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September 17, 2020

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: July 16, 2020
  6. Business Arising
    1. School-Focused Nursing Recruitment (D. Sibley)
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. July, August Communications Recap
    2. RECOMMENDTION REPORTS – None
  8. Board Correspondence – None
  9. New Business
    1. WECHU 2020-21 Public Health Funding (T. Marentette/L. Gregg)
    2. Extraordinary Cost Reimbursement Process (L. Gregg)
  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit – Letter to the Honourable Christine Elliott – urging the immediate provision of the funding allocations to local boards of health regarding the COVID-19 Extraordinary Expenses and for the School-Focused Nurses in order to enable a response by local public health units that is unobstructed by local financial shortfalls
    2. WECHU Response to Town of Kingsville, Town of Essex and Town of Amherstburg – Request for more detailed information and data regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Essex County – For information
  11. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair October 15, 2020 – Via Video
  13. Adjournment

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July 16, 2020

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: June 18, 2020
  6. Business Arising
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Effect of climate change of invasive mosquitoes, Zika Virus, and migrant worker health in Windsor-Essex
        (K. McBeth)
      2. June Communications Recap
    2. RECOMMENDTION REPORTS
      1. 2020 Budget Amendments (T. Marentette/L. Gregg)
  8. Board Correspondence – None
  9. New Business
    1. COVID-19 Task Force (T. Marentette)
  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Resolution from Town of Essex – Spread of COVID-19 in our Farm Worker Population (T. Marentette)
  11. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair August 20, 2020 – Via Video
  13. Adjournment

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SUBMITTED BY:

Epidemiology and Evaluation Department

DATE:

July 16, 2020

SUBJECT:

Effect of climate change on invasive mosquitoes, Zika virus, and migrant worker health in Windsor and Essex County


BACKGROUND

Between 1941 and 2012, the annual average temperature for the City of Windsor increased by almost 1°C (City of Windsor, 2012). Windsor and Essex County (WEC) also experienced a 1-3% increase in rainfall per decade from 1970 to 2000 (City of Windsor, 2012), with level of precipitation and humidity expected to continue to increase in southern Canada in the coming decades (Ng et al., 2019).

One potentially dangerous effect of these climatic changes in Windsor and Essex County (WEC) is the proliferation of invasive mosquitoes. The past four years have seen the introduction of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, both carriers of the Zika virus, to WEC, and climatic changes are expected to encourage greater numbers of these mosquitoes in the coming decades (Ng et al., 2019). More specifically, rising temperatures combined with stagnant water from flooding are expected to facilitate the survival and proliferation of these species (Kovats et al., 2003). Indeed, the Aedes albopictus population in WEC (identified from trapping) increased from 17 in 2016 to 1,129 adult mosquitoes in 2018, thus demonstrating that these mosquitoes can reproduce rapidly. Furthermore, these mosquitoes spread out from one to seven different trapping locations from 2016-18.

One particular population that may be at risk for exposure to these mosquitoes are migrant farm workers. Leamington has over 8,000 migrant workers during the summer season who are housed in over 600 bunkhouses (Hennebry, McLaughlin & Preibisch, 2016). The majority of these migrant workers are from Mexico and nearby Caribbean countries, which are endemic for mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika. A recent survey in Ontario, however, found that less than a quarter of migrant farm workers saw a doctor for any health symptoms (Hennebry et al., 2016). Therefore, it is imperative that surveillance of Aedes mosquitoes and incidence of the Zika virus be increased in this area, not only to protect the health and well-being of migrants, but also the well-being of WEC as a whole.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Funding for a three-year exploratory study (2019-2022) of invasive mosquito species in Leamington, Ontario was awarded to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) via the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund. The primary goal of the study is increased surveillance of invasive mosquito species in Leamington, including coordination with Parks Canada for surveillance and viral testing in Point Pelee National Park. An additional objective is to assess potential risks to the Leamington community, with special attention paid to vulnerable populations, such as migrant farm workers.

Prior to mosquito surveillance (scheduled to begin May 2020), a scoping review of all literature relating to climate change, Aedes mosquitoes, the Zika virus, and migrant workers was completed. From over 65,000 reviewed records, 88 were chosen to address the specific scoping review objectives. About two-thirds (65/88) of these records were empirical studies, and 23% (20/88) were done in Canada.

Results of the review revealed extensive information on Aedes mosquitoes, the Zika virus, and climate change in the United States and other parts of the world affected by these mosquitoes. However, there are gaps in the literature regarding how Aedes mosquitoes, Zika, and climate change may affect vulnerable populations. Empirical work, such as WECHU’s current PHAC grant, that examines how Aedes mosquitoes, Zika, and climate change interact in their effect on migrant workers in Canada is greatly needed.


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ISSUE 

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 20, 2020, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Since then, Windsor and Essex County (WEC) has seen confirmed cases rise to one thousand eight hundred (1,800) (as at July 12, 2020), with sixty-eight (68) deaths.

WEC is home to one of the busiest border crossings in North America. Approximately six thousand (6,000) residents in WEC work in the state of Michigan, and in particular, seventeen hundred (1,700) in the health care industry. In addition, WEC is home to eight thousand (8,000) to ten thousand (10,000) seasonal workers, one hundred seventy-six (176) farms and over seven hundred (700) seasonal accommodations. WEC has forty-four (44) long-term care and retirement homes. These characteristics make our community unique and create dynamics that are challenging to manage from a public health perspective. Adding to this, are the complexities of the Ministry of Health (MoH) requirements and performance targets.

Approximately eighty (80) staff with the WECHU, of varying roles, have been redeployed to address the response to COVID-19 within our WEC region. Programs and services, which had previously been halted, are now restarting, as our community moves through the stages of reopening. It is imperative that the WECHU formulate a strategy that will not only return staff to their originating programs, but responsibly address the continuing needs of COVID-19, within our community. To that end, Administration is proposing an amendment to the 2020 Budget to account for the additional FTE requirements. 

BACKGROUND

In May of 2020, the MoH, in a memo regarding Case and Contact Management, required that public health units address certain questions. The following is a summary of the WECHU’s responses. 

  • If you believe you are currently able to connect with new cases within 24 hours of referral – Yes, initial contact with ALL positive cases of COVID-19 is completed within 24 hours. Since our first case of COVID-19 until now, the average number of new cases per day is 13.9. In situations where a positive case cannot be located by phone within 24 hours, a letter is delivered by WECHU staff under the signature of the Medical Officer of Health providing notification of positive test result with mandate to contact public health. (Response as at May 2020) 

  • If you believe you are currently able to connect with new contacts within 24 hours of referral or identification – Not for all contacts of confirmed cases. The ability to complete all contact tracing interviews within 24 hours is dependant upon how many contacts each case has. On average, each case in Windsor-Essex has 2 close contacts, others can have upwards of 10. The WECHU makes every effort to complete this within 24 hours. (Response as at May 2020) 

  • If you believe that your health unit can sustain that capacity within the near term for case management – No, the WECHU would not be able to absorb the additional/current COVID-19 case management work within the current complement of staff allotted to infectious disease management in conjunction with resumed operations of other areas within the health unit (i.e. school based immunization, UIIP). The WECHU currently has 656 positive cases of COVID-19. Since our first case of COVID-19 until now, the average number of new cases per day is 13.9. (Response as at May 2020) 

  • If you believe that your health unit can sustain that capacity within the near term for contact tracing - No, the WECHU would not be able to absorb the additional/current COVID-19 contact tracing work within the current complement of staff allotted to infectious disease management in conjunction with resumed operations of other areas within the health unit (i.e. school based immunization, UIIP). The WECHU currently has 656 positive cases of COVID-19. Since our first case of COVID-19 until now, the average number of new cases per day is 13.9. Applying an average factor of 2 contacts per case that requires approx. 28 people to be contacted in regards to COVID-19 follow-up per day. (Response as at May 2020) 

  • The WECHU provided the MoH with a summary of the staff complement dedicated to the WECHU’s COVID19 response. 

    In order to support the COVID-19 response in Windsor-Essex, a number of public health activities have been deferred/reduced including but not limited to: 

    • School based immunization 
    • Oral health programming (non-emergency) 
    • Health promotion programming and planning 
    • Vaccine Distribution Programming (i.e. routine inspections) 
    • Healthy Families programming (non-critical) 
    • Breastfeeding support 
    • Food Safety and other Environmental Health program training (in person courses) 

    In addition, other internal support programs have all had staff seconded to work exclusively on COVID-19 in the areas of epidemiology and evaluation, IT, communications, and planning. All of these come at a cost of progress and backlog in a number of public health programming areas. 
    The current COVID-19 response team, which was formed to supplement the Infectious Disease Team that existed prior to the pandemic (13 public health nurses, 3 clerical staff and 1 manager) consists of the following cohorts of staff to support direct case and contact management activities including contact tracing, daily PUI monitoring, testing and assessment, iPHIS entry and other COVID-19 client based work: 

    • 8 managers (health promotion and protection programing) 
    • 2 NPs (seconded from clinical services and family health programming) 
    • 35 RNs (seconded from healthy schools, healthy families, HBHC, and vaccine programming) 
    • 7 RPNs (seconded from vaccine programming) 
    • 2 Health Promotion Specialists (seconded from health promotion programming) 
    • 11 Dental Hygienists/Assistants (seconded from oral health programming) 
    • 1.5 Epidemiology Supports (seconded from health promotion and protection programming) 
    • 9 clerical staff (seconded from health promotion and protection programming) 
    • 3 Public Health Inspectors (seconded from environmental health programming) 

    The COVID-19 response for the WECHU is a 7 day per week operation that consists of 2 weekday shifts per day and one shift per day on the weekend. It is supported 24/7 by the WECHU’s on-call program.

