More COVID-19 cases, more deaths in local region

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting three deaths in their area bringing the total to five since the pandemic began.

Amberwood Suites, a retirement facility, confirmed three of its residents have died over the last three days.

A covid-19 outbreak was first declared there on January 5th and since then, 32 residents and three staff have tested positive for the virus.

There was also a confirmed case at the Discovery Early Learning and Care Daycare located at St. John Catholic Elementary School in Garson.

Parents were notified by the Sudbury Catholic District School Board on Friday and the board has closed three of the programs: toddlers, junior pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten daycare.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has also declared a COVID-19 outbreak in École St-Denis school in Greater Sudbury after a second person tested positive for the virus.
This individual is linked to a previously reported positive case in the school.

In accordance with provincial guidance, an outbreak in a school setting is declared when two or more laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 are linked and occur within 14 days of each other.

There are now 62 active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction.

Only four new cases were reported by the Algoma Health Unit over the weekend, three in the Sault Ste. Marie, the other in central Algoma.

The Algoma School Board has confirmed one of the cases involves a person at RM Moore Public School in Sault Ste. Marie and all close contacts have been notified.

Accounting for resolved cases, there are 35 active cases in the district with one person in hospital.

All confirmed cases in both jurisdictions are in self-isolation.

The blitz update

The Ford government is pledging to widen its crackdown on big-box stores that violate current COVID-19 restrictions, after what’s being described as a “disappointing” weekend.

Inspectors blitzing retail outlets in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas on Saturday found 30 per cent of the locations they visited weren’t following the rules, mainly those governing physical distancing, mask-wearing, and the screening of customers and staff.

Inspectors handed out 11 tickets and issued 11 warnings, but did not order any stores to close.

The Ford government has come under fire for allowing big-box stores to remain open, while smaller retailers are limited to delivery and curbside pickup.

The Ministry of Labour is in the process of hiring another 100 inspectors, and increasing phone lines at the Health and Safety Contact Centre, where violations can be reported.


Should the military be called in?

Ontario’s NDP leader says the Canadian Forces should be called in again, after yet another long-term care home asked for help from the Red Cross in dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

The home, in Barrie, has half of its 122 residents suffering from the coronavirus, along with 42 staff.

Andrea Horwath says military help is necessary at the home and at others across the province, to stem the second wave of infections that forecasts show may claim more lives than the first.

She says the Ford government can’t allow long-term care residents to continue to suffer.

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