While the novel coronavirus pandemic has shut down the Canada-U.S. border to all but essential traffic, health-care workers living in Windsor and Essex County continue to cross the border every day to provide care for Americans.
According to the City of Windsor, each day roughly 870 health-care workers cross the border to work in the Detroit-area. Numerous media outlets report roughly 1,600 health-care workers living in Windsor and Essex County are employed in Michigan.
To mark International Nurses Day — and as a showing of appreciation during trying times — the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, in partnership with the City of Windsor, will be offering 900 gift cards for local restaurants to area health-care workers on Tues., May 12, inviting them to “Take a Break on US.”
READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada
“As our two countries face the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we rely on each other more than ever,” said U.S. Consul General Greg Stanford.
“Your support to vulnerable Americans during this crisis is deeply appreciated. Now more than ever, the ties that keep us together are vitally important.”
Stanford and colleagues, as well as volunteers with the City of Windsor, will hand out the cards at the Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor-Detroit tunnel from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tues. on May 12. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency, and bridge and tunnel management are also providing support, the U.S. Consulate said.
The consulate says the gift cards will offer health-care workers “a break in the form of coffee, breakfast or lunch” and also help support Windsor’s food and beverage industry.
“Here in Windsor, we tend to take the border for granted – it’s just a part of our everyday life — until COVID-19 shut it all down,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkins told Global News.
“I’m thrilled that the Consul General and the U.S. State Department is coming to Windsor next week to provide these gift cards directly to those health care professionals who are on the frontlines – specifically those crossing the border to Michigan each day.”
Participating restaurants include Hikari Restaurant, Grand Cantina, Eddy’s Bistro, Olde School Deli, Kildare House, Spago, Gilligan’s, Thai Palace Restaurant, and Arcata Pizzeria.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.