The COVID REPORT for March 17-2021

Outbreaks at shelter and warming centre in Sudbury

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Salvation Army Cedar Place shelter at 261 Cedar Street and the YMCA Warming Centre at 140 Durham Street, in Greater Sudbury. Public Health is also advising the public of a potential high-risk of exposure to COVID-19 for anyone who was either at the shelter on March 9th and the warming centre on March 14th.

Public Health is working with the service operators to determine if individuals can be contacted directly. However, the organization might not have information to contact everyone who may have been exposed.


Public Health Sudbury & Districts pilot project – paramedics and the vaccine

The city of Greater Sudbury and Public Health Sudbury & Districts are launching a pilot project that will see local paramedics administer the COVID-19 vaccine directly in the homes of homebound individuals.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe says the vaccine is available for people born in 1941 or earlier or who receive chronic home care services.

The pilot will permit access to the COVID-19 vaccine for eligible individuals who are unable to leave their homes.

She adds the pilot is not an alternative to attending a community-based mass immunization clinic, but it will help ensure access to the vaccine for those who are simply unable leave their home due to medical or physical restrictions.


A look at the local COVID numbers …

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting 18 new active cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Most of the cases are outbreak-related or due to close contacts and all are in the Greater Sudbury area.

Considering resolved cases, there are 245 active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Health Sciences North’s Ramsey Lake Health Centre affecting the seventh floor (7B), North Tower.

Currently, the three outbreaks at the facility are contained and there is no evidence of ongoing transmission.

Health Sciences North now has 29 individuals admitted to the hospital.

Thirteen are positive while the rest are waiting for results.

There are six individuals in the intensive care unit.

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

Considering resolved cases, there are now 19 active cases with three individuals who do not reside in the local area also receiving treatment.

One individual is in hospital.


Entering the third wave

The more-contagious coronavirus variants of concern are pushing our province into the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

The provincial science advisory table says they now make up almost half the new infections being reported each day and that proportion is rising.

Two thirds of Ontario’s 34 health units are seeing reproduction rates above one meaning each person with COVID-19 is infecting more than one other person.

For the variants of concern, that reproduction rate has jumped to 1.38.


Ford not pleased about back and forth on AstraZeneca

Premier Doug Ford is expressing his frustration with the decision from the National Advisory Committee on Inoculations to allow seniors to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The committee had suggested that those over 65 not be given the vaccine, saying there wasn’t enough evidence that it would work on seniors.

But the committee has now decided that real-world experiences have shown that it’s effective in all age groups.

Ford says the change “messes everything up,” and will result in the province having to change its inoculation program again.

Those between the ages of 60 and 64 are being given the first batch of 194-thousand AstraZeneca doses because they’re due to expire on April 2nd.

But the Premier doesn’t know when the next shipments will arrive.


Influenza vaccinations already ordered for next winter

The public’s interest in getting their COVID-19 vaccination is so high that the provincial government is increasing its order of influenza vaccines for next winter.

Health Minister Christine Elliott notes that flu season has been non-existent this season, because the number of vaccinations was up, and because people were obeying public health instructions about wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, and washing their hands.

Elliott says they expect even more people will want a flu shot next winter, so will be seeking more than the six-million inoculations ordered for this past season.


Deaths at a historic high on roadways

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fall in vehicle traffic across Ontario over the past year but the number of people killed on our highways has reached an historic high.

The Ontario Provincial Police say there were 26 percent fewer traffic mishaps last year, compared to 2019.

But the number of fatalities jumped 22 percent.

Speeding, alcohol and drug use and careless driving were the major causes of the fatal crashes.

The OPP report 42 motorcyclists were killed last year, a sharp jump over the 27 reported in 2019.

The majority died in single-vehicle incidents.

Thirty-two people were killed in boating mishaps, almost double the 2019 total.

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