Update on City of Windsor Operations in Light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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Update on City of Windsor Operations in Light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated March 14, 2020, 7:00pm

City of Windsor Buildings and Facilities

In an effort to address the concerns of the community with regards to the impact of the Coronavirus on the City of Windsor operations and facilities, the following communication has been prepared. 

Earlier today, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) provided a detailed update for our community. Given the continuously changing public health environment, and based on best advice from medical officials, City of Windsor administration consulted with WECHU and determined the following service-level changes:

  • All City of Windsor public facilities of a recreation nature – arenas, pools, museums and community centres will close effective the end of normal operating hours tomorrow evening, Sunday March 15
  • This change will remain in effect at least until Monday April 6, consistent with Ontario Ministry of Education’s school closures 
  • Windsor Public Transit will remain in service and unaffected by these other service changes, at this time
  • To the greatest extent possible, City staff who would regularly support the maintenance and operations of public municipal facilities will be redeployed to increase cleaning of the  City of Windsor facilities (i.e. City Hall) which will remain open
  • The Windsor Public Library Board is implementing the same service level closures as the City of Windsor and will support continued e-services

These additional steps, announced today, are being made out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the highest possible confidence in municipal public services. Within the last 24 hours Health Canada has updated the travel advisory to all foreign countries as a Level 3 risk, including the United States of America. Given the high number of residents that cross the border every day for employment and tourism, the screening process has become more onerous for a border City like Windsor.

 

The City of Windsor is in a unique position with higher density population than all other regional municipalities and our public spaces and facilities are highly utilized and valued in our community.

 

When considering taking these unprecedented steps, we sought to balance the needs of those within our community who rely on the City’s Culture and Recreation services with the growing public health concerns.

 

As the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced earlier today “our community still does not have any confirmed cases”. As such, these additional measures are being undertaken as a precautionary measure to help mitigate the risk of transmission within our community. The WECHU will continue to update the public in the days and weeks ahead, but as of this evening advice “that the risk of transmission in our City is low”.    

 

The health and safety of our residents, staff and visitors is of the highest priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consult with the Health Unit, going forward. Preventative measures at City of Windsor facilities that remain operational include:

 

  • Increased frequency of cleaning frequent or high-touch surfaces. Surfaces that are considered to be “high-touch” include:
    • Bathroom surfaces (taps, toilet handle)
    • Door knobs, door handles, push bars, light switches
    • Hand rails in stairs and hallways
    • Elevator buttons
    • Tables and counter tops
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces using a disinfectant.
  • Our staff will be washing their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Additional sanitization stands for visitors and staff will be made available subject to the availability of supplies.
  • Residents will experience enhanced screening at City of Windsor facilities

Huron Lodge:

The Ministry of Health continues to coordinate the response to COVID-19 with support from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, and other key stakeholders.  The Ministry continues to take proactive measures across sectors to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Huron Lodge has received the latest direction from the Ministry and as such, effective at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020,  is further restricting visitation to all residents

A letter issued by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has directed that only essential visitors may access long-term care homes to visit residents.  The Ministry is identifying essential visitors as those who have a resident who is dying or very ill. In these instances, two visitors will be allowed.  These visitors must continue to be actively screened prior to entering the home. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter. No other visitors are permitted to enter the home, instead they are asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available.

Residents of Huron Lodge will only be allowed to leave and return to the home for essential medical services.  Unfortunately this eliminates outings for lunches, hair appointments, etc.  All family gatherings booked at Huron Lodge are cancelled until further notice, as are all bus trips.

Care provisions will continue.  Select activities that may be provided by staff with no community involvement will continue. 

As stated, as further information becomes available and directives issued by the government, we will endeavour to communicate these changes as quickly as possible.  We understand that these measures affect our residents and families, however the health and safety of our residents continues to be our top priority.  Thank you in advance for your compliance and understanding.

The health and safety of our residents, staff and visitors is of the highest priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consult with the Health Unit. Preventative measures will be maintained as required.

Please note: Residents may experience screening at City of Windsor facilities.

Community Preparedness – What Every Resident Can Do

  • For more information on the Coronavirus, its potential impact on the community and tips on how best to protect yourself in your daily activities, please visit the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s special web page: Novel Coronavirus (2019).
  • Along with the preventative information provided by the Health Unit, the City of Windsor would also like to advise residents, if you are sick, please stay home.
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