COVID-19 in Sudbury & districts: Your weekly update December 23, 2021

Reporting period: Thursday, December 16, 2021, to Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

December 23, 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 December 22, 2021: 257 new cases were reported and 245 cases were resolved. Thirty-eight (38) cases in the past week have mutations that are consistent with the Omicron variant. With the rapidly evolving situation and given the epidemiology and laboratory findings across the province, we can now presume that cases who screen positive for Omicron can be concluded to be the Omicron variant. Fifteen (15) COVID-19 outbreaks were active this week, including 7 in schools or on school buses, 5 in workplaces, and 1 each in a long-term care home, a daycare and a community setting (public park). Eight (8) outbreaks were declared over in the past 7 days, 4 in workplaces, 3 in schools and 1 in a daycare. There was 1 COVID-related death. At end of day December 22, 2021, there were 300 active cases in our service area and 7 active outbreaks. There were 9 local cases in hospital, while the rest were self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a total of 4 697 local cases of which 4 397 are resolved. Sadly, 47 people have died in our service area.

Of the 2 564 local cases of COVID-19 reported since June 1, 2021, 867 cases have been among fully vaccinated individuals. There have been 1 697 cases in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated residents (those having received one-dose only). During that same period, there have been 82 local hospitalizations of which 57 cases were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Twenty-five (25) hospitalized cases were fully vaccinated. Interpreting vaccine status data: please note that data on case counts by vaccination status are preliminary—and highly subject to change. Comparing cumulative numbers from week to week may lead to incorrect estimates of case counts by vaccination status for the previous 7 days.

Based on local data from the last 14 days, the risk of contracting COVID-19 for unvaccinated residents of Sudbury and districts was 4.1 times the risk for fully vaccinated residents. Additionally, provincial data from the same period indicate that the risk of an unvaccinated individual currently being in hospital due to COVID-19 was 1.5 times that of a fully vaccinated person. Further, their risk of currently being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) was 2.3 times that of a fully vaccinated person.

Recent Trends

  • In the past 28 days, the overall incidence rate of COVID-19 in our area was 518.9 new cases per 100 000 population. Residents 19 years of age and younger had the highest rate at 974.0 new cases per 100 000 population. The rates among those aged 30 to 39 (584.5 per 100000), 20 to 29 (559.8) and 40 to 49 (537.7 per 100 000) were also higher than the overall rate in our area. Rates among all other age groups were lower than the overall rate.
  • The local incidence rate in the past 7 days was 129.2 new cases per 100 000 population, compared to 115.6 cases per 100 000 in the previous 7 days.
  • Of the 257 new cases in our service area in the past week, 66 were a close contact of confirmed case and 13 were associated with an outbreak. 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. Fifty-five (55) had no known epidemiological link. Three (3) cases were travel related. One-hundred and twenty (120) cases remained under investigation
  • Of the 257 cases reported this week, 188 reside in Greater Sudbury while 33 reside in Manitoulin district, 1 in Sudbury North, 28 in Sudbury West, and 4 in Sudbury East. (Note: for information on the definition of these geographic regions, please refer to the daily COVID-19 case update at
  • The percent positivity was 5.9% for the period of December 15 to December 21, compared to 6.9% for the previous 7 days.
  • For the period of December 15 to December 21, the effective reproductive number (Rt) was 0.93 for Sudbury and districts, 1.01 for Northern Ontario, and 1.63 for Ontario overall.

Vaccination Program Update

  • To date, a total of 367 519 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered among residents in Sudbury and districts. Thus far, 167 809 people have received their first dose of vaccine and 156 834 people have been fully vaccinated (with two doses). A total of 42 876 people have received a third dose (current as of 4 p.m., December 22, 2021), which is 25.3% of residents aged 18 and over. Note, this includes vaccines administered by Public Health, First Nation and Indigenous communities, primary care, pharmacies, and external authorities.
  • Over the last 7 days up to end of day Wednesday, December 22, 2021, a total of 21 706 vaccine doses were administered.
  • Overall, 89.3% of Sudbury and districts residents aged 12 and over have received their first dose of a vaccine, compared to 90.6% for all Ontario residents aged 12 and over.
  • Second doses have been received by 86.4% of those aged 12 and over in Sudbury and districts compared to 87.9% for all Ontario residents aged 12 and over.
  • Overall, 85.6% of Sudbury and districts residents aged 5 and over have received their first dose, compared to 86.7% for all Ontario residents aged 5 and over.
  • Second doses have been received by 80.0% of those aged 5 and over in Sudbury and districts compared to 81.2% for all Ontario residents aged 5 and over.
  • 8% of the total population of Sudbury and districts have received their first dose and 76.4% have been fully immunized. This means that there are over 48 000 residents who are not currently fully immunized.
  • The following is a depiction of vaccinations received by age for individuals 12 and over in Sudbury and districts.


