Masse requests ‘additional measures’ to secure Windsor-Detroit border from COVID-19 spread
Published Saturday, March 28, 2020 11:07AM EDT Last Updated Saturday, March 28, 2020 1:42PM EDT
The route to the Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, MI., is seen on March 24, 2020. (Ricardo Veneza / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- As the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan rise well beyond anything seen across Canada, a Windsor-area Member of Parliament is calling on the government for stronger border measures.
In a news release issued Friday evening, Windsor West MP Brian Masse requests the federal government to take “additional measures” to secure the border and prevent the potential Spread of COVID-19.
“These actions could include potential options such as heightened and expansive daily screening for each health worker,” the news release reads.
In an interview with CTV News, Masse points to the escalating COVID-19 crisis across the river from Windsor in the U.S.
“We’ve asked for increase supports because Detroit’s increasingly becoming a hot spot and a zone that is certainly going to increase over the next number of weeks and we have to do things over here to protect citizens and also to protect the supply chain that’s so important to our economy,” says Masse.
The official release of COVID-19 cases in Michigan from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as of 3 p.m. on Friday shows a total of 3,657 cases in the state with 92 deaths. In Detroit alone, there are 1,075 cases and 23 deaths.
The statement from Masse’s office also indicates “segregation of returning health workers to designated housing” and possibly requiring those making daily trips to stay in the U.S. “until public health authorities have alternative solutions” as potential solutions.
Both the Canadian and U.S. governments have already closed the border to all non-essential travel.
Masse says the measures he’s suggesting are well within the capability of the federal government and adds healthcare workers have reached out to his office with their own coronavirus concerns.
“We all want to do our part and we all want to make sure we don’t stretch our resources, but the reality is, the multiple exposures over many places — workplaces that we’re not familiar with as much or I’m getting questionable practices raised to me from the actual people there — requires us to act on it,” says Masse.
On Tuesday, the Windsor-Essex County Public Health Unit called for additional border measures to be taken by all levels of government to reduce the risk of the widespread community infection in Detroit and Michigan from trickling over into Windsor and Essex County.
In its latest update, the health unit reported the number of confirmed cases had jumped from nine on Friday to 15 as of 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The total number of local tests stands at 815, of which 552 are pending.