Implementation of Public Health Mutual Assistance Agreements

Due to a significant increase in cases and contacts related to the agri-farm sector in WEC and associated demands on WECHU resources, the WECHU implemented its Public Health Mutual Assistance Agreements with the following health units: 

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health 
  • Sarnia-Lambton Health Unit 
  • Southwest Public Health 
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit 
  • Huron Perth Public Health 
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit 

Nursing staff from these health units were oriented and supported to work remotely to assist with contact management including daily monitoring of cases/contacts. Overall, approximately 11 FTEs and 10 casual nurses have been assisting our health unit since late June. In addition, Public Health Ontario has been working with our health unit to support iPHIS data entry requirements related to COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health also expanded the assistance available to the WECHU through a call out on June 28th to all health units in Ontario. In addition, Dr. Alexander Summers, Associate Medical Officer of Health, was seconded from Middlesex-London Health Unit, to assist in the short term and has been on-site for the past 2 weeks. He will continue to support remotely. Our health unit also received epidemiological support from a Field Epidemiologist through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The Field Epi has been assigned to our health unit for approximately 4 weeks and is working with our manager of Epidemiology and Evaluation to support the work of COVID-19.

Both the Emergency Operations Centre (Minister of Solicitor General) and the Emergency Operations Centre (Ministry of Health) continue to support the work of COVID-19 in coordinating the measures needed to address the agri-farm sector outbreaks in WEC.

COVID-19 Response Team

To address the MoH’s requirements, including performance goals related to case and contact management (24-hour action timeline) and iPHIS contact and case management data entry requirements, the WECHU would require additional staff directly allocated to COVID-19 response to work within the current complement of infectious disease management and prevention. This includes: 

  • 1 FTE, Associate Medical Officer of Health 
  • 1 FTE, Program Manager 
  • 3 FTEs, Clerical Support Staff;
  • 2 FTEs, Public Health Nurses; 
  • 10 FTEs, Registered Practical Nurses; 
  • 4 FTEs, Public Health Inspectors; 
  • 1 FTE, Epidemiologist.

The following is a summary of the annual operating budget for the remainder of 2020 and one-time capital costs to support the proposed COVID-19 Response Team. 

  2020 Operating Budget
Salaries and benefits $679,337
Operating costs (mileage, program supplies, licensing) 73,602
Total 2020 Operating Costs $752,939
One-time capital costs $104,390
Financial impact – 2020 $857,329

This budget assumes a September 7, 2020, start date to allow for appropriate recruitment. One-time capital costs include the cost of information technology infrastructure, both to expand current system capacity, as well as support the COVID-19 Response Team. Augments in building occupancy costs as well as furniture and fixtures have not be contemplated as this staff would work-from-home.

Funding

The WECHU has not received any communications for the MoH regarding the funding of a COVID-19 Response Team. If the WECHU assumes that funding will not be received to support the COVID-19 Response Team, the contributions from the Obligated Municipalities for the remainder of 2020 would be as follows:

Municipality Funding ($)
Corporation of the City of Windsor $466,726
Corporation of the County of Essex 390,098
Corporation of the Township of Pelee 505
  $857,329

If the MoH does provide funding for a COVID-19 Response Team using a 70%/30% funding formula for this specific initiative, the contributions from the Obligated Municipalities for the remainder of 2020 would be as follows:

Municipality Funding ($)
Corporation of the City of Windsor $140,018
Corporation of the County of Essex 117,030
Corporation of the Township of Pelee 152
  $257,200

For information purposes, Administration quantified the annual operating costs for the COVID-19 response team. 

  2021 Operating Budget
Salaries and benefits $2,077,971
Operating costs (mileage, program supplies, licensing) 130,982
Total 2020 Operating Costs $2,208,953

Increase in contributions from the Obligated Municipalities for 2021 related to the addition of a COVID-19 
Response Team, assuming no funding is received from the MoH:  

Municipality Funding ($)
Corporation of the City of Windsor $1,202,543
Corporation of the County of Essex 1,005,109
Corporation of the Township of Pelee 1,301
  $2,208,953

Increase in contributions from the Obligated Municipalities for 2021 related to the addition of a COVID-19 response team, assuming this specific initiative is funded by the MoH at a rate of 70%/30%. 

Municipality Funding ($)
Corporation of the City of Windsor $360,763
Corporation of the County of Essex 301,533
Corporation of the Township of Pelee 390
  $662,686

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, the WHO declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and

Whereas, the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the absence of a vaccine, coupled with movement of WEC through the stages of reopening and restarting of the WECHU programs and services, and

Whereas, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is responsible for promoting, protecting and improving the health and well-being of the community of WEC as required by the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.SO. 1990 (the HPPA).

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve the amendment to the 2020 budget, resulting in the recruitment of a COVID-19 Response Team with an addition of 22 full-time equivalents, including an Associate Medical Officer of Health.

FURTHER THAT, the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health direct Administration to provide notice, as required under section 72(6) of the HPPA, to the Obligated Municipalities of the additional contributions required to fund the COVID-19 Response Team for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year.


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June 18, 2020

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
    2. Children Count Update (N. Dupuis)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: May 21, 2020
  6. Business Arising
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Cannabis Retail Applications & WECHU Response (N. Dupuis)
      2. WECHU WECHU Dental Services Restart (N. Dupuis)
      3. March, April, May Communications Recap
    2. RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
      1. 2019 Annual Financial Statements (L. Gregg)
  8. Board Correspondence – None
  9. New Business
    1. Environmental Health – Mosquito Tracking, Beach Testing (K. McBeth)
    2. Pandemic Pay (T. Marentette)
  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Letter to CAO’s – Bars/Restaurants Outdoor Patio Space (N. Dupuis)
  11. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair July 16, 2020 – Via Video
  13. Adjournment

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Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively, Rino Bortolin

Board Member Regrets:

Gary Kaschak

Administration Present:

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


This meeting was held via video conference.

QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: Fab Costante
    Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Update (W. Ahmed)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr. W. Ahmed provided an update on the current status of COVID-19 in our region. We now have more than 1,200 with a significant number in the agri-farm sector. Community spread is decreasing but we are finding challenges within this sector. So far 346 workers have tested positive and we currently have 169 active cases across 8 farms. There have also been two deaths.

      Accommodations are a challenge along with compliance for self-isolation and a lack of understanding. From the employer’s end they are screening their workers, but once off the workplace some are not complying, i.e. physical distancing, congregating in numbers. Once in isolation the employers need to supply their workers with nutritious meals and basic supplies.

      EMS and ESHC have been attending on various farms and conducting in person health assessments based on referrals from our health unit, noting any further follow up. We issued Section 22 Orders on May 26 to all farms noting they keep their workers designated to working on one farm, as contract and temp agencies transport their workers to different farms, making tracking employees difficult. We strengthened the Section 22 Order on June 13 to include that employers provide access to workers via phone for case and contact management, and access to nutritious food and water. Once they are isolated or confirmed to be a case, the health unit calls them daily as we do with all cases and, if they are identified to need more medical assessment, they are referred to EMS or ESHC for a follow up in-person visit.

      There was testing launched by Ontario Health to have the Leamington Assessment Centre (Sherk Complex) bus employees from farms for asymptomatic surveillance testing. Testing numbers were low, as employers did not send their employees, but testing had expanded to farms who had symptomatic cases.

      Mandatory testing is not in place anywhere in Canada with any population for COVID-19 or any other diseases like HIV or TB. It is perceived that the recent COVID testing in Long-term care and Retirement Homes was mandatory, but it was not, and some residents and staff declined the testing. Mandatory testing goes into the area of being contradictory to the Human Rights Charter and we have not seen anyone use that authority, at any level, to suggest that a local Medical Officer of Health can use their power to force someone to get tested. This was also validated further by the Province and the Premier that it has to be voluntary. From a public health perspective we conducted random testing throughout all our municipalities, and over the course of 10 days we tested approximately 5,000 people.

      The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is Federal. Workers are brought in for specific purposes, need to meet certain criteria and follow municipal requirements. Public health’s role is to ensure accommodations are in compliance with guidelines but not specific to COVID. The role for the municipality is to ensure that safety and fire guidelines are maintained. The Ministry of Labour and OGVG also play a role in representing the industry. From a disease perspective, an accommodation strategy to house 8,000 – 10,000 migrant workers is needed, both for the short and long term, to restrict the number of people living in congregate settings, and minimizing interaction. COVID is exposing health, income and housing inequities and a coordinated approach at various levels of government is needed to support them. When TFWs arrived they isolated for 2 weeks, tested negative then began working. Those who contracted COVID-19 were exposed here, they did not bring it here.

      From a public health perspective, our team is not immigration. Undocumented workers are treated as residents of Windsor Essex and we do our part through case and contact management to prevent the spread of disease. We spoke this morning with the Federal Health Minister, our Board Chair and other partners, that there has to be clear messaging from all levels of government to ensure that workers in isolation are getting paid either by their employer or through another mechanism.

      WECHU is also working with The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG). They have been very cooperative in working with the farms to protect their workers, and noted that it is becoming stressful for them from a food chain supply perspective. This is peak time for the agri industry, products are perishable, and it’s not the same as shutting down manufacturing. There needs to be a way to keep farms operational, contain the virus, and isolate those who need to get well.

      Moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2 is a provincial decision. We touch base weekly with the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province and provide indicators for a sense of where we are heading and what the trajectory looks like. Combining that, the Ministry compares us to the rest of the province or other health units, along with health system capacity to manage a possible surge in cases, i.e. ventilators, ICU support. This is not something that WECHU decides.

      On sharing information, the WECHU website is updated daily with current numbers, and in addition, Dr. Ahmed and T. Marentette do a Q&A session with the media for 30 minutes daily. Media releases with relevant information is also on our website. Our call centre receives about 150 calls per day on various issues, and our staff does their best to answer any questions.

      Under the Emergency Order, the Canada/US Border remains closed except for essential workers, products and trade.

      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED

    2. Children Count Update (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis noted WECHU’s Resolution related to the Children Count Tool-kit, which was acknowledged by Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario, in a letter to Nicole Dupuis, Director of Health Protection. The Ministry of Education has also reached out to N. Dupuis advising that they will be using the Children Count Tool-kit as a framework for reopening schools in the fall. The WECHU has developed a two-page document for the Ministry to implement their reopening plan.

      Moved by: Dr. Debbie Kane
      Seconded by: Judy Lund
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: May 21, 2020
      E. Sleiman asked that the May 21, 2020 minutes be revised to show that he was present for the entire meeting. The minutes will be updated to reflect this change.
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Cannabis Retail Applications & WECHU Response (N. Dupuis)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      2. WECHU Dental Services Restart (N. Dupuis)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      3. March, April, May Communications Recap (L. Gregg)
        Brought to the Board for information.

