Testing must be done before returning to school …

With two cases of COVID-19, children in several grades are staying home from Blind River Public School.

The Algoma District School Board says children in the grade 3/4 and 5/6 classes must isolate until February 16th.

The school was closed due to a staff shortage last Thursday.

One confirmed case of COVID-19 has also been reported at Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary School in Val Caron.

Sudbury Catholic District School Board education director Joanne Benard says the person who tested positive is self-isolating.

Some classes have been dismissed for a designated amount of time to ensure the school remains COVID-free.


Calling on health professionals to administer vaccines …

Physicians and other primary health care professionals in the Sudbury district are being called on to sign up for providing vaccines in the fight against COVID-19.

Public Health Sudbury and Districts has created a Primary Care Registry to identify health care professionals interested in meeting the demand in providing vaccines to the public.

Health professionals can sign up if they can assist at mass vaccination clinics or mobile clinics in smaller venues through the agency’s website.

The agency is preparing for administering the vaccine to the wider public.


A look at local numbers …

Algoma Public Health is reporting one case in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

The agency says the case involves international travel and the person is self-isolating.

Considering resolved cases, there are 21 active cases in the Algoma District.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting one new case of the virus in Greater Sudbury.

It is not known how they contracted the virus and testing continues while the person self-isolates.

Considering resolved cases, there are 35 active cases within the agency’s jurisdiction.

And Health Sciences North has 16 people admitted to hospital.

Of those eight are confirmed cases, with two people in intensive care.

The hospital is waiting for the results of testing for the other eight admitted patients.


Re-openings must be cautious affairs …

Canada’s chief medical officer of health says provinces must be extremely cautious in reopening their economies, with new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus now on the loose.

Doctor Theresa Tam says the number of daily COVID-19 infections has fallen to less than half the level it was a month ago, proving that current restrictions are working.

But she adds more cases of the variants from the U-K, South Africa, and Brazil, are now showing up.

Tam says, even as restrictions are lifted, Canadians should maintain this basic rule; aim for the fewest interactions with the fewest number of people for the shortest time possible at the maximum distance possible.


Travellers by road will need testing …

Travellers arriving at Canada’s land borders will soon have to provide evidence of a negative test for COVID-19 just like those arriving by air.

Those who can’t produce results will have to undergo a test at the border and if they refuse, they could be fined.

The restriction, which goes into effect on Monday, is aimed at thousands of Canadians who have travelled south over the winter.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government can’t ban Canadians from coming home but it can make sure they’re not spreading the coronavirus.


No pay back in CERB …

The federal government says thousands of self-employed Canadians won’t have to repay money they received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

There was some confusion in the early days about how to account for income when applying for the benefit, and Prime Minister Trudeau says those people won’t be penalized for the federal government’s mistake.

Trudeau also says those who received emergency benefits and made less than 75-thousand dollars last year won’t have to pay interest on any income taxes oweing until next April.

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