COVID-19 cases spike in Southwestern Ontario after extensive testing of temporary workers

Ontario reported 257 new cases, 177 of those cases were recorded in Windsor-Essex

The push continues to get more agri-farm workers tested in Southwestern Ontario as the daily case count continues to climb.

The Windsor-Essex County health unit reported 87 new cases among agri-food workers Monday, in addition to the 98 new cases reported on Sunday.

The health unit says a total of 674 agri-farm workers have tested positive for the virus.

Of the 257 new COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario on Monday, 177 of those cases were confirmed by the Windsor-Essex public health unit.

Health Minister Christine Elliott attributed the spike to the extensive testing of temporary workers this weekend.

Health Minister Christine Elliott attributed the spike to the extensive testing of temporary workers this weekend.

Mobile testing teams visited farms across the Windsor-Essex region, hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks.

The province’s plan to reduce transmission on farms allows for asymptomatic farmworkers, who have tested positive, to keep working – a move that has been faced with some criticism.

“There’s a team of health experts and translators going into there today to speak with those who tested positive … we only want the people who are feeling well, to be going back to work,” Elliott said.

“We are going to make sure they are thoroughly checked out.”

The Windsor-Essex region, excluding Leamington and Kingsville, were allowed to enter Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan last week.

There are 8,000 temporary foreign workers in the region.

Ontario to end ‘turf wars’ in the towing industry

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<p>Ford opened Monday's news conference speaking about the creation of a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry. </p>
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<p>The Premier said there's a small group of "bad apples out there" setting vehicles on fire, smashing windows, and taking part in other criminal activities.  </p>
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<p>"The party is over, we're coming for you," Ford said.</p>
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<p>The task force will help develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards, and consider tougher penalties for violators.</p>
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<p>That includes the province's 'first-to-the-scene' policy, which critics say is the basis for what's happening in the industry. </p>
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Ford opened Monday’s news conference speaking about the creation of a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry.

The Premier said there’s a small group of “bad apples out there” setting vehicles on fire, smashing windows, and taking part in other criminal activities.

“The party is over, we’re coming for you,” Ford said.

The task force will help develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards, and consider tougher penalties for violators.

That includes the province’s ‘first-to-the-scene’ policy, which critics say is the basis for what’s happening in the industry.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones described what’s happening in the industry as a dangerous “turf war.”

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said the task force “will look at all options,” including a provincial licensing system.