      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Dr. Debbie Kane
      That the information reports be received.
      CARRIED

    2. RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
      1. 2019 Annual Financial Statement (L. Gregg)
        L. Gregg noted that the Audit Committee met on June 8, 2020 to discuss the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit December 31, 2019 financial statements, the Healthy Babies Healthy Children March 31, 2020 financial statements and the Nurse Practitioner Program March 31, 2020 financial statements and all have been brought to the Board for approval.
        Moved by: Joe Bachetti
        Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
        That the financial statements be approved as presented.
        CARRIED
  8. Board Correspondence – None
  9. New Business
    1. Environmental Health – Mosquito Tracking, Beach Testing (K. McBeth)
      K. McBeth advised that Environmental Health is in its fourth week of implementing its vector borne program tracking and larviciding of mosquitos. Beach testing will not be conducted by the health unit this summer due to capacity issues, but all nine beach have received an initial risk assessment. R. Bortolin said that municipalities may pay for testing if they are willing.
      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Judy Lund
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED
    2. Pandemic Pay (T. Marentette)
      T. Marentette noted that WECHU received $161,000 for this initiative but we are awaiting more information and guidance from the Ministry on how these funds will be applied. Health Units are listed as eligible organizations and RN’s, RPN’s and NP’s are listed as eligible employees to receive pandemic pay based on their risk of exposure of COVID-19. Some of our nursing staff work have worked extensively on random drive through testing, attending at long-term care homes, migrant farm testing and congregate settings. Environmental health also attended at these initiatives on the front lines, although public health inspectors are not identified as eligible. J. Lund requested that a letter be sent to the Ministry communicating that other public health staff worked on the front lines with COVID-19. T. Bailey said that the Ministry is still determining what pandemic pay will look like and feels a letter to the Ministry at this time may be premature.
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: John Scott
      That the Board follow up with a letter to the Ministry of Health on eligibility of pandemic pay.
      Opposed: Tracey Bailey
      CARRIED
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Dr. Debbie Kane
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED
  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Letter to CAO’s – Bars/Restaurants Outdoor Patio Space (N. Dupuis)
      The letter outlines the Province’s announcement to expanding outdoor patios for licensed establishments. This will require more signage and education and the health unit is here for support. R. Bortolin will continue conversations off-line with K. McBeth around various requirements and guidelines that will need to be followed.
      Moved by: Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by: Judy Lund
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED
  11. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 6:15 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 7:27 pm
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or July 16, 2020 – Via Video
  13. Adjournment
    Moved by: Tracey Bailey
    Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
    That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 7:27 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY:

SUBMITTED BY:

APPROVED BY:


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May 21, 2020

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively, Gary Kaschak, Rino Bortolin

Administration Present:

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


QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: Fabio Costante
    Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Update (W. Ahmed)
    1. Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
      Dr. W. Ahmed provided an update noting there are currently 826 cases of COVID-19 in our community and 63 deaths, the majority in Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH). There are currently 9 LTCHs in outbreak, and a number have been rescinded. HThere has been a soft reopening of retail stores and some facilities across the province, but there is always the concern about a second wave and the public not following protective measures. We will be keeping a close eye on the number of cases in next 2-3 weeks for a better picture of the impact on openings.

      We have done presentations on the importance of testing the right people at the right time and many are finding it difficult what testing means and the results of those tests. We struggle with the community as well as some partners who want to test asymptomatic individuals, which can provide inappropriate data. We have completed testing in LTCHs and Retirement Homes in Windsor Essex, and there may be more interest in testing other congregate settings, i.e. migrant farms. We have seen about 50 cases so far and a good number are resolved, but there are still some active cases. This Saturday we will be doing enhanced testing at a local farm that has many cases with our team in collaboration with EMS. Many of you are aware that since the onset of the pandemic, our work here has significantly increased. We are working at double and triple capacity. Thanks to T. Marentette and our directors, we are increasing our capacity for case and contract tracing. From a testing perspective, we are planning to expand the role of our primary care providers. We will note for the media tomorrow how we are moving forward making tests accessible through primary care providers, and we will identify who these providers are. We are also working on a plan to do random testing in all of our municipalities (WECHU in partnership with EMS) to get a better idea of what is happening in each community. There are numerous businesses and organizations reaching out to us for guidance, i.e. University of Windsor, St. Clair College, and others as they plan on opening up services.

      G. McNamara said that as things open up the messaging must be that this is not over. Physical distancing still needs to happen. Dr. W. Ahmed agreed and said that we make it part of our daily messaging that opening up does not mean the virus is gone but increases changes of spreading. Testing is one snapshot of time, but distancing and handwashing are important to protect yourself and your family.

      J. Bachetti asked in terms of testing LTCH is there a plan concerning community home care where Personal Support Workers take care of patients in their home. Dr. W. Ahmed said that we are doing risk based testing and would rather reinforce that everyone take the appropriate precautions not to contact or spread the disease. If they are using PPE, and using it properly, it will not be transmitted to others. Just getting tested is not a defense.

      J. Lund asked about the status on testing the general population to see if they have already had the virus. Dr. W. Ahmed said that is the antibody test and would indicate if individuals were exposed to the virus and fought off the infection. Although not yet ready to release, the test has been recently approved in Canada.
      Moved by: Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: February 20, 2020, April 16, 2020
      R. Bortolin asked that the February 20, 2020 minutes be revised to show that he was present for the meeting, via telephone, until 5:20 pm. The minutes will be updated to reflect this change.
      Moved by: Larry Snively
      Seconded by: Dr. Debbie Kane
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. 2020 Board of Health Competency Self-Evaluation Results and accompanying 2020 Report Card (T. Marentette)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      2. Consumption and Treatment Services Site – Location Consultation and Application Status (T. Marentette)
        The initial work involved getting the advisory committee together and determining criteria for next steps. We consulted with other sites and were advised to choose locations on set criteria followed by community engagement strategies to ensure all concerns are identified and mitigation plans discussed. This would need to go to our Board and the municipalities chosen for a location(s) for approval, and we still need to submit an application. WECHU has hired an individual on a contract basis to the end of the year.

        As things reopen, we believe we can go forward safely and create a site that will adhere to physical distancing requirements, but will look different than originally thought. The majority of our staff is currently dedicated to COVID work at this time, but we are moving forward with some programs and initiatives.

      3. Vaping Regulations and Legislation (N. Dupuis)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      4. WECHU COVID-19 Response and Program Updates (All)
        Brought to the Board for information.

      Moved by: Fabio Costante
      Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
      That the information reports be received.
      CARRIED

    2. RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
      1. 2020-21 Budget for Programs Funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program and Nurse Practitioner Program (L. Gregg)
        L. Gregg noted that funding by the MCCSS remained consistent from prior years. HBHC Programs are down from 27 FTE’s to 26.

        The NP program has a budget of 139k with an actual cost of $154k. The overage will be covered from cost-shared programming to support the salary of one FTE.
        Moved by: Ed Sleiman
        Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
        That the budget be approved as received.
        CARRIED

  8. Board Correspondence – None
  9. New Business
    1. Re-opening Businesses in W-E Webinar with Windsor-Regional Chamber of Commerce, May 28, 2020 (W. Ahmed)
      Dr. W. Ahmed noted we are planning a webinar/Q&A session in partnership with the Windsor-Regional Chamber of Commerce on how businesses can safely open and operate. The Chamber will provide us question in advance and we will prepare slides and documents for support. We are hoping that the session can be recorded and shared if anyone needs answers to their concerns on how to safely open up their business.

      G. McNamara asked Dr. W. Ahmed his advice regarding personal use of masks as businesses reopen, and what his recommendation would be when patronizing businesses. Dr. W. Ahmed made the recommendation last week that when businesses open up and distancing cannot be maintained a cloth mask should be worn if used appropriately. There has been some research done and cloth masks can be 50% -80% effective depending on the type of material. If using inappropriately, such as in a public setting and people touching surfaces touch their mask this can increase the risk of infection by transferring the virus onto their face.
      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED

  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. WECHU Advocacy Letter for Radon Funding (K. McBeth)
      The letter outlines what the Board requested back in January from an Information Report on Radon. The letter was addressed to the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Mourneau.
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Fabio Costante
      That the information be received.
      CARRIED
  11. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:59 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:26 pm
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or June 18, 2020 Via Video
  13. Adjournment
    Moved by: Rino Bortolin
    Seconded by: John Scott
    That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 5:28 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY:

SUBMITTED BY:

APPROVED BY:


View Document page

April 16, 2020

This meeting was held via Teleconference.

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively, Gary Kaschak, Rino Bortolin

Administration Present:

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


QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. G. McNamara will relinquish the chair to Vice-Chair, John Scott, approximately 15 minutes into the meeting, due to another commitment.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: Larry Snively
    Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: February 20, 2020
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  5. Business Arising
    1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Overview
      1. Incident Management Report (Dr. W. Ahmed)
        Dr. W. Ahmed reported on the status of positive COVID-19 cases in the Windsor-Essex region noting that there are over 400 positive cases and 18 deaths to date. Testing is actively occurring at high risk Long-Term Care Homes to identify cases early. The case-doubling rate is slightly improving, but since we still have cases, we all need to continue to reinforce the messaging on physical distancing, washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick. We are participating on a number of tables at both the regional and provincial levels and are working with various partners in our community. From an Incident Management System perspective, our processes are working well and new documents continue to be released from the Ministry. As things progress we will continue to update the Board and the community.
        R. Bortolin asked if there was a sufficient amount of testing supplies available for the general public as well as front line workers. W. Ahmed advised that there are now two local Assessment Centres (Windsor and Leamington). Although there are enough tests, only those that are presenting with symptoms, or are suspect for COVID-19, will be tested. False positives and false negatives can result if the timing is not right for swabbing.
        F. Constante noted that Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, said that non-medical masks might slow down the spread of COVID-19. He asked where the health unit stood on this.
        Dr. W. Ahmed said that Dr. Tam’s and the WECHU’s messages on the use of non-medical masks align, but there are some risks, as well as some benefits, to wearing them. His concern is it may provide a false sense of security. There is the risk of touching the mask and contaminating it. He is not recommending that everyone wear them, but if anyone chooses to there is a proper way of donning and doffing them. 4:14 pm - Chair G. McNamara relinquished the chair to Vice Chair, J. Scott
        E. Sleiman asked if there are advantages of one mask over the other, i.e. n95, Surgical or homemade masks.
        Dr. W. Ahmed advised that there are different purposes for different masks.

