Public Health Sudbury and Districts is reminding Sudbury-area residents to remain vigilant as the province cautiously eases COVID-19 restrictions.
“While these developments bring back a much-needed sense of normalcy, we must remember that it’s not yet quite the time to fully let our guard down,” the health unit said in its weekly update.
The update acknowledged the community has worked hard and sacrificed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
“It has been a long 23 months, but with the virus still circulating locally, practical person protective measures – like masking and staying home when ill – as part of our daily routines will keep us on this successful path,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe.
“To that end, we are excited to share that public health is moving ahead and planning for recovery.”
Over the course of the pandemic, most public health programs and services were temporarily paused so the agency could redirect staff to protect local communities from COVID-19.
The Public Health Sudbury & Districts and the COVID-19 Pandemic: From risk to recovery and resilience report highlights priorities for public health action and the “unmet needs” of the people the health unit serves.
“As we take these first steps toward recovery, we are signalling hope and a brighter future ahead,” said Sutcliffe.
“Public Health Sudbury and Districts is an active partner in the local recovery endeavor, and through collective efforts with partners, our commitment is to create and contribute to strong and resilient post-pandemic communities.”
Over the last seven days – end Wednesday – Public Health reported 460 new known cases and 646 resolved cases.
The health unit said it is likely most of the cases reported in the last week are the Omicron variant and it noted the numbers are likely an underestimate due to limited testing.
Positive rapid antigen test results associated with high-risk setting outbreaks are included in case counts.
Of the new cases, 370 reside in Greater Sudbury and 50 reside in the Manitoulin district. Additionally, 13 cases were reported in Sudbury north, 17 in Sudbury west, and 10 in Sudbury east.
Public Health reported 25 COVID-19 outbreaks from Feb. 10 to 16, including seven in congregate living settings, seven in long-term care homes, nine in hospitals, and one each in a retirement home and correctional facility.
There were also 14 resolved outbreaks resolved over the past week, including nine in hospitals, four in congregate living settings, and one in a long-term care home.
In addition, Public Health reported eight COVID-related deaths. The COVID-19 virus has contributed to the deaths of 103 people in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Provincial data indicate that between December 30, 2021, and January 28, 2022, the risk of an individual who is unvaccinated, or who only has one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, being admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 was 1.8 times that of someone with two doses and two times that of someone with three doses,” said the update.
“Further, their risk of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) was 2.7 times that of someone with two doses, and 4.3 times that of someone with three doses.”
On Feb. 15, there were 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at hospitals in Sudbury and districts, including 24 who were admitted due to COVID-19.
There were six patients in ICUs and three patients on a ventilator.
“To date, a total of 438,624 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered among residents in Sudbury and districts,” said the update.
“Thus far, 174,109 people have received their first dose of vaccine and 165,116 people have been fully vaccinated (with two doses).”
Additionally, 97,669 people have received a third dose, which represents 57.6 per cent of residents aged 18 and older. As of Feb. 16, 1,730 people in Sudbury and districts have received a fourth dose.
This includes vaccines administered by Public Health, First Nation and Indigenous communities, primary care partners, pharmacies and external authorities.
Overall, 84.8 per cent of the total population of the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts have received a first dose and 80.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Beginning on Friday, individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible to book an appointment to receive their booster dose about six months (or three months with informed consent) after receiving their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Ontario moved to the next phase of its reopening plan on Feb. 17. Visit the Ontario government’s website for more information.
For regular updates about COVID-19 cases, testing, outbreaks and potential exposures, visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19/data.
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