Windsor-Essex County Health Unit calls for stronger border measures, healthcare worker limits
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit wants stronger measures at the border and less movement of healthcare workers to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The latest recommendations came Tuesday at the health unit’s daily briefing concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We care concerned about the potential of continued travel to and from work of our residents to Michigan,” said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex.
Ahmed confirmed the region’s third case of COVID-19 on Monday afternoon. The new case is not connected to the previous two and is related to travel between Michigan and Windsor.
As of Monday at 2 p.m., the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,328 cases of COVID-19 in the state and 15 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.
“We are requesting stronger actions by all levels of government to put together strong measures in place and restrict cross-border travel for our community,” said Ahmed.
The Canadian and U.S. government’s have already closed the border to all non-essential travel and have agreed to return irregular migrants. Essential travel, trade and commerce will continue.
Meantime, the Ontario government has announced a 14-day closure of all non-essential businesses in the province effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday and released a 74-point list of essential businesses and services.
“While the announcement of closures of all non-essential workplaces in Ontario is helpful to mitigate the risk for Windsor-Essex, but it does little for many residents who are employed just over the border in Michigan,” sais Ahmed.
In addition to calling for stronger actions at the border, the health unit also wants healthcare providers to keep their work limited to a single institution.
Ahmed is “strongly recommending” those working in healthcare settings, particularly in long-term care homes where vulnerable populations exist, to restrict work to a single site and refrain from working in multiple locations.
Those impacted by the recommendation are advised by Ahmed to work closely with employers to find a solution to stay in one institution.
As of 8:30 a.m., there remain three confirmed cases in Windsor-Essex, two in Chatham-Kent and 503 cases in Ontario.
In total, 500 tests have been done, of which 329 are pending.
The health unit reported the first two confirmed cases in the region on Saturday.
With files from CTV Windsor's Melanie Borrelli.