The Ontario government announced the Windsor-Essex region will remain in Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan, for the time being.
“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,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a statement. “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.”
The government indicated that outbreaks in the agriculture sector are a particular concern in the region and “pose unique challenges.”
The province has deployed the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to Windsor-Essex for incident management support and the government is also implementing a three-point plan to support the region’s health unit. This includes on-site testing, access to employment benefits and supports, and public health guidance specific to the agri-food setting.
“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,” Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a statement. “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.”