        Surgical Mask
        If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others but does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or certain medical procedures.

        N95 Respirators
        N95 respirators achieve a minimum filtration efficiency of 95% when worn properly. The edges of the mask form a seal around the nose and mouth. N95 respirators (not medical masks) are designed to reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles and aerosols.

        Homemade Masks
        Homemade masks have some level of permeability and some viruses may not be filtered. The effectiveness depends on the type of material and the concern is the risk that people are not wearing them properly and touching their face, creating a false sense of security.

        J. Lund inquired about the supply of PPE for health care workers.
        Dr. W. Ahmed advised that we do not have the answers for all of the facilities, but we are providing masks, gloves and gowns wherever we can. The shortage of supply is everywhere. Supplies are coming in at a reduced rate, quantity and frequency, and we are advising the health care facilities to continue to order supplies through their regular supplies. Any healthcare workers who have concerns about PPE should discuss this with their employer. If they continue to have concerns, they can contact the Ministry of Labour who will look at the risk level and conduct an assessment.

        Dr. W. Ahmed said that there is the risk of another spike in cases, and we need to look at how the virus is spreading in the community.
        Moved by: Ed Sleiman
        Seconded by: Judy Lund
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED

      2. Communications (N. Dupuis)
        N. Dupuis noted that WECHU has a good relationship with the media and there is a considerable amount of communication in respect to COVID-19. The WECHU conducts its media conference every weekday morning (9:00 am) on Facebook Live. Dr. W. Ahmed and Theresa Marentette provide information and presentations in respect to the virus both globally and in our own region. We have received good feedback from the public watching live each day.

         

        The WECHU Homepage has been revamped and any information related to COVID-19 has been set up for easy navigation and is translated into various languages. We will be adding more resources and links to what is available in the community and there have been mail-outs, posters in grocery stores, and ads on the radio and in Saturday’s Windsor Star targeting seniors. Our HPS’s have been redeployed and are reaching out to our community partners to see if they need support.
        Moved by: Ed Sleiman
        Seconded by: Judy Lund
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED

      3. Safety (T. Marentette on behalf of D. Sibley)
        T. Marentette noted that there has been a lot of background work being done in regard to OH&S and HR issues, return to work, giving guidance and deploying staff as needed in relation to COVID-19. There has been no issues in work refusal and/or issues concerning safety in the workplace or staff noting concern about their safety.

        There are still a lot of staff working in the office, and 73 are working from home, i.e. health inspectors, finance and IT staff. We have offered masks for staff who cannot distance or have concerns, and are asking those who are sick to stay home.
        F. Costante thanked everyone at the health unit for the good leadership and clear and concise communication. If there was ever a time to recognize and realize how important public health is this is the time. Dr. W. Ahmed thanked the Board on behalf of the WECHU team.
        Moved by: Judy Lund
        Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED

      4. Liaison (T. Marentette)
        WECHU continues to have its weekly meeting with the City and County Chief Administrative Officers to discuss local concerns across all municipalities. We are working on a Homeless Shelter Plan, i.e. shelters, missions, group homes, residential homes, hospice, and are working with the local hospitals to provide guidance as needed. We are also working closely with Windsor Police, LaSalle Police, Regional OPP, Windsor Fire and Rescue and EMS. We are testing in Long Term Care and Retirement Homes due to current COVID-19 outbreaks and the health unit is providing consistent messaging daily to support our community at this time.
        Moved by: Ed Sleiman
        Seconded by: Fabio Costante
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED
      5. Operations (K. McBeth)
        Our Infectious and Prevention Department (IDP) normally has a compliment of 15 staff. With COVID-19, we now have 8 WECHU Managers and roughly between 75-100 people, working 7 days a week in IDP. Our Dental team is supporting the call center, the bulk of the work being in case and contact management.

        We are receiving a high volume of calls daily, and most are returned in 24 hours. We follow up on every lab result we receive, whether positive or negative, with a phone call to the individual. Positive cases receive case management with a daily follow up.

        Long Term Care and Retirement Homes is a significant focus, involving nurses and public health inspectors for infection prevention and control. Our TEO’s are working on a COVID response around provincial orders for complaints around non-compliance. Our entire WECHU staff is, in some way, working on the pandemic.
        Moved by: Judy Lund
        Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED

      6. Finance and IT (L. Gregg)
        We continue to monitor our cash flow and the status of our bank accounts, and our cash flow is currently at $4.3M. At March 31, we had $89,000 of COVID related expenses, i.e. supplies, communication, computer hardware (working from home) and various PPE.
        Our payroll notes that we have 90 employees designated to supporting COVID, but the actual number of employees working on the pandemic is higher. From the last payroll in March, we have $390k in payroll focusing on the core team only, i.e. this does not include senior management or the public health inspection support for the outbreak piece. As we track all expenses we await direction from the Ministry on what reporting will look like in 2020, as it is not business as usual. The Annual Service Plan will differ from what we have previously submitted.
        Moved by: Ed Sleiman
        Seconded by: Debbie Kane
        That the information be received.
        CARRIED

      D. Kane said that the messaging from the health unit continues to be driven by science and has been extremely consistent. The health unit has done a great job staying calm and reassuring the public, and we will all get through this as a community.

  6. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    1. The Board did not move into Committee of the Whole.
  7. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or May 21, 2020 in Windsor, Ontario
  8. Adjournment
    Moved by: Debbie Kane
    Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
    That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY:

SUBMITTED BY:

APPROVED BY:


View Document page

February 20, 2020

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. BOARD ELECTIONS
  5. Presentations (W. Ahmed)
    1. Syphilis in Windsor Essex County
    2. Coronavirus
  6. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: January 16, 2020
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Syphilis in Windsor and Essex County (Appendices) (W. Ahmed)
      2. The WECHU Taking Action on Climate Change (K. McBeth)
      3. Media Recap
    2. RECOMMENDTION REPORTS
      1. Seasonal Housing Compliance Inspections – Fee for Service Program Introduction (K. McBeth)
  8. Business Arising – None
  9. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  10. New Business
    1. Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Report (W. Ahmed)
    2. Public Health Modernization Consultation (T. Marentette)
  11. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters
    1. Peterborough Public Health – Letter to Hon. Caroline Mulroney and Hon. Christine Elliott – Off Road Vehicle and Bills 107 and 132 – For Support
    2. Letter from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health to Nicole Dupuis, WECHU – The Children Count Pilot Study Program – For Information
  12. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  13. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair or March 19, 2020 – Essex
  14. Adjournment


View Document page

PREPARED BY:

Lora Piccinin, Manager of Infectious Disease Prevention/Talaya Harrold, PHN/HPS

DATE:

February 20, 2020

SUBJECT:

Syphilis in Windsor and Essex County


BACKGROUND

Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) account for the largest burden of all Diseases of Public Health Significance (DOPHS) in Windsor and Essex County (WEC), representing 71% of all reported cases. According to the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), health care providers have a duty to report cases of STBBI’s to public health, including HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis.

Local data shows that Syphilis is a significant concern. Syphilis is transmitted through oral, genital, and anal sex with an infected person. Syphilis can also be passed on to an unborn child, sometimes causing birth defects or death. Syphilis is normally diagnosed through a blood test and is treated with penicillin or other antibiotics. If left untreated, syphilis can progress through four stages of infection, with symptoms ranging from sores and rash to multi-organ system damage. Before 2001 syphilis cases in Ontario were rare, but rates have been on the rise. As noted in the Summary of Syphilis in Windsor and Essex County report, from 2017 to 2019, there has been a 134% increase in the crude incident rate of local Syphilis cases. During this same period, there was a 25.6% provincial increase, although the overall rate in Ontario remains higher than in WEC.

Infection of the brain and spinal cord, known as Neurosyphilis, has also been found to be of significant concern as noted in the Summary of Neurosyphilis in Windsor and Essex County report. This complication of Syphilis can result in symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, dementia, a change in personality, and difficulty coordinating muscle movements. In 2019, Neurosyphilis cases comprised nearly 10% of all Syphilis cases in WEC. This number has been steadily growing, with 5.5% and 3% of cases in 2018 and 2017 respectively. In addition to the increased number of Neurosyphilis cases, there has also been a shift in the age of those being diagnosed. From 2010 to 2018, all Neurosyphilis cases were over 45 years of age, however in 2019, half of the cases were diagnosed in individuals 20-44 years of age. 

Individuals at a higher risk of contracting Syphilis and Neurosyphilis include those engaging in unprotected sex, men having sex with men, and individuals having sex with anonymous/multiple partners. To reduce the risk of contracting and transmitting Syphilis and other STBBI’s, individual are encouraged to engage in safer sex practices such as wearing a condom and are further encouraged to get tested.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Currently, nurses in the Infectious Disease Prevention and Clinical Services departments provide follow up of all laboratory confirmed cases of Syphilis in WEC through the provision of direct clinical services and/or by working with primary health care providers in the treatment of cases. In addition to testing and treatment, nursing staff facilitate the process of contact tracing and confidential partner notification in an effort to decrease further transmission of Syphilis and other STBBI’s.

The WECHU continues to increase community awareness of the risks associated with contracting Syphilis and other STBBIs, especially among those who engage in unprotected sex and also through physician engagement strategies that support our local health care providers in the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of Syphilis cases. Initiatives to date include media segments led by our Nurse Practitioner (NP) and educational sessions for health care providers at various Windsor Essex County Community Health Centre sites.  Additional NP led sessions are planned for the University of Windsor and St. Clair College student health services as well as Family Health Teams. In addition, Dr. Ahmed (MOH) provided an educational session at the Windsor Essex County Medical Society 2019 Annual Meeting,

A public awareness campaign is also under development. Currently data is being collected to explore clients’ baseline knowledge, risk factors and perceived barriers to engaging in safer sex practices in relation to Syphilis. This data will be utilized to direct our public messaging and communication strategy moving forward.

