaccinated.  For those who are vaccinated and contract the virus, the likelihood of them becoming very ill is low.  Data from clinical trials is showing that all of the approved vaccines are good in preventing hospitalization, even with one dose. Data is also showing that we have benefited the most by increasing the interval of the vaccine and we are leading in the vaccine rollout.  

      J. Lund asked what we would expect to see in our region once more individuals are fully vaccinated. Dr. Ahmed said we need to look at the province in totality.  When restrictions are relaxed this provides the virus with a transmittable host.  There is always a risk with travel and rates of transmission in various parts of the world. Once our international borders open our local risk will likely increase.  Our vaccine coverage rates are over 70% while Detroit Michigan’s coverage rate is only at 30%.

      Plans continue to consolidate the mass clinics into one site.  Downtown Windsor Hall will be closing on June 23, 2021 and the WFCU Centre will be closing the end of July, transitioning to the Sears location at Devonshire Mall.  We anticipate that the two county sites, Leamington and Amherstburg, will close by the end of August 2021.  Pharmacies and primary care providers will also have access to the vaccines and the Sears location will be able to accommodate both first and second doses. We continue to book by appointment only, with no walk-ins at this time. 

      Moved by:  Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by:  Joe Bachetti
      That the information be received.

      Moved by:  Rino Bortolin 
      Seconded by:  Gary Kaschak
      That the Board endorse/support the actions of the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, to advocate on behalf of Windsor-Essex and move into Step 2, at his discretion, ahead of the province’s original date of June 30, 2021.

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  May 20, 2021

      Moved by:  Judy Lund
      Seconded by:  Gary Kaschak
      That the minutes be approved.

  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Consent Agenda
      1. Temporary Foreign Workers COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy (N. Dupuis)
        To be brought to the Board for information.

      2. COVID-19 Case and Contact Management (F. Lawal)
        To be brought to the Board for information.

      3. Recruitment Through the COVID-19 Pandemic (D. Sibley)
        To be brought to the Board for information.

      4. COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Windsor-Essex (K. McBeth)
        To be brought to the Board for information.

      5. May Communications Recap
        Moved by:  Judy Lund
        Seconded by:  Gary Kaschak
        That the above information be received.

      1. Consumption and Treatment Services Site Identification and Consultation (T. Marentette)
        T. Marentette said that the WECHU conducted a community consultation approximately two years earlier on establishing a Supervised Injection Site in Windsor-Essex.  This Resolution is being brough to the Board as the situation in our community has not improved. Individuals suffering from overdose and death in our region has increased and is at the point of public crises.  We are in the final stages of completing the Consumption and Treatment Services Site (CTS) applications for both Health Canada and the Ministry of Health for Windsor Essex, which requires the idenfication of a site.  

        This Resolution is being brought to the Board of Health to support the WECHU administration to finalize a site for the CTS, pending no concerns, based on the outcome of the community consultation;  that the Board of Health support administration to continue with the next steps of the consultation process which includes seeking City of Windsor council approval for the proposed site;  and that administration enter into an agreement with the proposed landlord to secure the site for submission of an application.
        Moved by:  Rino Bortolin
        Seconded by:  Fabio Costante
        That the Board support the above Resolution to finalize and enter into an agreement with a proposed landlord to establish a CTS site in Windsor, ON and that WECHU continue with the community consultation process, including seeking City of Windsor approval for such site.




        CEO Transition (T. Marentette)
        T. Marentette advised that the WECHU requires a Motion for Board approval of the appointment of Nicole Dupuis as CEO of the organization effective July 1, 2021, and her ability to bind the organization.  

        G. McNamara noted that today is Theresa Marentette’s last Board of Health meeting as the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s CEO.  On behalf of all Board members, WECHU staff members and residents of Windsor-Essex we all owe you a great debt for your leadership and professionalism.  Theresa continued to shine through this pandemic while under tremendous pressure.  Through your leadership you proved how important public health is in working toward the end goal in this pandemic.  Compared to other regions, even with our unique challenges, i.e. International Border Crossing, Temporary Foreign Workers, you guided us well and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  We all wish you the very best.  God Bless and we all sincerely thank you for your leadership and friendship over the course of the years.  The Board reiterated their confidence in WECHU administration, and thanked Theresa for her strong leadership over the years and welcomed Nicole Dupuis into the role of CEO. 
        Moved by:  Judy Lund
        Seconded by:  Gary Kaschak
        That the Board approve the appointment of Nicole Dupuis as CEO of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, effective July 1, 2021, and her ability to bind the corporation.

