A look at the numbers

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting eight new cases.

All, but one, are in the Greater Sudbury area, with the one being in the Sudbury District.

This brings the total of active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction to 76.


No confusion – don’t have to go out, stay home

Premier Doug Ford says there should be no confusion about the province-wide stay at home order, which went into effect at midnight.

There have been complaints from several municipal leaders that there’s no definition of what’s considered essential employment, essential trips, or essential services for people to follow over the next 28 days.

But the premier says the order is simple…..stay at home.

He says if you’re not sure that a trip outside the house is absolutely essential, then it probably isn’t…and you shouldn’t be leaving the house.


Rolling out the vaccine

The provincial government could begin Phase Two of its vaccination campaign before Phase One concludes by the end of March.

Currently, the priority is residents and staff in long-term care homes across Ontario, front-line health care workers, and indigenous and remote communities.

Phase Two will concentrate on the elderly, people in the hardest-hit regions, and essential workers.

Retired General Rick Hillier, who’s in charge of the vaccine rollout, says he wants that phase ready to go by mid-February.

But its progress will be determined by how fast vaccine supplies arrived.

The province is also considering delaying the interval between the first and second inoculations.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says initial doses have a 90 per cent protection rate, or more….so the second shot could be delayed for up to six weeks.


Red Cross, not military at LTC facilities

The provincial government says the Canadian military will not be heading back to Ontario’s long-term care homes.

Premier Ford’s office says, because Red Cross staff is now assisting, and hospitals have taken control of care in some hard-hit facilities, there’s no need for military assistance.

Military personnel spent three months at several facilities last year, and reported horrific conditions in many of them.

Forecasts show more deaths in long-term care homes will occur in this second wave, when compared to the first.

But provincial officials say the vaccination of residents and staff is proceeding rapidly.

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