Approved by:

Theresa Marentette, CEO


View Document page

PREPARED BY:

Karen Lukic, Health Promotion Specialist

DATE:

February 20, 2020

SUBJECT:

The WECHU Taking Action on Climate Change


BACKGROUND

Climate change is a long-term shift in weather conditions. It can impact average temperatures, precipitation, wind, and other indicators. It is also linked to more frequent, extreme weather events such as storms that produce torrential rain and tornadoes.  Windsor and Essex County (WEC) have experienced the impacts of climate change in recent years, such as record levels of precipitation which have led to widespread flooding events. There have also been periods of extended heat and the annual blue-green algae bloom in our lakes.  These changes have also created ideal conditions for the survival of invasive mosquito species and a greater presence of insects that carry diseases not historically found in our region. WEC is the first region in Canada to identify adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and have had evidence of the presence of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes since 2016.  Both of these mosquitoes are vectors for viruses not normally seen in Canada, such as Zika, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya.  These climate impacts are expected to persist and worsen as a result of past and present-day emissions (Government of Canada, 2017).

It has become necessary to take action on climate change globally and locally. These actions can have positive impacts on both the environment, and on the health and well-being of WEC residents. Initiatives and policies needed to address climate change can also help to protect human health, reduce health care costs, and improve health equity within our community. Examples include investments to protect current infrastructure from climate-related disasters, and implementing changes to building codes to increase the resiliency of buildings (Government of Canada, 2017). Changes can also be made to reduce the amount of energy we use, and the amount of waste that we generate to reduce our carbon foot print both at an individual and organizational level.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

The WECHU has taken a number of actions to address, manage, and respond to the effects of a changing climate. On November 21, 2019 the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health passed a Local Response to Climate Change Resolution that supports ongoing advocacy efforts and public health interventions to support climate change action locally. These initiatives and programs, implemented in collaboration with key community partners, will support municipalities, local organizations, and individuals to take action and raise awareness levels about the health impacts of climate change.

The WECHU has also conducted a Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment which will be used to identify and understand the impacts that a changing climate will have on the health of the WEC population, and identify those populations most vulnerable to negative health effects. Data from this assessment will be used to develop action plans for the various health impacts affecting our region.

In addition to these broader initiatives, internally, the Health Unit has implemented several changes in recent years to reduce our organization’s environmental impact. Examples include:

  • Creation and implementation of policies that reduce the number of vehicles on the road (e.g. staff carpooling, the use of web conferencing technology)
  • Reduction of energy consumption through conversion of office lighting to LED, and the use of power-saving modes for office equipment
  • Reduction of single-use plastics, and supporting staff to drink more water and less sugar sweetened beverages through the installation of water bottle filling stations within our buildings and removal of beverage vending machines
  • Reduction in office waste by providing ample resources for staff to recycle paper, plastics, glass, and batteries
  • Installation of bike racks at each of the 3 Health Unit offices to encourage active transportation

Looking ahead, the organization will continue to consider its environmental impacts and updates that can be made to our policies, procedures and programs with our new workspace to reflect our organizational commitment. Examples include:

  • Implementation of environmentally friendly purchasing policies that encourage buying local, recyclable goods, reducing waste from food/single-use plastics and put an emphasis on reducing the organizations carbon footprint
  • A building design that conserves energy and water (e.g. LED lighting, use of natural lighting, solar panels, light sensors, power save features on office equipment, low flow toilets and faucets)
  • Allowing for natural, green spaces where possible in the design and incorporating building infrastructure that support staff and client active transportation such as biking and walking

Approved by:

Therese Marentette, CEO

References

Government of Canada (2017) Adapting to the effects of climate change.  Retrieved on January 13, 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-action/adapting-to-effects.html


View Document page

Prepared By:

Communications Department

Date:

February, 2020

Subject:

January Media Relations Recap Report

January Media Coverage

Total Media Coverage

59

Interview Requests

30

Mentions (In the news without direct interviews)

24
Requests for Information 5

January 2020 Media Relations Recap - Media Coverage

January 2020 Media Relations Recap - Story Source

Media Coverage

Media Outlet

Number of Requests/Stories

AM 800

11

Blackburn

7

CBC

14

CBC Radio-Canada

2

Chatham Daily News

1

CTV

6

Harrow News

1

St. Clair College/Mediaplex

3

St. Thomas Time-Journal

1

Strathroy Age Dispatch

1

Sudbury Star

1

The London Free Press

1

Toronto Star

1

Windsor Star

8

Yahoo News

1

TOTAL

59

News Release, Media Advisories and Media Statements

Date Type Headline Response

January 8, 2020

News Release

First Confirmed Influenza Death in Windsor and Essex County

6 Stories Reported

January 8, 2020

News Release

Boil Water Advisory Issued for All Users of the Wheatley Water System

4 Stories Reported

January 11, 2020

News Release

Boil Water Advisory Rescinded - Wheatley Water System

2 Stories Reported

January 14, 2020

Media Advisory

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Board of Health Meeting

8 Stories Reported

January 16, 2020

News Release

Are You Prepared? Potassium Iodide (KI) Pill Pick Up Sessions

5 Stories Reported

January 20, 2020

News Release

Start Your Quit Story this National Non-Smoking Week

1 Story Reported

Stories Reported by the Media

AM 800

Publish Date

Title

January 2, 2020

Increased Demand For Naloxone Says Local Pharmacist

January 8, 2020

First Confirmed Flu Death In Windsor-Essex

January 8, 2020

Boil Water Advisory Issued For Parts Of Wheatley And Leamington

January 9, 2020

First Flu Death Confirmed This Season In Windsor-Essex

January 9, 2020

Student Immunization Deadline Approaching

January 16, 2020

Local Health Unit Making KI Pills Available

January 16, 2020

Pick-Up Sessions Planned For Windsor-Essex Residents To Get Anti-Radiation Pills

January 17, 2020

Local Health Unit Wants To Make Pilot Project Permanent

January 26, 2020

Radon Study Could Result In New Building Code For Essex County

January 31, 2020

Coronavirus Risk Remains Low In Windsor-Essex

January 17, 2020

The Dan MacDonald Show - Breastfeeding Is On The Decline

Blackburn News

Publish Date

Title

January 7, 2020

Respiratory Illness Prompts Local Hospitals To Enact Visitor Restrictions

January 8, 2020

First Flu Death Confirmed In Windsor-Essex

January 8, 2020

Tilbury Area Boil Water Advisory Remains In Place, New One Issued For Wheatley

January 17, 2020

Health Unit Raising Radon Awareness

January 19, 2020

Breastfeeding Rates Remain Low In Windsor-Essex

January 20, 2020

KI Pill Available For Pick-Up In Windsor And Leamington

January 28, 2020

Catholic Board Responds To Coronavirus

CBC News

Note: Digital stories were not available for five of CBC’s requests.

Publish Date

Title

January 8, 2020

Hospitals In Windsor-Essex Being Strained By Spike In Flu-Related Illness

January 8, 2020

Hospitals In Windsor-Essex Being Strained By Spike In Flu-Related Illness

January 8, 2020

First Flu-Related Death In Windsor Area Confirmed By Health Unit

January 8, 2020

Boil Water Advisory Expanded To All Wheatley Water System Users

January 12, 2020

Boil Water Advisory Issued For Wheatley Water System Cancelled

January 14, 2020

How Windsor-Essex Would React To A Nuclear Emergency In Michigan

January 16, 2020

False Alarm Triggers Demand For KI Pills In Windsor Essex

January 17, 2020

Breastfeeding Rates Continuing To Decline, According To WECHU Report

January 20, 2020

A 2-Month Wait To Fix His 2 Front Teeth: The Problem With The Ontario Seniors Dental Program

Chatham Daily News

Publish Date

Title

January 15, 2020

CK Public Health Adding Voices To Its Submission On Amalgamating Health Units

CTV Windsor News

Note: Digital stories were not available for one of CTV’s requests.

Publish Date

Title

January 8, 2020

First Flu Death Confirmed This Season In Windsor-Essex

January 16, 2020

Pick-Up Sessions Planned For Windsor-Essex Residents To Get Anti-Radiation Pills

January 17, 2020

Residents, Businesses And Schools Encouraged To Test For Radon

January 23, 2020

Windsor-Essex Residents Pick Up KI Pills

January 28, 2020

High Number Of KI Pills Picked Up By Windsor-Essex Residents

The London Free Press

Publish Date

Title

January 1, 2020

More Than 47,000 Naloxone Kits Handed Out By Pharmacies in Region

St. Thomas Times-Journal

Publish Date

Title

January 1, 2020

More Than 47,000 Naloxone Kits Handed Out By Pharmacies in Region

Strathroy Age Dispatch

Publish Date

Title

January 1, 2020

More Than 47,000 Naloxone Kits Handed Out By Pharmacies in Region

Sudbury Star

Publish Date

Title

January 1, 2020

More Than 47,000 Naloxone Kits Handed Out By Pharmacies in Region

Windsor Star

Note: Digital stories were not available for one of Windsor Star’s requests.

Publish Date Title

January 7, 2020

Local ERs Cope With 'Surge' In Flu, Respiratory Cases

January 8, 2020

Windsor-Essex Health Unit Confirms Region's First Flu Death Of The Season

January 9, 2020

Boil Water Advisory Issued For Users On Wheatley Water System

January 16, 2020

Percentage Of Local Moms Breastfeeding Drops To 16.3 At Six Months

January 22, 2020

Thousands Of Local Homes Likely Have Dangerous Radon Levels: 'You've Got To Test For It'

January 20, 2020

Health Units Promote National-Non-Smoking Week With Interactive Web Page

January 23, 2020

Medical Officer Of Health Talks About Opioids Awareness

January 27, 2020

Windsor Regional Hospital Remains Vigilant With Coronavirus Protocols

January 12, 2020

Boil Water Advisory Issued For Wheatley Water System Cancelled

Note: Digital stories were not available for CBC Radio-Canada (2), Harrow News (1), St. Clair College/Mediaplex (3), or the Toronto Star (1). 

The following individuals contributed to this report: Jennifer Jershy, Marc Tortola, and Michael Janisse.