  8. New Business - None
  9. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. The Town of Amherstburg – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario – COVID-19 Shutdown, Support for Small Businesses – In support of the Town of Essex’s Resolution dated April 14, 2021 regarding same

    2. The Corporation of the County of Essex – Letter to the Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario – Request for Discretionary Regional Reopening Strategy    
      Moved by:    Rino Bortolin 
      Seconded by:  Gary Kaschak
      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 5:32pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:35 pm



  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or July 15, 2021 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment

    Moved by:   Theresa Marentette 
    Seconded by:  Gary McNamara
    That the meeting be adjourned.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:40 pm.





In October 2018, after a provincial review of existing Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) and Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS), the Government of Ontario announced its commitment to fund a re-purposed version of the Consumption and Treatments Services (CTS) Program. Consumption and Treatment Services sites provide wrap-around services that connect clients who use drugs to primary care, treatment, and other health and social services; including:

  • Supervised consumption and overdose prevention services,
  • Onsite or defined pathways to addictions treatment services,
  • Onsite or defined pathways to wrap-around services, and
  • Harm reduction services.

Opioid overdose and opioid related mortality has risen dramatically during the pandemic. Opioid overdose has risen considerably each year in Windsor-Essex from 197 in 2017 to 350 in 2020. As well, in 2020 Windsor-Essex saw the highest number of opioid related deaths since 2007. Of the deaths in 2020 (Jan-Sept), 97.9% were identified as accidental and 52.2% of those individuals were alone at the time of death.


In September of 2019, the WECHU Board of Health passed a resolution supporting the submission of a Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) application for a site in the City of Windsor. The submission for a proposed site will be made to the Ministry of Health, including the submission of an Exemption for Medical Purposes under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for Activities at a Supervised Consumption Site Application required by Health Canada. 

In order to facilitate the site location process required for the application, a CTS Stakeholder Advisory Committee was established and site criteria determined, complimenting the mandatory requirements under the federal and provincial processes:

  • Site must be 200m from a sensitive land use (e.g. parks, daycare centers, and schools) as well as 600m from other CTS sites OR If  located within 200m of a sensitive land use, application must include plans on how to address community concerns
  • Site must be easily accessible by public transit
  • Site must be within walking distance to areas known to be frequented by people who use drugs
  • Space should be greater than 590ft2 (for six consumption booths) or 385ft2 (for three booths)

To complete the application process, a location and a comprehensive community consultation on the site are required. The WECHU has identified two potential sites for a CTS within the Downtown area of Windsor, prioritized through the Supervised Injection Services Community Consultations Report. The two sites are located at:

  • 101 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor
  • 628 Goyeau Street, Windsor

Each site was reviewed using a matrix scoring tool. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) audits were completed on both sites by Windsor Police Services (WPS). The WECHU, with support from the CTS advisory committee is currently engaged in the consultation process on both sites. Consultation will follow similar processes and models conducted in other regions such as Barrie, Waterloo, Toronto. The consultation includes the following:

  • Key informant interviews with stakeholders and businesses in proximity to the proposed sites,
  • Focus groups with key stakeholder groups such as outreach workers, people with lived experience, and neighbourhood groups,
  • An online community survey, and
  • Live town halls held virtually, with special invitation to workplaces and residents within 300 metres of the each location.


Whereas, Opioid overdose and opioid related mortality has been declared a public health crisis, and

Whereas, Opioid overdose and opioid related mortality is at an all time high in Windsor-Essex, and

Whereas, Consumption and Treatment Services have the potential to address opioid overdose and opioid related mortality, and

Whereas, the WECHU is required to submit an application for a CTS that includes a site location and an accompanying community consultation, and

Whereas, the CTS advisory committee has identified two potential sites and has engaged in the community consultation on the proposed sites

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health support the WECHU administration to finalize a site for the CTS, pending no concerns, based on the outcome of the community consultation, and

FURTHER THAT, the Board of Health support administration to continue with the next steps of the consultation process which includes seeking City of Windsor council approval for the proposed site, and

FURTHER THAT, administration enter into an agreement with the proposed landlord to secure the site for submission of an application.


June 2021


CEO Transition


Theresa Marentette will officially retire from her role as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit effective June 30, 2021.

Upon Theresa Marentette’s departure, Nicole Dupuis, Director of Health Promotion, will transition to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2021. In this role, Nicole Dupuis will have a direct reporting line to the Board of Health and have the ability to bind the Board of Health. 


Whereas, that the Board of Health approve the appointment of Nicole Dupuis as Chief Executive Officer of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, effective July 1, 2021, with a direct reporting line to, and ability to bind, the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health.

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve the CEO Transition to Nicole Dupuis take place effective July 1, 2021 as presented by Administration.