COVID-19 in Sudbury & districts: Your weekly update December 17, 2020

Reporting period: Thursday, December 10, to Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

December 17, 2020 — 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 16, 2020:  8 new cases, 5 cases were resolved, 0 deaths occurred. At end of day December 16, 2020, there were 11 active cases in our service area, all of whom are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a total of 250 local cases of which 239 are resolved, and two people have died in our service area.

  • Of the 8 new cases in our service area, 6 were close contacts of confirmed cases, while 1 was travel-related. 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. The source of exposure remains unknown for 1 case.
  • None of the new cases were associated with outbreaks in the past 7 days.
  • Seven (7) of the cases were from Greater Sudbury, while 1 resides in Manitoulin District.
  • By end of day on December 16, contact tracing information was available for all 8 of the new cases. Through our investigation, we identified 25 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of 3 high-risk close contacts per case, down from 14 contacts per case on average 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 7-day incidence rate was 4.0 new cases per 100 000 population (compared to 5.0 for the previous 7 days).
  • The percent positivity was 0.33% for the period of December 7 to December 13 (compared to 0.5% for the previous 7 days).
  • For the period of December 9 to December 15, the effective reproductive number (Rt) was 0.92 for Northern Ontario, compared to 1.02 for Ontario overall.
  • As of Monday, November 16, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is in the “Yellow-Protect” category of the provincial COVID-19 response framework (Government of Ontario). Strengthened public health measures are in effect in our service area to help control the spread of COVID-19. Being in the “Yellow-Protect” zone also serves as a signal to our communities that we are going in the wrong direction and that we must recommit to public health measures.

Stay COVID-safe

  • With the holiday season upon us, we recognize the importance of reconnecting with family and friends. Consider connecting virtually and celebrate the holiday season safely.
  • Although provincial guidelines allow for gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, getting together with people outside of your household is not recommended.
  • If choosing to dine out with those in your household, remember to wear your mask unless you are seated at your table. Stay COVID-safe and keep in mind the top 10 rules to live by.
  • Remember to stay home if you feel unwell. Reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by self-isolating and seeking testing if you have symptoms.

What’s new

  • Watch for our ‘Tis the Season to be COVID-safe messaging on social media, radio, and on billboards around Greater Sudbury in the coming weeks.
  • In case you missed it, watch a special message about COVID-19 from Medical Officers of Health across Northern Ontario at youtube.com/watch?v=XGWBL6gIdmg
  • Local efforts continue to be underway to plan for an effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, under the leadership of Public Health and in collaboration with key partners. Public Health is committed to providing the community with practical, timely information about the vaccines.

Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health

This year, we are getting the gift of the vaccine promise! Along with the excitement of the holidays, the new COVID-19 vaccine will surely be remembered by generations as a pivotal accomplishment with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight. These are truly historic times and a testament to the value of collaborative, focused efforts for the common good between many sectors and communities. As I give my thanks this holiday season, top of my list is everyone who continues to follow COVID-19 prevention measures, allowing scientists and health care workers to catch up to the virus and support us to stamp it out!

Regular updates

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.

Note: Due to the holiday season, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will not post daily 4 p.m. case updates on the following dates: December 25, December 26, and January 1. We maintain our commitment to communicating any urgent information in a timely manner.

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).