View Document page

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin (via phone until 5:20 pm), Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively

Board Member Regrets:

Gary Kaschak

Administration Present:

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


QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:09 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: John Scott
    Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Board Elections
    Nominations for Chair
    G. McNamara relinquished the Chair to T. Marentette, Board Secretary, to begin the election process. T. Marentette opened the floor for nominations for the position of Chair noting that Administration had received two (2) written nominations for Gary McNamara. T. Marentette asked for further nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Chair were closed. G. McNamara, having accepted the nomination, was appointed Chair by acclamation.

     

    Nominations for Vice-Chair
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for the position of Vice-Chair noting that Administration had received three (3) written nominations for John Scott and one (1) nomination for Tracey Bailey. The Chair asked for further nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Vice-Chair were closed. The Chair asked John Scott if he accepted the nomination – John Scott accepted. The Chair asked Tracey Bailey if she accepted the nomination – Tracy Bailey declined. John Scott, having accepted the nomination, was elected Vice-Chair by acclamation.

    Nominations for Treasurer
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for the position of Treasurer noting that Administration had received two (2) written nominations for Tracey Bailey. The Chair asked for nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Treasurer were closed. Tracey Bailey, having accepted the nomination, was appointed Treasurer by acclamation.

    Nominations for Audit Committee Member
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for a Member of the Audit Committee, noting that Administration had received one (1) written nomination for Rino Bortolin. The Chair asked for nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for an Audit Committee Member were closed. Rino Bortolin was appointed as a Member of the Audit Committee by acclamation.

  5. Presentations (W. Ahmed)
    1. Syphilis in Windsor-Essex
      Dr. Ahmed provided information to the Board on the increase of cases of Syphilis in Windsor-Essex. Syphilis is a systemic disease caused by T. pallidum bacteria that is transmitted during sex. Rates of Syphilis in Ontario are going up, in 2010 there were 32 cases and in 2019 there were 81. The age distribution and who’s most affected by it has also changed as the average age has changed from 44-64 years to 20-44. Various risk factors for the disease are:
      • Unsafe sex without a condom
      • Sex with same sex partners
      • Numerous sexual partners
      If left untreated, tertiary syphilis (serious damage to other organs including the brain) may result in Neurosyphilis. In 2015 we had 1 case, and in 2019 we had 8. Those with high risk are taking medication to avoid contracting HIV.
      WECHU’s role from public health perspective is to 1) follow up on all lab confirmed cases of syphilis through the provision of direct clinical services and/or by working with local health care providers; 2) facilitate contact tracing and confidential partner notification, and 3) facilitate local data collection to explore clients’ baseline knowledge, risk factors and perceived barriers to engage in safer sex practices in relation to syphilis. The WECHU follows every case, and the WECHU works to engage healthcare providers.
    2. Coronavirus Update
      Dr. Wajid Ahmed provided the Board with an update of a new Novel Coronavirus, first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. When compared to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), this is the largest outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in the world with over 75,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths. The numbers are changing daily, with most cases (98%) in China.
      The virus has spread to 28 countries, with 8 confirmed cases in Canada, 3 in Ontario. So far, there have been no confirmed cases in the Windsor Essex region, with 10 people testing negative. Of these 10, 5 individuals had influenza and 2 had rhinovirus. Today, coronavirus is not in our community, and people should still pay attention to local cases of Influenza.
      The novel coronavirus is a family of viruses which, over time, tends to mutate and create something different. This is what happened with SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), they are not necessarily new, but mutate and change and detect different types of proteins. It is unlikely that this virus existed before and most people recover. Those that are most at risk are the elderly (over 65 years) and individuals whose immune systems have already been compromised.
      For local response, all suspected cases are reportable to the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed. We have developed a local response plan in collaboration with our hospitals, EMS and primary care providers, along with our health unit Infectious Disease, Epidemiology and Environmental Health departments, and we have informative and credible information on our WECHU website.
      We currently have 117 cases of Influenza and WECHU produces a weekly flu report on line. We have noticed a spike in cases in the last month and also need to be concerned and take precautions such as hand washing and using hand sanitizers. Anyone visiting the ER who wishes to be tested for the coronavirus must meet case definition, or they will not be tested.
      There have been two Canadians infected with dengue fever (mosquitos) while travelling to the Caribbean and WECHU will consider including the Government of Canada’s link on their website in regard to precautions while travelling outside of Canada.
  6. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: January 16, 2020
      Moved by: Joe Bachetti
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      The following information reports were presented to the Board.
      1. Syphilis in Windsor and Essex County (W. Ahmed)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      2. The WECHU Taking Action on Climate Change (K. McBeth)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      3. Media Recap
        Brought to the Board for information.

      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the Information Reports be received.
      CARRIED

    2. RECOMMENDATION/RESOLUTION REPORTS
      1. Seasonal Housing Compliance Inspections – Fee for Service Program
        K. McBeth brought forward a cost recovery program, for annual inspections, for Seasonal Housing Compliance Inspections for Board approval. This program is managed by our Environment Health department and dramatically increased over the last few years. This Resolution outlines, in addition with the work, significant coordination with municipalities. The workload has increased and our WECHU Leamington clerk is spending 60% of her time on seasonal housing coordination, along with water safety, and other environmental health programs. Not all health units have implemented a fee, but some health units do charge a fee of approximately $80-$100. Our cost recovery program would be used to cover the increase in clerical support.
        The nature of inspections include worker accommodations, i.e. air space, and number of individuals that can stay in a bunkhouse. The WECHU works together with municipal building departments on building codes. Inspections have increased 2-3 times per year, with additional inspections required when workers move from one bunkhouse to another. This increase in inspections has been imposed by Service Canada. The owners are greenhouse growers, and food processing, and we will likely see substantial increases in a continually growing industry.
        Moved by: Fabio Costante
        Seconded by: Larry Snively
        That the Recommendation/Resolution Report be supported.
        CARRIED
  8. Business Arising – None
  9. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  10. New Business
    1. Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Report (W. Ahmed)
      Dr. W. Ahmed referenced the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Report and the Local Response to Climate Change Resolution, passed by the Board of Health in November 2019, supporting ongoing advocacy efforts and public health interventions to support climate change action locally. This report provides data on impacts of climate change, adaptation actions already in place, and policies to respond to climate change. The WECHU, City of Windsor, County of Essex, Essex Regional Conservation Authority (ERCA) as well as all of the local municipalities are working together to reduce the environmental impacts of climate change, with ERCA taking the lead. G. McNamara noted that agriculture (the food industry) is a $3B industry and this report identifies that this is not a Windsor Essex issue, but a global one.
      Moved by: Debbie Kane
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the above information be received.
      CARRIED
    2. Public Health Modernization Consultation (T. Marentette)
      T. Marentette noted that our Public Health Modernization Consultation (Public Health, Municipalities, EMS) with the Ministry of Health originally scheduled for February 19, 2020, was moved to March 30, 2020. The consultation will still take place at the WFCU Centre. T. Marentette will send Board members our completed responses to public health modernization compiled over the last couple of months. Board Chair, G. McNamara, encouraged all Board members to attend, as this is our opportunity to have our say on how important public health is to our communities and to put our best foot forward. He noted that Jim Pine, CAO of Hastings County and AMO member, will be the facilitator.
      Moved by: Debbie Kane
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the above information be received.
      CARRIED
  11. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters – For Support
    1. Peterborough Public Health – Letter to Hon. Caroline Mulroney and Hon. Christine Elliott – Off Road Vehicles and Bills 107 and 132
    2. Letter from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health, to Nicole Dupuis, WECHU – The Children Count Pilot Study Program – For Information
      G. McNamara took the opportunity to congratulate N. Dupuis and her team.
      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
      That the above correspondence be supported as noted.
      CARRIED
  12. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 5:14 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:35 pm
  13. Addition to Agenda – Various Costs
    The Ministry provided the template for one-time funding requests, i.e. vaccine fridges and extraordinary costs. We proposed four extraordinary costs that we would like to include in our Annual Service Plan:
    • Coronavirus – more resources will continue to be required – extra costs for this month – $18k
    • Public Health Inspection Students (3) for Vector-Borne Program – to cover wages, mileage and additional awareness campaign – $77k
    • Migrant Farms – Communicable Diseases – utilizing staff for skin testing, etc. – $4k
    • Public Health Practicum Students – to build capacity for future Environmental Health Inspectors – asking for 2 students – $10k
    • What we do not receive in funding we will have to absorb.
    Moved by: Tracey Bailey
    Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
    That the above be received.
    CARRIED
  14. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or March 19, 2020 in Essex, Ontario
  15. Adjournment
    Moved by: Joe Bachetti
    Seconded by: Debbie Kane
    That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 5:41 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY:

SUBMITTED BY:

APPROVED BY:


View Document page

January 16, 2020

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: December 19, 2019
  5. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Breastfeeding in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)
      2. Radon Gas Initiatives in Windsor-Essex County (K. McBeth)
      3. Media Recap (Handout)
    2. RECOMMENDTION REPORTS
      1. Children Count Pilot Project (N. Dupuis)
  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  8. New Business
    1. Public Health Modernization Update (T. Marentette) (Handout)
    2. Board of Health Elections (February 20, 2020 Board meeting)
  9. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters – For Support
    1. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Letter to Hon. Minister Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health – National Pharmacare Program
  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 or February 20, 2020 – Windsor
  12. Adjournment

View Document page

Prepared By:

Karen Lukic, Health Promotion Specialist, Environmental Health

Date:

January 16, 2020

Subject:

Radon Gas Initiatives in Windsor-Essex County

BACKGROUND

Radon is a radioactive gas produced when naturally occurring uranium, found in soil and rock, decays. It can’t be seen, smelled or tasted and is in nearly every home across Canada. According to Health Canada (2014), long-term exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and the primary cause for non-smokers. Health Canada has set the Canadian guideline for radon levels in the home at 200 Bequerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3).

In a cross-Canada study released by Health Canada in 2012, 13.8% of homes tested in Windsor-Essex County (WEC) had radon levels at or above 200 Bq/m3 (Health Canada, 2012). This number was comparable to results from the 3-year Radon: Know Your Level study conducted by the WECHU’s Environmental Health Department that found 11% of homes tested in Windsor-Essex County (n=2,364) had levels at or above 200 Bq/m3 (WECHU, 2018).

