Fourth resident dies from COVID-19
A fourth resident at Amberwood Suites retirement home in Sudbury has died after contracting COVID-19.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts says a total of 38 people have tested positive for the disease at the home, where an outbreak was declared January 5th. The fourth resident passed away yesterday.

The cases include 33 residents and five staff members.

Public Health extends their condolences to the family and continues to work closely with the retirement home to protect residents and staff.

The health unit is also reporting seven new cases since yesterday, all in Greater Sudbury.

Four are attributed to close contacts with another positive, and two are travel related, one unknown.

The agency has also declared an outbreak in St. David School in Greater Sudbury after two more individuals tested positive bringing the total to three cases associated with the school.

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board is closing in-school learning and switching all the school’s students to virtual learning.

Considering resolved cases, there are now 65 active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction.

Algoma Public Health states it has one new case, cause unknown, who is in self-isolation in the Central Algoma area.

With resolved cases, there are now 25 active cases in the Algoma District.


Delay in Phyzer vaccine

Canada won’t be getting any COVID-19 vaccine shipments from Pfizer next week, and that has Premier Doug Ford hopping mad.

The company is expanding its manufacturing plant in Belgium, the source of Canada’s supplies and shipments won’t be back to normal until mid-February.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says we’re still on track to reach the goal of immunizing those at risk by the end of March.

But Ford says Trudeau needs to step up the pressure on the company.

He notes European nations complained loudly and their supplies will be back to normal by the end of this month.

The shortfall has led to a slowdown in the province’s vaccination rollout.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor David Williams, is also extending the time frame between the two inoculations needed per person to as many as 42 days from the current 21.


Task force member resigns

Premier Ford says he’s accepted the resignation of a member of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force, after learning she travelled outside the country over Christmas.

Linda Hasenfratz is the C-E-O of Canada’s second-largest automobile parts manufacturer.

The Premier’s office says she’s apologized for her decision to travel, but has not released details of where she went.


Essential drug shortage?

The Ontario Medical Association is calling on federal and provincial governments to work together to increase the domestic supply of essential drugs, to avoid any shortages during the coronavirus pandemic.

The association notes that ongoing shortages of some medications have worsened during the pandemic and the situation may get much worse if hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases during this second wave.

One major concern is the supply of essential pharmaceutical ingredients from China.

Last spring, pharmacists in the province were urged to limit prescriptions to a 30-day supply.

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