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Algoma Public Health is reporting a new case of COVID-19

Algoma Public Health is reporting a new case of COVID-19 in the Algoma district.

The cause of Case #63 is unknown and the individual is self-isolating.

The unit is also now reporting non-resident cases stating currently there are two non-Algoma residents who have tested positive.

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The agency states in special circumstances, where people happen to be travelling, the unit may need to manage cases of confirmed COVID-19 who are temporarily in Algoma but who are not Algoma residents.


Coronavirus variant

Canada’s chief public health officer says a variant of the coronavirus hasn’t been detected in Canada yet.

British officials went public with news of the strain last week leading Canada and several other countries to close their borders to travellers from the UK.

Doctor Theresa Tam says it’s a perilous time right now, with Canada on track to see a surge in virus cases over the next two months.

The new strain is said to be up to 70 percent more infectious but apparently does not cause more serious illness in patients.


Financial assistance

We’ll be paying less for electricity next month, as our province moves into lockdown.

Premier Doug Ford says electricity rates will be reduced to the off-peak level of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for 28days, starting January first.

As well, parents of high school students will be eligible for a 200-dollar grant to help offset the extra costs of learning from home similar to that granted to elementary parents last fall.

In-person classes for those in high school in the north have been put off until January 11th, in the south, that’s extended to January 25th.


Drivers tests cancelled

People hoping to take their driving tests will have to wait, again.

With the province-wide lockdown looming, most in-person tests have been cancelled.

They won’t resume until after January 9th in the north and at least January 23rd in the south.

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says the government understands this is going to be an inconvenience for many, but health and safety remain their priority.

Commercial road testing and other commercial vehicle services will continue.


Coronavirus and airports

The Trudeau government says its border controls are among the strictest in the world with travel banned for all but essential travellers, and Canadians arriving home compelled to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Premier Doug Ford had been suggesting that lax controls at the border were a contributing factor in the spread of COVID-19, leading to the province-wide lockdown that begins on Boxing Day.

But Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says coronavirus cases linked to international arrivals account for less than two percent of cases diagnosed so far.

The rest is due to transmission within local communities.

Ford has demanded that the federal government institute mandatory testing for all arrivals, adding Ontario will go it alone if there’s no action.


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