WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor city council has voted to expand the Isolation and Recovery Centre for migrant workers due to the high number of COVID-19 cases.

The city says council is taking immediate action to help resolve logistical issues associated with increased testing of the region’s migrant worker population by expanding the recovery centre for temporary foreign workers with the virus.

“What we’ve heard over the weekend is that it is challenging to appropriately isolate COVID-positive workers on farm sites,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Public Health officials have indicated that the need to isolate after a positive test result has become a barrier to increased testing of the migrant population. The City of Windsor is taking immediate steps to remove that barrier and I’m repeating my call for full testing of the temporary foreign worker population in Essex County.”

City officials say the centre is a motel in Windsor.

The protocols that were established by City of Windsor Social Services to isolate any COVID-positive homeless individuals will be extended to Essex County farm workers, in an effort to slow the spread within Essex County.

Costs associated with the established facility will be charged back to impacted farms.

The Isolation and Recovery Centre will expand for non-acute COVID-19 cases where hospitalization is not required.

City officials say the facility will continue to be closely monitored to ensure that residents remain on-site, to ensure that local risk of continued community spread is minimized. Social Services and public health staff will be made available to provide meals and check-in services for individuals.

In late-April, the province ordered the testing of all residents and workers in long-term care homes. In May, the Windsor-Essex Public Health Unit required the testing of Windsor’s homeless population and other congregate living settings.

On Monday, the province cited the localized outbreaks of COVID-19 within the temporary foreign worker population as rationale for Windsor-Essex remaining a Stage 1 region.

The Government of Mexico announced Tuesday that it was banning the transit of temporary foreign workers to Canada.

“As we know, this virus doesn’t discriminate and our regional response will be measured by how we protect the most vulnerable in our community,” said Dilkens. “The City of Windsor will continue to work with regional, provincial and federal partners to help bend the curve, and seek to eliminate COVID-19 in our community.”