The COVID REPORT

Public Health Sudbury issues more warnings

A public health warning has been issued.

Public Health Sudbury and Districts says there is a potential high-risk of COVID-19 exposure for anyone who attended P & M’s Kouzzina at 1463 Lasalle Boulevard in Greater Sudbury in the first and second weeks of March.

The Health Unit is asking customers and people they live with get tested and self-isolate due to the high risk of COVID-19.

The dates are March fourth to the sixth and eighth to the tenth.

 

A look at the local numbers …

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

The five cases are all in Greater Sudbury and are self-isolating.

Considering resolved cases, there are 243 active cases in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts.

And, although schools have switched to virtual learning an outbreak has been declared at Lockerby Public School in Sudbury bringing the total number of school outbreaks to 11, all in the city and surrounding area.

Health Sciences North states there are 23 admitted patients with ten confirmed patients and the other 13 waiting for test results.

Of the 23, four individuals are in intensive care.

And Algoma Public Health now has 15 active cases in the Algoma District, four from Central and East Algoma and one from Sault Ste. Marie and area.

Of the 15, three are individuals who are not from the local area but are receiving treatment.

Of those active cases, two people are hospitalized.

Algoma Public Health has also declared an outbreak at Central Algoma Secondary School (Algoma District School Board).
At this time, grades 9-12 have switched over to virtual learning, but the school’s elementary levels (JK-6) and the intermediate levels (7-8) are permitted to remain open for in-person learning.

 

Vaccinations bookings moving quickly

Officials say most of the problems with Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination bookings have been ironed out, after reports of long waits, busy phone lines, and on-line error messages when the system went on-line
yesterday.

The Ministry of Health says, by mid-afternoon, more than 92-thousand appointments had been booked.

Right now, appointments are only available to those 80 years of age and older…..and Premier Doug Ford is urging others to stay off the system to avoid future crashes.

Meantime, the person in charge of the vaccine rollout efforts will be leaving his post at the end of this month, despite an offer from the Premier to continue.

Officials say retired General Rick Hillier has decided that he’s fulfilled his goal of establishing the structures necessary to get the vaccine out and there’s no need for him to extend his term.

Photo: Jocelyne Bousquet of Remedy RX in Espanola receives her first vaccine shot. A pilot project is underway for pharmacies administering vaccinations. The plan is to eventually extend that option across Ontario. Photo provided by Jocelyne Bousquet.

 

Are we going into a third wave?

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health admits we’re likely at the beginning of a third wave of COVID-19 infections.

But Doctor David Williams says the size and extent has yet to be determined by experts.

Williams says we’re in a race against time, with vaccination numbers and cases of the more-contagious variants of concern on the rise.

The Ontario Hospital Association says we’re definitely into a third wave, noting that the number of people in hospital is also increasing.

AstraZeneca safety

Reports say the National Advisory Committee on Immunization will change its advice later today, and clear the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for those 65 and older.

The committee had recommended that seniors not receive the vaccine because there was limited evidence from trials that it was effective.

But CTV News says the committee now feels that real-world experience is showing that it works.

Meantime, health officials are reassuring Canadians that the vaccine is safe, after several European countries suspended its use following reports of blood clots in some patients.

They note none of the batch under investigation was shipped to Canada, and there’s no evidence here of any issues.

 

Border is not opening anytime soon

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says everyone looks forward to the day when the Canada-US border will be reopened but it’s not yet the time for that discussion.

This Sunday will mark one year since the border was first closed, shortly after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic.

A New York congressman says the two countries should be able to allow cross-border traffic to resume by July.

But Trudeau says people in both countries will have to wait patiently until the pandemic abates.

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