A look at local COVID-19 numbers …
Both the Rainbow District School Board and Public Health Sudbury & Districts have officially closed two Sudbury schools until March 4th.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts has advised the board two confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Cyril Varney Public School and three at Lasalle Secondary School.
The confirmed cases screened positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern.
In an abundance of caution, Public Health has directed that both be closed to and including March 4, 2021.
At this time, there is no evidence that the virus was acquired or spread within the school communities, therefore no outbreak has been declared in association with these cases.
Public Health continues to investigate and monitor the situation.
Teaching and learning will continue remotely for students at both schools.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting double numbers of COVID-19.
The health agency says there are 11 new confirmed cases, all in Greater Sudbury.
One is associated with an outbreak, a second to close contact and test results are being carried out on the other individuals.
Considering resolved cases, there are 27 active cases within the agency’s jurisdiction.
Health Sciences North is reporting a slight rise with 15 admitted patients.
Six are verified as positive COVID-19 cases with two in intensive care.
The hospital is waiting for test results on the other nine, with one person in intensive care.
Algoma Public Health has had no new cases over the last two days.
The agency is reported three active cases with two individuals in hospital.
What’s the trigger?
Provincial opposition leaders say the Ford government needs to tell us what criteria will be used to activate the “emergency brake” that would put a region back into lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19.
The government has said this “brake” was created to allow a quick reaction as the economy reopens.
But NDP leader Andrea Horwath says there’s no clear definition of what factors would trigger the move.
Horwath adds the government has allowed the province to reopen too soon, without a clearly-defined plan to avoid a third wave of coronavirus infections.
Jones on vaccines …
As reported by The Moose, Ontario’s 34 health units will take charge of their own vaccine rollouts.
Ontario’s solicitor general Sylvia Jones says the individual vaccine plans allow the health units to determine how to best vaccinate people of their community:
Jones adds individual health units have the latest data on their communities to come up with a unique plan.
She adds vaccines will be given to health units based on population, and the province will provide the resources.
Principals carrying extra burden with COVID …
A new survey suggests dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on school administrators.
A poll conducted by the advocacy group, “People for Education,” finds 57 per cent of principals in schools conducting on-line learning have found stress levels to be unmanageable.
That proportion drops to 49 per cent for those running schools with hybrid or in-person classes.
The group’s report says there’s been a massive increase in the workload of school principals as they cope with ever-changing provincial restrictions.
Principals say they’ve become contact tracers, COVID-19 screeners, and interpreters of new government policies…..all without additional help to deal with the increased workload.
Banks support child care …
The governor of the Bank of Canada says providing greater access to child care, and lowering its cost, would help our economy rebound in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tiff Macklem says such a move would also help reduce the greater impact the pandemic has had on economic opportunities for women.
Child care is expected to figure prominently in the Trudeau government’s spring budget.
The federal Liberals have promised to create a nation-wide program.