Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens asked Ontario Premier Doug Ford for “stronger intervention” from the province when it comes to testing migrant workers, as the agricultural sector makes up the most COVID-19 cases in the region.
The city’s mayor said he spoke with the premier and the Minister of Agriculture over the weekend about the issue.
“Current reports regarding testing in the region indicate that we can and must do more to test the full and complete population of migrant workers,” Dilkens said in a media statement.
“During my conversations this weekend, I expressed my desire for stronger intervention from the province of Ontario to help test and isolate the temporary foreign workers in our region.”
Fifty-eight new cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex were reported over the weekend, with 50 of those cases in the agriculture sector.
The province announced Monday that Windsor-Essex will not be moving into the second stage of reopening as these numbers are considered too high.
Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak is calling the situation a crisis, but something that was predictable and possibly preventable.
“What I do know is that if the assessment centre model isn’t working, we need to take a look at what the barriers are to those migrant workers,” he said.
About 700 of the 8,000 migrant workers in Windsor-Essex were tested last week at Erie Shores HealthCare’s COVID-19 assessment centre, which has the capacity to conduct up to 600 tests a day.
That’s less than 10 per cent of the total number of workers getting tested.