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Weekly wrapup from PHSD shows escalation in COVID-19 cases, school outbreaks and more…

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The following is a summary of how the status of COVID-19 has changed in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area over the last seven days up to the end of day March 5, 2021: 98 new cases, 14 cases were resolved, and two deaths occurred. Twelve outbreaks were active, including five in local schools, two in long-term care homes, two in retirement homes, two in community congregate living settings and one in a large multi-unit dwelling. Four outbreaks were declared over in the past seven days, two in long-term care homes, one in a retirement home, and one in a community congregate living setting.  At end of day March 3, 2021, there were 112 active cases in our service area and eight active outbreaks. One case was hospitalized, while the rest were self-isolating.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a total of 698 local cases of which 586 are resolved, and 14 people have died in our service area. Three cases in total have been confirmed as a COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC).

Trends over the last week …

  • Of the 98 new cases in our service area, 49 were associated with an outbreak, while 35 were close contacts of confirmed cases. This means that Public Health identified how these people were exposed to COVID-19 and was able to take quick action to prevent further spread. Two cases were travel-related, while the source of exposure was unknown for 4 cases.  Eight cases remained under investigation.
  • Ninety-four (94) cases reside in Greater Sudbury, while 4 reside in the Sudbury District.
  • By end of the day on March 3, contact tracing information was available for all 98 of the new cases. Through our investigation, we identified 1,102 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of 11.0 high-risk close contacts per case, compared to 7.0 contacts per cases last week. Public Health follows up directly and regularly with every high-risk close contact to monitor them for symptoms, ensure they are self-isolating, and make recommendations for testing according to provincial guidance.
  • The 7-day incidence rate was 49.3 new cases per 100 000 population (compared to 12.6 for the previous 7 days).
  • The percent positivity was 1.36% for the period of February 23 to March 1 (compared to 0.35% for the previous 7 days).
  • For the period of February 24 to March 2, the effective reproductive number (Rt) was 1.15 for Northern Ontario, and 1.01 for Ontario overall.
  • There were no new local cases that were confirmed to be a COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) in the past 7 days. There were, however, 22 cases for which preliminary tests indicate the potential to be one of these variants. Further laboratory testing is underway to confirm if these cases are, in fact, a VOC.

    What’s new

    • Public Health is sounding the alarm to ramp up measures to protect against COVID-19 after a surge in local cases which include cases that have either screened positive or been confirmed for the more transmissible virus mutations, called variants of concern (VOC).
    • A number of outbreaks are being monitored in various institutional, community, congregate care, and school settings, including a large multi-unit dwelling. Outbreak control measures are in place and Public Health continues to work closely with all affected individuals, agencies, and partners to prevent further spread of the virus.
    • The COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to Indigenous adults (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) aged 55 and over from area First Nations and in urban settings, highest priority health care workers, and very high priority health care workers this week.
    • Public Health now reports the number of COVID-19 cases with confirmed variants of concern (VOC) in the daily 4 p.m. web update.
    • Information on upcoming vaccination clinics for specific priority groups can be found on the COVID-19 vaccination clinics page at
    • Health care workers can pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by filling out a pre-registration survey. At this time, individuals who are not identified as health care workers cannot complete the pre-registration survey.

    Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health

    This has been a very alarming week as we’ve seen COVID-19 cases rapidly increase in our area. It’s also very worrisome to see a number of cases that have screened positive or been confirmed for variants of concern (VOC). The public health measures we’ve been following are critical now. That means staying home if you’re ill, masking, keeping distancing, and only going out or traveling for essential reasons. I encourage everyone to continue to think about ways you can help prevent the spread of the virus. I’m pleased that with the help of many partners we were able to offer the vaccine to even more priority groups this week. As of February 28, we have administered 6832 doses and 843 people have been fully vaccinated. Next week, we will begin offering the vaccine to adults 80 years of age and older and adult recipients of chronic home care. Let’s remain hopeful and continue to support each other through this trying time.

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