This is a graph of counts for vaccine doses administered, by dose and age group. Refer to table below for detailed results.

Age GroupDose 1 % CoverageDose 2 % Coverage
80 +100.0%100.0%

Stay COVID-safe

  • Are you planning on attending a holiday gathering? The Government of Ontario has lowered the gathering limits to 10 people indoor and 25 people outdoor but remember, the fewer people the safer! Make your gatherings COVID-safe by keeping gatherings as small as possible and following public health measures such as wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance. Feeling under the weather at all? Stay home and seek testing. Visit for tips on how to have a COVID-safe holiday session.
  • Did you know that the mRNA vaccines are interchangeable? That means your booster (or third) dose does not have to be the same as your first or second dose. Once you are eligible for your booster dose it is recommended that you get the first available mRNA vaccine, without delay to protect yourself against the Omicron variant. The exception to this is that individuals 12 to 29 years of age are recommended to get the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine over the Moderna Spikevax vaccine.
  • This past year we navigated so many uncertainties and changes due to COVID-19. This may have put a strain on your mental health. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that you are not alone. You can reach out to any of these mental health supports:

What’s new

  • Individuals 18 and over are now eligible to get a booster dose 3 months (84 days, 12 weeks) after their second. With holiday celebrations happening and Omicron circulating in Ontario, it is important that everyone who is eligible for a booster dose gets one as soon as possible. We are especially encouraging those with underlying health conditions, health care workers and their families, individuals who live or work in congregate settings (e.g. group homes, shelters), and those 50+ to get a booster dose without delay. Individuals can seek out their third dose at Public Health led walk-in or appointment clinics, or at select pharmacies and primary care offices. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while clinic staff work diligently to offer vaccinations. Visit ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics to book a vaccination appointment as soon as possible. Note, individuals attending as walk-ins should expect to have to wait in line.
  • Currently, it is understood that shipments of adult vaccines will be limited to the Moderna Spikevax vaccine for the next period of time. Individuals 30 years of age and older will be offered Moderna Spikevax vaccine until additional vaccine supply is received. A reminder that for those 30 and older, the adult dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax vaccines can be safely interchanged. Based on vaccine supplies, the vaccine brand planned for use at any clinic is subject to change.
  • The issued by Dr. Penny Sutcliffe has been updated to take into account recent that have made some of the Instructions redundant. The updated Instructions for persons responsible for a business or organization that is open in the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin are available online.
  • Due to an increased number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the now dominant Omicron variant, there may be a delay between the time you get a positive COVID-19 test result and when you are contacted by Public Health Sudbury & Districts or the Provincial Workforce (PWF). We ask for your patience while waiting. Please be aware that high-risk contacts will not be contacted by Public Health or the PWF at this time.
  • Public Health reports COVID-19 case data Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays). Over the upcoming holidays, case data for , will be posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.

Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all! As we celebrate the season this year, I want to wish everyone the very best from Public Health Sudbury & Districts. Please look after yourselves and each other and do your very best to not invite the highly transmissible Omicron COVID-19 variant to your holiday events. Each of us doing our very best to keep Omicron at bay will give us more time to get protective booster doses into arms. You know what to do: keep gatherings as low as possible (10 is the ceiling – aim lower!), mask and distance, outdoor or indoors with ventilation, know the vaccination status of your guests, if you are feeling under the weather – stay home and away from others. These simple actions will have a profound impact on your health and that of your loved ones and they will set us on the path to a healthy and prosperous 2022.

With this past year’s challenges, we have also found new strengths and forged new relationships. At this time of year for reflection, compassion, understanding, and unity, I wish you the very best of the season and a healthy and safe holiday.

Regular updates

Visit for regular updates about COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, as well as outbreaks and potential exposures in Greater Sudbury, the Sudbury District, and the Manitoulin District.  A detailed epidemiology summary is posted on Tuesday that includes information about cases over time, case characteristics, probable exposures, case outcomes, testing, and outbreaks in facilities. In addition, a detailed vaccination report is produced on Tuesdays that includes information about vaccine administration over time, by regions, by brand, by dose, and by age groups. The report also provides additional context by comparing our data to Ontario.

For more information or if you have questions, please visit or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on December 23, 2021