COVID-19 in Sudbury & districts: Your weekly update April 1, 2021Issued: Thursday, April 1, 2021
Reporting period: Thursday, March 25, 2021, to Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
March 25, 2021 — The following is a summary of how the status of COVID-19 has changed in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area over the last seven days up to end of day March 24, 2021: 156 new cases, and 202 cases were resolved. There were 5 COVID-related deaths. Forty-three (43) new cases tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC), which is 28% of the cases reported in this period. Eighteen (18) outbreaks were active in the past week, including 4 in local schools, 8 in local workplaces, 2 in long-term care homes, and 1 in each of the following settings: a hospital, a shelter, a multi-unit dwelling, and a community congregate setting. Five (5) outbreaks were declared over in the past 7 days, 4 in schools and 1 in a workplace. At end of day March 24, 2021, there were 316 active cases in our service area, and 13 active outbreaks. Eighteen (18) cases were hospitalized, while the rest were self-isolating.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a total of 1 439 local cases of which 1 169 are resolved, and 20 people have died in our service area. Four-hundred and thirteen (413) have screened positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC).
Trends in the past seven days
- Of the 156 new cases in our service area, 29 were associated with an outbreak, while 101 were close contacts of confirmed cases. This means that Public Health identified how these people were exposed to COVID-19 and was able to take quick action to prevent further spread. No cases were travel-related, while the source of exposure was unknown for 20 cases. Six (6) cases remained under investigation.
- One hundred and forty-eight (148) cases reside in Greater Sudbury, while 5 reside in the Sudbury District, and 3 in Manitoulin District.
- By end of day on March 31, contact tracing information was available for all 156 of the new cases. Through our investigation, we identified 596 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of 4 high-risk close contacts per case, compared to 5 contacts per cases last week. Public Health follows up directly and regularly with every high-risk close contact to monitor them for symptoms, ensure they are self-isolating, and make recommendations for testing according to provincial guidance.
- The seven-day incidence rate was 78.4 new cases per 100 000 population (compared to 112.6 for the previous 7 days).
- The percent positivity was 2.48% for the period of March 23 to March 29 (compared to 2.92% for the previous 7 days).
- For the period of March 24 to March 30, the effective reproductive number (Rt) was 0.86 for Northern Ontario, and 1.20 for Ontario overall.
- Easter and Passover are special times celebrated by many. Continuing to follow public health measures means we all need to celebrate a little differently this year. Remember, when we are in grey-lockdown, it is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.
- Planning on spending time outdoors this long-weekend? Remember to maintain physical distancing from others you do not live with, and follow the three Cs. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 stay home and seek testing.
- We are all vulnerable to #COVID19. You can make a positive difference in your community. Think of others, be patient and consider your #COVID-kind actions. Your small acts of kindness can bloom to create change. Check out this website for ideas (Random Acts of Kindness Foundation).
- Based on the trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 93% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 92% effective, 14 days after one dose. Find out more about where things are regarding the vaccination program.
- The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake . The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks. https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60986/ontario-implements-provincewide-emergency-brake
- As of March 31, as a proportion of the population, Public Health has immunized just over 16% of its population. The comparable figure is 14.68% for the province.
- Public Health is opening appointment bookings on Friday, April 2, 2021, for adults who are 70 years of age and older in this calendar year. Also, as of Friday, people aged 70 and older will have the new option to book online at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/, in addition to using the local telephone booking option.
- Public Health was able to secure additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the province in response to our request given the current outbreak among a very vulnerable population. As of March 29, 611 people who are experiencing homelessness, are precariously housed, and those that work with them have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Greater Sudbury. There are an additional 364 vaccination appointments planned for this population this week.
- Select pharmacies across the province are booking appointments for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people ages 55 or older in 2021. You must have an appointment to get vaccinated at a participating pharmacy. Visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations to find a location near you and for booking information. Adults aged 55 or older in 2021 are not yet eligible for mass immunization clinics in Sudbury and districts.
Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health
With Passover this week and Easter coming up this weekend, I understand everyone’s wishes to gather with family and friends. But, COVID-19 is still spreading in the community, and we must all make sacrifices to prevent another surge. The province is in a third wave, which means that we have some very challenging weeks ahead. We must all act in a COVID-safe way. There is light at the end of the tunnel as we are making good progress with our vaccine rollout. I am very encouraged to see that more than 96% of adults 80 and over, and more than 80% of adults 75 to 79 within our service area have chosen to get vaccinated or are booked for appointments. On Friday, we will be able to open booking for adults that are 70 and older and be able to offer another booking option with the online system starting locally. Enjoy a safe long weekend.
Visit phsd.ca/COVID-19/data for regular updates about COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, as well as outbreaks and potential exposures in Greater Sudbury, the District of Sudbury, and the District of Manitoulin. In addition, a detailed epidemiology summary is posted Mondays and Thursdays that includes information about cases over time, case characteristics, probable exposures, case outcomes, testing, and outbreaks in facilities.
For more information or if you have questions, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).