The WECHU coordinates the monitoring and surveillance of environmental exposures of public health significance, such as radon, and provides the public with education and mitigation options. These activities are required in the Health Hazard Response Protocol, 2018 and Healthy Environments and Climate Change Guideline, 2018.

In February 2019, the WECHU Board of Health passed a recommendation resolution that included a number of progressive public health activities to reduce exposures and risks related to radon exposure in our community including advocating for municipal and public policy updates on testing and mitigation systems and increases to provincial requirements related to acceptable radon levels in newly built homes and buildings.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Using results from the Radon: Know Your Level study, the WECHU conducted a radon education and advocacy session with members of the Sun Parlour chapter of the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA). The Sun Parlour chapter membership is comprised of the Chief Building Officials from the City of Windsor, and 8 municipalities in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent County. The session included a presentation on our study findings and the WECHU’s recommendations for action such as:

  • Changes to municipal building code to include rough-ins for radon mitigation systems in all new residential builds.
  • Radon testing in municipally owned public buildings or buildings with on-site municipal staff.
  • Partnering with school boards, licensed child care centres, and public libraries to encourage radon testing.

As a result of this education and advocacy session, the City of Windsor and all municipalities represented in the Sun Parlour chapter unanimously agreed to adopt a radon rough-in requirement for all new residential construction starting January 1, 2020.
All new home builders will have to comply with this requirement in order to receive approval from the municipal building inspector.  The WECHU, in partnership with the Sun Parlour Chapter, will design radon information labels for distribution to building contractors. These labels will be attached to the radon rough-in pipe system to inform new homeowners of the existence of the roughed-in system and provide direction to homeowners if action is required.

Residents of WEC continue to receive education about radon and its risks, where to purchase testing kits, as well as information about mitigation options for homes with high radon levels. This information is currently available on the WECHU’s website and reinforced each November in recognition of Radon Action Month through a variety of free and social media methods.

APPROVED BY:

Theresa Marentette, CEO


View Document page

Prepared By:

Communications Department

Date:

January 6, 2020

Subject:

December Media Relations Recap Report

December Media Coverage

Total Media Coverage

37

Interview Requests

18

Mentions (In the news without direct interviews)

17
Requests for Information 2

December 2019 Media Relations Recap - Media Coverage

December 2019 Media Relations Recap - Story Source

Media Coverage

Media Outlet

Number of Requests/Stories

AM 800

6

Blackburn

6

CBC

7

Chatham Daily News

1

Chatham This Week

1

CTV

8

Windsor Star

8

TOTAL

37

News Release, Media Advisories and Media Statements

Date Type Headline Response

December 3, 2019

News Release

Having A Food Drive? Make Your Donations Count!

0 Stories Reported

December 11, 2019

News Release

First Case of Influenza A Confirmed

5 Stories Reported

December 17, 2019

Media Advisory

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Board of Health Meeting

9 Stories Reported

Stories Reported by the Media

AM 800

Publish Date

Title

December 11, 2019

First Flu Case Identified By Windsor Essex County Health Unit

December 16, 2019

Healthy Donation Tips For Area Food Banks

December 20, 2019

Windsor Father's Cautionary Tale About Vaccine Timing

December 20, 2019

Health Unit Asks Province To Keep Supporting Kid's Dental Program

December 20, 2019

Health Unit Says Cost Of Living On The Rise In Windsor-Essex

December 30, 2019

New Ban On Promoting Vaping Products Take Effect Jan. 1

Blackburn News

Publish Date

Title

December 2, 2019

High Number Of Drug-Related ER Visits This Weekend

December 11, 2019

Influenza A Confirmed In Windsor-Essex

December 18, 2019

Extreme Cold: Where To Go, What To Do

December 18, 2019

A 'Prolonged Dislocation' For Westcourt Place Residents

December 20, 2019

Living Wage In Windsor-Essex To Increase Minimally In 2020

December 26, 2019

Giving To A Food Bank? Here's What They Need

CBC News

Note: Digital stories were not available for two of CBC’s requests.

Publish Date

Title

December 3, 2019

Alert Triggered For Increase In Drug-Related Emergency Visits In Windsor

December 11, 2019

First Case Of Influenza A Confirmed In Windsor-Essex

December 18, 2019

3.6% Tax Hike Proposed For City Of Windsor 2020 Budget

December 22, 2019

Michigan Marijuana Regulator Recalls Vaping Product; None Recalled In Windsor

December 20, 2019

Cost Of Healthy Food Increased 8.8% in Windsor-Essex In 2019

Chatham Daily News

Publish Date

Title

December 13, 2019

Potassium Iodide Pills Distributed To Residents

Chatham This Week​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Publish Date

Title

 

December 13, 2019

Few People Taking Advantage Of Potassium Iodide Tablets

 

CTV Windsor News

Note: Digital stories were not available for two of CTV’s requests.

Publish Date

Title

December 11, 2019

Health Unit Confirms First Flu Case Of Season In Windsor-Essex

December 13, 2019

ACW Workshop Aims To Tackle Opioid Use Stigma, Enhance Preparedness

December 19, 2019

These are some options for Windsor's Homeless In Extreme Cold

December 20, 2019

Rising Food Prices Concern Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

December 20, 2019

Calls For Province To Keep Supporting Children's Dental Program

December 30, 2019

New Ban On Promoting Vaping Products Take Effect Jan. 1

Windsor Star

Note: Digital stories were not available for one of Windsor Star’s requests.

Publish Date Title

December 2, 2019

Health Unit Issues Fourth Alert For High Overdose Rates Within A Month

December 3, 2019

Windsor Firefighters Want To Carry Naloxone

December 4, 2019

Local Paramedics Use Opioid Overdose Antidote Every Couple Of Days

December 11, 2019

Health Unit Confirms First Flu Case Of The Season

December 16, 2019

Health Unit, Food Banks Suggest Healthier Food Donations

December 19, 2019

Cost Of Health Eating In Windsor-Essex Up Almost Nine Per Cent

December 25, 2019

Provincial Downloading Threatens Local Kids' Oral Health

The following individuals contributed to this report: Jennifer Jershy, Marc Tortola, and Michael Janisse.


View Document page

Prepared By:

Jennifer Jacob, Nutritionist

Date:

January 16, 2020

Subject:

Breastfeeding in Windsor-Essex

BACKGROUND

The World Health Organization and Health Canada recommend exclusive breastfeeding for an infant’s first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond (WHO, 2019). Promotion and support of breastfeeding is an important part of healthy growth and development, providing unique benefits for both the infant and mother. Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include a decrease in risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); reduced risk of many childhood illnesses; healthy brain growth and development; and also contributes to a lower risk of chronic diseases for both the infant and mother in later ages.

Despite the benefits of breastfeeding and recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months, rates remain consistently low in Windsor-Essex County (WEC) with just 16.3% of women reporting exclusive breastfeeding at six months post-partum (BORN, 2018). Exclusive breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge have remained low over the past years. In 2017, 57.4% of women were exclusively breastfeeding at hospital discharge, significantly lower than the provincial average at 61.2%; in 2018, this rate declined a further 5%. At two months post-partum rates of exclusive breastfeeding in WEC drops to 25.7% (BORN, 2018). 

In 2018, the WECHU received its Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) designation. As part of maintaining this designation and requirements in the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), ongoing monitoring of local breastfeeding rates has been established using BORN and our internally administered infant feeding survey.  Additionally, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) in 2019, committed to reviewing all breastfeeding services provided by the Healthy Families department to ensure programs and services best met the needs of the community. This included an Environmental Scan, in partnership with the Windsor Essex-County Children and Youth Planning Committee, and a Literature Review. Based on the results from our findings, the following initiatives were identified to address the decline in exclusive breastfeeding rates and improve supports for expecting mothers and new parents.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Collaborating with local hospitals to improve breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge: In 2020, the health unit and Windsor Regional Hospital will offer monthly prenatal breastfeeding classes to prepare women to navigate common breastfeeding challenges within the first 24 hours and beyond. Additionally, the Health Unit will also offer Family Birthing Centre nursing staff with breastfeeding training to improve their ability to assist mothers with breastfeeding initiation and help to build mothers’ breastfeeding self-efficacy, a key predictor of breastfeeding duration (RNAO, 2018).

Policy and Supportive environments: Using the RNAO Breastfeeding Practice Guidelines (2018), the health unit will provide recommendations to Family Birthing Centres to create or improve policies, protocols and procedures to better support a women’s intention to breastfeed.

Improving access to in-person lactation consultation: In 2020, the health unit Lactation Consultant’s (LC) in addition to providing in-house clinic support will also provide home visits for women who have significant barriers to accessing services at the health unit offices. Such barriers may include, mothers who are geographically isolated, have multiple children, and or suffer from a physical ailment or mental health concern. Furthermore, WECHU has added a third LC position to help promote and support exclusivity rates for our breastfeeding families.

Increasing awareness about breastfeeding services in Windsor-Essex County: In 2020, a targeted awareness campaign will be launched to improve awareness about our services among priority populations. In addition to targeted bus and social media ads, the health unit will send promotional material to doctors’ offices and community groups in priority neighbourhoods. Evaluation will be incorporated into existing services to ensure priority groups are accessing these services.

CONSULTATION:

The following individuals were consulted in the development this report: Felicia Lawal, Manager, Healthy Families, Amanda Ryall, Manager, Healthy Families, Nicole Dupuis, Director of Health Promotion.

APPROVED BY:

Theresa Marentette, CEO

References:

Newhook, Newhook, Midodzi et al. (2017). Poverty and Breastfeeding: Comparing Determinants of Early Breastfeeding Cessation Incidence in Socioeconomically Marginalized and Privileged Populations in the FINal Study. Health Equity, 1(1).

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)(2018). Breastfeeding - Promoting and Supporting the Initiation, Exclusivity, and Continuation of Breastfeeding for Newborns, Infants, and Young Children. 3rd Edition. Toronto, ON. 


