The COVID REPORT for FEB. 5, 2021

A look at local district numbers …

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

The agency states all three cases are in Greater Sudbury.

Considering resolved cases, there is a decrease in active cases at 56.

Health Sciences North has 13 admitted patients.

Of those six are confirmed cases with two in intensive care.

The other seven are waiting for test results.

And Algoma Public Health is reporting 25 active cases in the district with two people in hospital.


Variants could become dominant quickly …

Ontario health officials say variants of the coronavirus are spreading more widely across the province.

An analysis of tests done of January 20th shows 5.5 per cent came back as either the U-K or the South

African strains, which are much more contagious than the original version of the virus.

The vast majority were found at the Roberta Place long-term care facility in Barrie, where more than half of the home’s 127 residents have died of COVID-19.

Public health experts have said the U-K variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the province by March.


Stay home for Super Bowl …

Premier Doug Ford has released a video on social media, asking Ontarians to stay home on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ford says there’s no bigger football fan than himself, and he’ll be rooting for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But he adds he’ll be watching the game at home, with members of his household and everyone else should be too.

Ford is urging people to order pickup or delivery from local restaurants to help keep them afloat, and to avoid the chance of spreading the coronavirus.


The lock down and the reopening …

There’s still no word on when businesses in the province may be allowed to resume some operations.

The government’s stay-at-home order and state of emergency are due to expire next week.

But Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor David Williams, says he’s waiting until the number of people in hospital falls further.

Williams adds he wants to see how school re-openings proceed.

The hardest-hit areas in and around Toronto won’t see schools resume in-person classes until February 16th.

On Wednesday, Premier Ford said he might have a reopening plan to unveil on Monday.

But his office says, at this point, no announcement is planned.


No flu season …

Measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 are also having an effect on seasonal flu cases.

Provincial health officials say the number of cases of influenza reported last week was close to zero.

Doctor Williams says, since the flu is transmitted the same way as the coronavirus, the wearing of masks, physical distancing, and hand-washing have severely reduced its spread.

Federal officials say the number of cases detected across Canada is so low that they can’t yet declare a start to the annual flu season.


Delays on the vaccine …

Federal officials admit there will be more reductions in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines later this month and they’re not sure why.

Moderna has already reduced its shipments this month, and has now informed Canadian officials that deliveries in the second part of February will also be lower than expected.

Major-General Dany Fortin, in charge of the federal vaccine rollout program, says Moderna hasn’t yet said how many doses will be arriving, or why the shortfall is happening.

But he adds he’s still expecting the company to live up to its commitment to supply two-million doses by the end of this month.

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