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May 2020

City of Windsor COVID-19 Update

Transit Windsor Service Update:

Pursuant to authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has ordered Transit Windsor to resume city service seven days a week on an enhanced “Sunday” schedule only, effective Monday, May 4, 2020. Transit will be employing enhanced safety measures at this time.

The current suspension of service, which had been recommended by Transit Windsor leadership based on the significant public health risks to both riders and drivers will continue from April 30, 2020 until May 4, 2020 to allow for updated health protocols and time for operational needs to be fully enacted.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has provided a series of recommendations and advice for Transit Windsor as well as local transit users:  www.wechu.org/guidance-using-public-transit. The City of Windsor and Transit Windsor leadership sought this advice from local public health officials to inform decision making regarding local transit service conditions.

Discussions with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 616 representatives began last week upon receipt of WECHU recommendations, and while discussions are ongoing, it is anticipated that a Memorandum of Agreement can be reached to enable full compliance with WECHU recommendations by May 4, 2020.

Based on best advice from national and international public health officials, the resumption of Transit Windsor service will be modest and measured to limit the future risk of local community spread of COVID-19. The order directing the resumption of service also limits Transit Windsor operations to daily service on an enhanced “Sunday” schedule only until May 31, 2020. Tunnel Bus service will not resume at this time.

“As governments around the world start to take steps to re-open it is vital that we take gradual and methodical steps to continue to combat the pandemic’s risk in our community,” said Mayor Drew Dilkens. “The weeks and months ahead will require constant vigilance. Everyone needs to do their part and continue to maintain social distance and self-isolation for a while longer.”  

Transit Payments Processed

To support regular transit users, Windsor City Council approved a one-time payment for individuals who purchased a pass between February 19, 2020 and March 19, 2020 or held a monthly pass valid for the period between February 19, 2020 and March 19, 2020. Subject to verification, the one-time payments are being processed across three broad categories:

  • University of Windsor students to receive $25 per eligible student pass;
  • Regular pass holders (Adult, Student and Senior) need to apply for a payment on-line to be eligible for a $50 amount.
  • The City of Windsor provides over 2,500 passes to low-income and vulnerable individuals who receive a bus pass as part of their social assistance program. These individuals will not need to apply and will receive a $75 payment.  

The City of Windsor has now processed the Ontario Works, Affordable Pass Program, and Ontario Disability Support Program user rebates and is in the process of completing other rebates. The online application process has only resulted in about 1,400 applications to date. All individuals who believe themselves to be eligible are encouraged to apply.

Full details on how to apply and more can be found at www.transitwindsor.ca.

Order Closing Devonshire and Tecumseh Malls to Expire

Mayor Dilkens’ order temporarily closing Devonshire and Tecumseh malls will expire on April 30, 2020 and will not be extended.

The Province of Ontario has enacted strict regulations governing the type of businesses (regardless of location) which are permitted to be open at this time. The order shutting both Devonshire and Tecumseh malls went further and prohibited operations within these two sites. After the order expires, provincial regulations will continue to limit the type of businesses that are permitted to operate to those defined as essential under the regulation.

“We acknowledge that the local order was enacted at a time prior to the current Provincial Regulation,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “We are going to monitor this situation closely.”

This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to update residents as new information becomes available.

More Info on COVID-19 and the City of Windsor:
  • Visit www.citywindsor.ca/covid-19 for the latest information on adjusted City services, including a growing list of Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Our community partners at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit also have a web page with information on the latest health advice, community restrictions and guidelines, and other information on COVID-19.
  • For general information on municipal services or to request a service, please call 311, download the 311 app or email 311@citywindsor.ca. Open 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.

Emergency Alert System for Windsor Residents

Windsor Fire and Rescue and the City of Windsor are rolling out a new way for residents to receive emergency information—fast!

It’s called Windsor Alerts. Visit windsoralerts.ca to sign-up:

How Does the Alert System Work?

The Windsor Alerts system will be used to notify subscribers of significant emergency situations and disasters, such as large fires, tornados, flooding and more. Every resident is asked to sign up by providing their cell phone, email address, home phone and home address. The home address information is important as it allows for geo-positional notifications to be sent out to affected areas.  

Alerts may be broadcast via the following delivery methods:

  • Email account (work, home, other)
  • Cell phone (SMS Text)
  • Home phone (Voice)
  • Cell phone (Voice)
  • Everbridge Mobile Member App
  • TTY device
The Windsor Alerts Registry:

The City of Windsor encourages residents to register everyone in their family for this important service. Each family member will have to be registered separately. Residents will always have the option to remove their contact information in the event that they no longer wish to receive notifications. More emergency and non-emergency options will be added for residents to sign up for at a later date.

Platform:

The Windsor Alerts system is built on the same Everbridge platform used by numerous municipalities across Canada, including our neighbours in Essex County. Everbridge is a global leader in mass notification.

For more information on City Services, visit www.citywindsor.ca or call 311. For more information on fire and rescue, visit www.windsorfire.com.

Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) and Mayor’s Arts Awards proceeding

In an effort to offer support and recognition to local artists affected by COVID-19, the Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) and the City of Windsor have agreed to proceed with the 2020 WEA awards and grants celebration, as well as the Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards (MAAs).

As of March 20, both programs were temporarily placed on hold as partners assessed the impact of COVID-19 on our community. A virtual celebration will be held via Zoom, and broadcast simultaneously on the City of Windsor’s Facebook page on May 22, 2020.

Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards (MAAs) Update:

The Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards will re-open the application window from April 27 to May 8, 2020. Those wishing to apply for the Individual Artist ($1,000), Arts Organizations ($1,000), or Arts Volunteer ($500) awards may apply online during that time. Those who submitted applications by the original March 31 deadline need not re-apply. The MAA jury will make selections over the next few weeks.

Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEAs) Update:

WEA received around 60 art grant applications by the March 31, 2020 submission deadline. Over the next few weeks, the WEA jury panel will review those applications to select one successful candidate in each of the 11 grant categories. A total of $29,000 in grant funding will be distributed this year to Windsor-Essex artists and arts organizations. WEA is not accepting any further applications at this time. All nominations for the non-monetary WEA Art Leadership Awards will be postponed until the 2022 ceremony.   

Details of the Virtual Ceremony

Mayor Drew Dilkens and Stephanie Barnhard, WEA President will co-host the virtual awards ceremony on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. WEA and the City will reach out to recipients directly to coordinate their participation in the virtual ceremony.

Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor

“Art changes lives,” says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Our creative community is one of the reasons we’re standing strong during COVID-19. Artists give us the stories, works and experiences that shape our city. Like everyone right now, they are facing difficult days. I am pleased to partner with WEA to present the Mayor’s Arts Awards alongside the WEAs – even under these unique circumstances. Though this virus is fought through isolation, we must stand united now more than ever. These programs provide a further opportunity to support, encourage and recognize our local artists by showing them how much we appreciate, value, respect and need them. I encourage people to apply, and to join us for the virtual celebration later in May.”

Stephanie Barnhard, President, Windsor Endowment for the Arts

“Our community has a vibrant art scene,” says WEA President Stephanie Barnhard. “That vibrancy gives us hope in these challenging times. The grant proposals we received this year are bursting with ideas to bring beauty, joy and healing to the people of Windsor-Essex. WEA is honoured and proud to help our local artists and arts organizations bring their creative projects to life for the benefit of us all.”             

Please visit www.wea-arts.comwww.citywindsor.ca, and www.citywindsor.ca/covid-19 for the latest information.

City Opens Windsor Water World as Day Program Location

The City of Windsor, in partnership with a variety of community agencies, has opened a day program at Windsor Water World.

“With places like libraries and community centres closed due to COVID-19, we know our homeless residents are having trouble finding a safe place to go during the day while adhering to directives for social distancing,” said City of Windsor Community Development & Health Services Commissioner Jelena Payne. “By partnering with some great agencies, we’re able to provide a safe, clean location and personal supports to help everyone get through this pandemic.”

Windsor Water World is located at 400 Wyandotte Street East, and the day program will be open from 9am to 7pm daily.

Support agencies on site include Canadian Mental Health Association, Family Services Windsor-Essex Street Outreach Team and the CommUnity Partnership.

Light refreshments and activities are also offered, while respecting physical distancing requirements.

The City of Windsor conducts surveys as a means of soliciting ideas and opinions from residents so we can better serve the community as a whole.  Check back often to see if a new survey is ready for your input.




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