News Release: June 23rd Public Health Updates Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) continues to work with the Ministry of Health, local health care providers, and municipal partners to monitor and coordinate the response to COVID-19 as the situation evolves in the province and the community. Protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents of Windsor and Essex County remains our top priority.
- To date, we have 1,361 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, 788 cases are resolved, and there are 68 deaths.
- There are 101,637 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 33,853 cases in Ontario, with 2,619 deaths.
* Local numbers are as of June 22, 8:00 p.m.
** provincial and national numbers are as of June 23, 11:00 a.m.
Individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 or are wondering if they should be tested should consult the COVID-19 Population Health Navigator for Windsor-Essex. Already tested? You can now check your results online.
If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider. You can also call the WECHU at 519-258-2146 extension 1420.
What is happening locally?
The WECHU is reporting thirty-two (32) additional cases of COVID-19 over for June 23rd and zero (0) deaths. Thirty of the thirty-two cases are among farm workers, one is community spread and one is still under investigation. As of today, the WECHU is monitoring one COVID-19 outbreak at Village of Aspen Lake Long-Term Care home and seven outbreaks among workplaces in the agriculture sector. The WECHU leadership meet with facilities in outbreak regularly to discuss necessary actions and provide public health guidance and support. For more information, regarding outbreaks for COVID-19 visit our website under local updates.
Daily Live News Briefing
Today the WECHU began its’ daily updates again through YouTube Live. These daily news briefings will be held at 9:30 each morning.
During this mornings’ briefing Dr. Ahmed, MOH and Theresa Marentette, CEO and CNO were joined by the Chair of the Board of Health, Warden of Essex and Mayor of Tecumseh, Gary McNamara, Vice Chair of the Board of Health, Deputy Mayor of Lakeshore, Tracey Bailey and City representative to the Board of Health, Councillor Ward 3, Rino Bortolin. The health unit addressed their role in public health, the on-going work of the health unit from the beginning of the pandemic and clarified current misinformation and misconceptions shared through recent media.
“This is a global pandemic, one that we have not experienced in our lifetime. The leadership of this region should be working together to find real solutions and take action, not lay blame. It was important to our board to be part of dispelling some of the misinformation out there and set the record straight. We have done a great job in this community, containing the spread of COVID-19 and it will take all of us to continue to do so. Not moving to Stage 2 is not a health unit decision or their fault. Fighting this pandemic takes all levels of leadership, from all sectors and all levels of government. No one organization is responsible,” says Gary McNamara, Chair of Board of Health.
Class Order for commercial establishments
Under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) may issue an order to limit the spread of communicable disease in the community. Actions under a section 22 order must be necessary for reducing or removing the risk for spread of communicable diseases and can include individuals or a class of individuals. Class orders apply to groups of persons as defined in the order issued by the medical officer of health.
On Friday, June 19th, Dr. Ahmed announced that he would be updating his recommendation on the use of face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. To prepare for the reopening of more businesses in the region of Windsor-Essex and to further protect the community from COVID-19 Dr. Ahmed is issuing a class order. This new class order effective 12:01 a.m. on June 26th, 2020, requires all owners or operators of a commercial establishment in Windsor-Essex to prohibit the entry of any person who is not wearing a face covering, unless the person cannot wear one due to medical reasons or age.
Commercial establishments as defined in the order include any place that are open to the public and offer goods and/or services for sale including:
- Retail stores
- Convenience stores
- Personal service settings
- Grocery stores and bakeries
- Gas stations
- Farmer’s markets
- Mechanic shops and car dealerships
COVID-19 is spread from person to person through infected respiratory droplets when individuals are in close contact. When worn appropriately non-medical facemasks can be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. Combined with regular hand washing with soap and water, maintaining physical distancing where possible, avoiding touching your face and staying home if sick, this additional measure will ensure that we are ready to move to Stage 2 safely and securely.
To learn about appropriate use of non-medical masks review Public Health Agency of Canada’s How to Safely Use a Non-Medical Mask or Face Covering.
“Maintaining physical distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer, staying home when you are ill, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or sleeve, regular cleaning and disinfecting and avoiding crowds are still the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. However, in public settings where physical distancing is not possible, to protect yourself and others wearing a facemask is recommended and will now be enforced through this class order for commercial establishments. I hope that these extra measures will continue to keep the spread of COVID-19 in our community low and allow us to safely move to Stage 2,” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health.
To review the details of the order issued by Dr. Ahmed and frequently asked questions please go to the WECHU website.
The Provincial government has extended orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to June 30th. To learn more about the regions and services allowed under Stage 2 visit the Provincial website. For guidelines and information for workplaces and COVID-19 visit the WECHU’s dedicated webpage for workplaces.
For a full list of current recommendations, guidelines and restrictions, please visit the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website.
For questions related to closures and openings of businesses, call the Stop the Spread information line at 1-888-444-3659 or visit Ontario.ca/page/stopping-spread-covid-19.
To protect yourself from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly;
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue;
- Keep surfaces clean and disinfected;
- Stay home unless it is essential to go out and stay home when you are sick;
- Practice physical distancing (2 Metres); and
- Wear a non-medical cloth mask in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
The WECHU encourages the public to follow credible sources for information about COVID-19. The WECHU monitors and updates our website daily, including case counts for Windsor and Essex County. For up-to-date facts visit www.wechu.org.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.