On Monday, November 8, 2021, Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Medical Officer of Health issued Instructions under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act, in accordance with the Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long Term (Government of Ontario, PDF). The Plan requires local public health to monitor trends and to put in place additional protections as warranted. The Instructions require Greater Sudbury businesses and operators to reinstate protections recently lifted by the province. The time-limited measures will be in place until the situation improves based on ongoing risk assessments and monitoring of key public health and health indicators.
- Support for additional measures from the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
- Additional quotes
- COVID-19 vaccination rates
- Additional health data for Greater Sudbury
- Additional measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Greater Sudbury
- FAQ: Instructions issued November 2021
- Slide deck: Update on the recent rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Greater Sudbury, November 8, 2021 (PDF, available in English only)
Support for additional measures from the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
- Advice was sought from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Ontario. Following consultations, the Instructions were issued under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act.
- The Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long Term (Government of Ontario, PDF) highlights that responses will be localized and tailored based on context and conditions and the decision to apply additional measures is at the discretion of the local medical officer of health.
- The province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has written a letter of support (PDF) (available in English only) for the additional precautions in Greater Sudbury.
Mayor Brian Bigger, City of Greater Sudbury
“As our case numbers continue to climb, I ask each and every one of you to take some time to refocus on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please follow the additional public health instructions. I know this will be difficult, but it’s a necessary, short-term measure to get us back on track. Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, host COVID-19 safe events, stay home if you feel unwell, and get vaccinated. Thank you for continuing to keep the health and wellbeing of our families and friends top of mind, and for your commitment to doing your part for the greater good of our community. I am confident that if we all work together, we can reduce these case numbers.” said Mayor Brian Bigger, City of Greater Sudbury.
Dominic Giroux, President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Sciences North
“Increased COVID-19 cases in Sudbury have a direct impact on our operations and how we care for patients. Admissions of patients with COVID-19 at Health Sciences North (HSN) rose rapidly from 3 on October 28 to 21 on November 8. HSN already has among the highest over-occupancy among Ontario hospitals. This increased demand for care unfortunately forced us to reduce the number of scheduled surgeries for non-COVID patients to approximately 85% of normal surgical volumes,” said Dominic Giroux, President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Sciences North
Debbi Nicholson, President & CEO, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
“Small and medium-sized businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and its impact on our local economy,” said Debbi Nicholson, President & CEO, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage all businesses and residents to take extra precautions as instructed by the Medical Officer of Health during this time of especially high COVID-19 caseloads so we won’t need to take more extreme measures that will negatively impact our local business community.”
COVID-19 vaccination rates
- No vaccine is 100% effective. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by 92% and ICU admission by 97%.
- Vaccination continues to be highly effective. As of November 7, 2021, unvaccinated individuals are 5 times more at risk of contracting COVID-19, 15 times more at risk of being in the hospital and 31 times more at risk of being in the ICU compared to those who are fully vaccinated.
- As case counts rise, it’s not a surprise that some who are vaccinated are being diagnosed with COVID-19. In Greater Sudbury, a minority of cases are among those fully vaccinated. The majority of cases are among those who are unvaccinated, who represent a much smaller percentage of the overall population.
- Though the risk decreases significantly among those who are vaccinated, the risk of infection and severe disease is not zero. Individuals who are vaccinated can still experience symptoms or complications from long-COVID, and they can still transmit the virus to those who are vulnerable.
- While Public Health has made significant progress with the vaccination program—85.5% of Sudbury and districts residents aged 12+ have received their first dose of a vaccine and 82.1% are fully vaccinated—many individuals, for example, those under 11 or those with contraindications, cannot yet be vaccinated.
- The COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate for the entire population is nearly 73%—leaving 27% of people very vulnerable to COVID-19.
Additional health data for Greater Sudbury
- Greater Sudbury experiences higher rates of individuals with comorbidities, such as diabetes, which could lead to more severe outcomes and complications from long-COVID, if diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Our community has elevated rates of underlying chronic diseases, making individuals more vulnerable to severe illness if infected with COVID-19, and more likely to require access to our already taxed health care system.
Additional measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Greater Sudbury
- On Monday, August 30, 2021, Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, strongly recommended that employers put vaccination policies in place to protect their employees and the public from COVID-19.
- On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, Northern Ontario Medical Officers of Health issued instructions to facility operators under the Reopening Ontario Act requiring anyone aged 12 and older coaching, officiating, or volunteering at indoor organized sports to provide proof of vaccination unless a medical exemption applies.
- On Thursday, October 28, 2021, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, issued a Special Statement and Class Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, requiring all individuals in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area who are either a case, potential case or contact of a case to follow Public Health direction. The Order is enforceable by law and is posted on our website.
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts is exploring targeted COVID-19 rapid antigen screening in schools (Government of Ontario) for Greater Sudbury, in partnership with boards of education.
- Public Health continues to strongly encourage individuals to continue to—or make a return to—work from home where possible, and not attend work if experiencing symptoms. As much as possible, limit outings to what is essential and take reasonable measures to reduce potential exposures to slow transmission. To be COVID-safe means assessing actions, think things through, and take deliberate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When practised diligently, COVID-safe measures help to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
- To ensure maximum protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant, anyone who is eligible should complete their COVID-19 vaccination series as soon as possible. Appointment and walk-in clinics (no appointment required) for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine are available throughout the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.
This item was last modified on November 8, 2021