Public Health Sudbury & Districts is changing how it routinely reports COVID-19 case-related data to align with the new COVID-19 testing eligibility requirements announced by the province.

Medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, says the changes are effective immediately and will help ensure that reported data is most useful to understanding how COVID-19 is impacting communities.

She says publicly funded PCR testing is now reserved for symptomatic people who are associated with the highest risk settings or who themselves are at high risk of severe disease.

Dr. Sutcliffe says with the new targeted testing approach, the cases confirmed by PCR that are reported to Public Health are an underestimate of the actual number of people with COVID-19 in the community. Public Health is therefore reporting additional data to provide a more accurate understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 locally, which can be found on their websites at www.phsd.ca .

Reporting from schools

The provincial government will begin sharing information today on how COVID-19 is affecting schools, a week after in-person learning resumed.

The government now requires schools to report only when absentee rates among students and staff reach 30 per cent from all causes.

As of today, that information will be shared on the province’s website.

It will allow parents to search information by school, and list how many schools have been closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks.