In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the local medical officer of health, other health experts, and local authorities, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will remain in Stage 2 as the province continues to monitor local transmission of COVID-19 and support efforts to contain its spread.
Toronto - Aug. 4, 2020: In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the local medical officer of health, other health experts, and local authorities, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will remain in Stage 2 as the province continues to monitor local transmission of COVID-19 and support efforts to contain its spread.
"We are working hard with our federal and local partners to provide the communities in Windsor-Essex with the support they need during their reopening," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "With the health and safety of the people of Ontario our absolute top priority, Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2 until the data indicates they can safely move to Stage 3."
Outbreaks, especially in agriculture and agri-food sectors, pose unique challenges that require a targeted and collaborative response. Working with federal and local authorities, the province recently deployed the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to Windsor-Essex. EMAT is providing both incident management support and coordination to the health sector in Windsor-Essex and will provide clinical support should it be required.
Ontario is also implementing a three-point plan to support Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in reducing the risk of transmission on farms and throughout the community. This plan includes ongoing and expanded on-site testing, access to employment benefits and supports, and public health guidance specific to the agri-food setting. Local public health officials are assisting with the implementation of plans to ensure essential workers in the sector are able to return to work safely.
"We continue to take action to address outbreaks in the region and provide our farmers and agribusinesses in Windsor-Essex with the help, tools and resources necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of their workers and employees," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "We are all working together to fight the spread of COVID-19 while protecting our vital food supply chain and the health and safety of the people who put food on our tables."
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts will continue to closely monitor and assess local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and increased testing, before advising when the region can move safely into Stage 3.
Over 180 guidance resources are available to businesses to help them safely reopen and keep customers and workers safe.
Local mobile teams comprised of staff from local hospitals, Ontario Health West Region, Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network home and community care services, emergency medical services, and interpreters are being deployed every day and are completing regular health check assessments on-site at farms for all referred who are positive and symptomatic.
Ontario has launched a $15 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program which provides cost-share funding for personal protective equipment (PPE), workplace modifications, temporary housing and other costs, to assist with providing safe and healthy workplaces.