View Document page

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Gary Kaschak, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively 

Board Member Regrets:

Tracey Bailey

Administration Present:

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


QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 5:03 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: Ed Sleiman
    Seconded by: Gary Kaschak
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: December 19, 2019
      Moved by: Judy Lund
      Seconded by: Rino Bortolin
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  5. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      The following information reports were presented to the Board.
      1. Breastfeeding in Windsor Essex (N. Dupuis)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      2. Radon Gas Initiatives in Windsor Essex County (K. McBeth)
        Brought to the Board for information.
        F. Costante asked if the WECHU will be running another campaign to distribute Radon kits or if any audits of homes will be conducted in the future since, according to studies, our region is twice the provincial average for acceptable Radon levels. T. Marentette advised that the WECHU’s 3 year campaign on Radon is complete and our campaigns are now focused on educating the community. Radon Kits are readily available at local hardware stores and are approximately $40 each.
        J. Lund asked if the WECHU can encourage appropriate levels of government to create programs to test for Radon levels and offer incentives to home owners to make upgrades/repairs to their homes. G. McNamara said that the WECHU can write a letter of request to make a recommendation, but this would be at the will of the government.
        Moved by: Fabio Costante
        Seconded by: Judy Lund
        That the Windsor Essex County Health Unit prepare a Letter of Recommendation to the appropriate Provincial body requesting support for Radon mitigation in the Province of Ontario
        CARRIED
      3. Media Recap
        Brought to the Board for information.
        Moved by: John Scott
        Seconded by: Larry Snively
        That the Information Reports be received.
        CARRIED
    2. RECOMMENDATION/RESOLUTION REPORTS
      1. Children Count Pilot Project (N. Dupuis)
        N. Dupuis brought forward the Children Count Pilot Project Resolution for Board of Health approval.
        N. Dupuis acknowledged R. D’Souza for the significant amount of work dedicated to this project over the past 5 years. G. McNamara commended N. Dupuis and her team,
        noting that the gauge is poverty and Windsor Essex leads the provincial average in key issues like childhood obesity, diabetes and healthy eating.
        Moved by: Rino Bortolin
        Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
        That the Recommendation/Resolution Report be supported.
        CARRIED
  6. Business Arising – None
  7. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  8. New Business
    1. Public Health Modernization Update (T. Marentette)
      This item on the agenda has been moved for discussion in Committee of the Whole.
    2. Board of Health Elections 2020 (T. Marentette)
      G. McNamara noted that Board Elections will take place at the February 20, 2020 Board of Health meeting. Nominations will be accepted between now and the February board meeting.
      Moved by: Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by: Fabio Costante
      That the above information be received.
      CARRIED
  9. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters – For Support
    1. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Letter to Hon. Minister Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health – National Pharmacare Program
      Moved by: Rino Bortolin
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the above correspondence be supported as noted.
      CARRIED
  10. Additions to Agenda (G. McNamara)
    1. Flu Season Update
      G. McNamara requested an update on this year’s flu season. Dr. Ahmed noted that there are 39 confirmed Influenza cases locally, about 50/50 of both strains A and B. This has been a typical flu season so far and we will continue to monitor. Since the flu season typically runs into April, it is still not too late to receive the flu shot. We continue to monitor the recent outbreak in Wuhan China and we receive regular updates. There have been 14 cases of the virus in China, 2 in Thailand and 1 in Japan.
    2. Pickering Nuclear Generating Station – False Alarm
      The recent alert regarding the false alarm at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, and our close proximity to the US Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, has prompted individuals in our community to request Potassium Iodide (KI) Pills. The health unit has received 400 calls this week and we have organized 3 sessions for individuals to pick up KI pills. There will be 2 sessions in Windsor and 1 in Leamington and the information is our website.
  11. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 5:26 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:58 pm
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or February 20, 2020 in Windsor, Ontario
  13. Adjournment
    Moved by: Joe Bachetti
    Seconded by: John Scott
    That the meeting be adjourned
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY:

SUBMITTED BY:

APPROVED BY:


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ISSUE

The behaviours initiated in youth create a foundation for health through the life course (Toronto Public Health, 2015). Supporting student achievement and improving overall quality of life for children and youth is a priority shared across multiple sectors, including health and education. Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have identified the importance of this stage of development through the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) and the Ontario Curriculum (2019), and the interrelationship between health, well-being and educational outcomes. Collecting, analyzing and reporting data at the local level is essential for the planning, delivery and evaluation of effective and efficient services that meet the unique needs of students and ensure the responsible public stewardship of the resources allocated to these services (Windsor-Essex, 2017). The lack of a coordinated provincial system for the assessment and monitoring of child and youth health that meets local needs has been the focus of many reports, including the 2017 Annual Report of the Ontario Auditor General. The Auditor General’s report identified that children are a public health priority population and that epidemiological data on children are not readily available to public health units for planning and measuring effective programming (Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, 2017).

In the initial report, Children Count: Assessing Child and Youth Surveillance Gaps for Ontario Public Health Units (Populations Health Assessment LDCP Team, 2017), public health units and school boards identified a need for local data related to mental health, physical activity and healthy eating for school-aged children and youth. In 2017, the Children Count Locally Driven Collaborative Projects (LDCP) Team convened a Task Force of leaders in education, public health, research, government and non-governmental organizations to explore solutions and make recommendations for improving assessment and monitoring of child and youth health. The Task Force recommendations have been endorsed by many organizations including the Council of Directors of Education (CODE) and Council of Medical Officers of Health (COMOH). In their report, the Children Count Task Force (Children Count Task Force, 2019) recommended building on existing infrastructure by using the Ministry of Education’s mandated school climate survey (SCS). The SCS provides population level data for children and youth grades 4 to 12 and represents a significant opportunity to understand local health needs of students.

BACKGROUND

In follow up to this previous work, the Children Count LDCP Team, with a renewal grant from Public Health Ontario (PHO), embarked upon The Children Count Pilot Study Project. The Children Count Pilot Study began in December 2017 with the goal to explore the feasibility of coordinated monitoring and assessment of child and youth health, utilizing the SCS, to address local health data gaps. This provincial project included six school board and public health unit pairings who developed and piloted a Healthy Living Module (HLM) as part of the school board’s SCS. The HLM covered the topics previously prioritized of mental health, healthy eating, and physical activity.

The objectives of the Pilot Study were:

  1. To work collaboratively to develop a HLM for the SCS;
  2. To pilot test and evaluate the applicability and feasibility of the partnership between public health units and school boards in coordinated monitoring and assessment utilizing the SCS; and 
  3. To develop a toolkit for implementation of coordinated monitoring and assessment for health service planning using the SCS for child and youth health in Ontario.

Using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) model, the steering committee (comprised of school board and public health leadership), worked together to build the HLM. The HLM was successfully integrated into the SCS led by participating school boards. Collaboratively school boards and local public health units analyzed and interpreted the results for knowledge sharing and planning.

The HLM enriched each school boards’ SCS and identified areas for further work to support student health and well-being. The process of piloting the HLM with multiple and diverse school boards using different methods demonstrated that the overall process of coordinating a HLM into the SCS is feasible and adaptable to suit local needs while still enabling consistency in data across regions. The Children Count Pilot Project captured the process and lessons learned in their final report (December 2019) as well as developed the Children Count Pilot Study Project: Healthy Living Module Toolkit as a guide for school boards and health units across the province.

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, boards of health are required under the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) to collect and analyze health data for children and youth to monitor trends over time, and

Whereas, boards of health require local population health data for planning evidence-informed, culturally and locally appropriate health services and programs, and

Whereas, addressing child and youth health and well-being is a priority across multiple sectors, including education and health, and

Whereas, Ontario lacks a single coordinated system for the monitoring and assessment of child and youth health and well-being, and

Whereas, there is insufficient data on child and youth health and well-being at the local, regional and provincial level, and

Whereas, the Children Count Pilot Study Project, Healthy Living Module is a feasible approach to fulfill local, regional and provincial population health data gaps for children and youth, and

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health receives and endorses the Healthy Living Module, and

FURTHER THAT, the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health encourage the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to adopt the Healthy Living Module as part of the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Ontario School Climate Survey.

References

  • Children Count Task Force. (2019). Children Count: Task Force Recommendations. Windsor, ON: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
  • Office of the Auditor General (2017). Annual Report 2017. Toronto: Queen’s Printer for Ontario.
  • Ministry of Education. (2019). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education.
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2018). Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability. Toronto: Queen’s Printer for Ontario.
  • Population Health Assessment LDCP Team (2017). Children Count: Assessing Child and youth Surveillance Gaps for Ontario Public Health Units. Windsor, ON: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • Toronto Public Health. (2015). Healthy Futures: 2014 Toronto Public Health Student Survey. Toronto: Toronto Public Health

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December 19, 2019

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Presentation: WECHU Staff Long-Term Services Awards
    (T. Marentette/ G. McNamara)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: November 21, 2019
  6. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Windsor and Essex County Living Wage Program (N. Dupuis)
        •Appendix A – Calculating a Living Wage for Windsor-Essex
      2. 2019 Nutritious Food Basket and the Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)
        • Appendix A – The Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex
      3. Q3 Financial Results (L. Gregg)
      4. 2019 Operational Plan Reporting Q3 Status (T. Marentette)
        •2019 Operational Plan Reporting – Q3 Status Report
      5. 2019 Q3 Strategic Plan Report (T. Marentette)
        •2019 Q3 Strategic Plan Progress Report
      6. Upcoming 2020 Board of Health Competency Self-Evaluation (T. Marentette)
      7. Lead in Drinking Water (W. Ahmed/K. McBeth)
      8. Media Recap
    2. RECOMMENDTION REPORTS
      1. Healthy Smiles Ontario Funding (N. Dupuis)
  7. Business Arising – None
  8. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  9. New Business
    1. Strategic Planning Committee – Vacancies (2) for Board of Health Representatives (T. Marentette)
  10. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters – For Support
    1. City of Hamilton, Office of the Mayor – Letter to Hon. Minister Christine Elliott – Opposition to Co-Payment for Dentures Under the New Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program
    2. City of Hamilton, Office of the Mayor – Letter to Hon. Minister Patty Hajdu – Endorsement of Comprehensive Measures to Address the Rise of Vaping in Canada
    3. Sudbury and District Health Units – Letter to Hon. Minister Christine Elliott – E-Cigarette and Aerosolized Product Prevention and Cessation
  11. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act) 71
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair or January 16, 2020 – Windsor
  13. Adjournment

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