COVID-19 closes a local area school

Blind River Public School is closed today due to COVID-19.

The Algoma District School Board sent the notice to parents late last night.

The board says the closure is necessary as with the cancellation of some classes and not all the staff being on site, they cannot guarantee proper supervision of the children.

The board states they will make a further statement tomorrow in regards to further actions in the coming week.

The board says it is working with Algoma Public Health, which is conducting a careful investigation to identify close contacts.

Anyone who is a close contact will be notified.

If parents do not receive a call directly from the agency, the child is not considered a close contact, in which case they recommend not having your child tested unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.


Numbers lower today for the local districts …

There is only one new case in the Greater Sudbury area according to Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Close contact of a confirmed case is responsible, and the person is in self-isolation.

Considering resolved cases, there are 64 active cases with nine others resolved.

Health Sciences North is reporting 12 admitted patients, seven positives and five awaiting test results.

Of the seven, two are in intensive care.

Algoma Public Health is reporting six new cases of COVID-19. Four are from Sault Ste. Marie and area, one is from Central and East Algoma and one is from Elliot Lake and area.

Considering resolved cases, there are 27 active cases with two patients being hospitalized.


Going back to school …

All schoolchildren across Ontario will be able to return to in-person classes by February 16th.

Those living in the hard-hit regions of Toronto, Peel, and York, will see classes resume the day after Family day while those in other areas still closed will be able to return next Monday.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he made the decision based upon the advice of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor David Williams adding it’s supported by regional health officers
across the province.

Lecce says the province is ready to reopen all schools, because it’s safe.


Reopening for business …

Premier Doug Ford says he could have an announcement on Monday about plans to gradually loosen the restrictions on movement and assembly.

Ford says the cabinet has been discussing the issue with the goal of reopening the economy safely.

He adds that’s especially true for northern rural areas, where transmission rates have been low.

Ford says that any plan would likely be staggered, with a few of the coronavirus hotspots being delayed for a week or so.

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


Heading back to Queen’s Park …

The Ford government is rejecting a Liberal suggestion that there be a combination of in-person and virtual sessions held when MPPs return to Queen’s Park on February 16th.

Liberal MPP John Fraser says they want to ensure the maximum protection for members and staff against COVID-19, especially with new, more-contagious variants on the loose.

He’s pointing to successful virtual meetings held in other provinces, and in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

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