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

Reporting period: Thursday, November 12, to Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

November 19, 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 November 18, 2020: 20 new cases, 51 cases were resolved, 0 deaths occurred. At end of day November 18, 2020, there were 21 active cases in our service area, one of whom is hospitalized. The rest are all self-isolating. COVID-19 has led to a total of 210 local cases of which 189 are resolved. Two people have died in our service area.

  • The majority of cases of COVID-19 were either outbreak-related (70%) or close contacts of confirmed cases (25%). 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.
  • Private social gatherings and links within households were common places where cases were exposed to COVID-19.
  • Most of the cases were under the age of 40 (85%); and, many (80%) were under the age of 30. This is different from wave 1 but is consistent with activity in the province and across Canada during wave 2.
  • The majority of the cases (75%) were from Greater Sudbury; the remaining cases were from either the Sudbury or Manitoulin districts.
  • Through our investigation of the 20 new cases, we identified 266 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of 13 high-risk close contacts per case. 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.
  • 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

  • Did you screen yourself today? Start your day by using the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Remember to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Are you feeling even a little unwell? Stay home! No one will thank you for going to work or school while ill. Get tested if you have symptoms.
  • Remember that while COVID-19 is a challenge for all members of our community, some groups are at greater risk of being affected by the virus and are also facing increased discrimination and stigma related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to model acceptance and compassion by avoiding stereotyping and treating everyone with respect and dignity.
  • At this time, we strongly advise that you only have close contact to the people you live with. Limiting contacts and in-person interactions reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you must meet in person, mask-up and keep your distance!
  • Consider the risks as you begin preparing for the holiday season. Plan to modify your traditions to follow local public health measures and whether dining out, shopping for the holidays, or connecting with loved ones, keep in mind the top 10 COVID-safety rules to live by.

Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health

It has been a difficult week with Public Health working full tilt to protect our community. But we know our work is paying off, because many of our recent cases were already in isolation when they were diagnosed. This means that they were never in a situation where they could have infected anyone else. They were isolating because Public Health traced them through our investigation of other cases. Contact tracing works! It stops the train of transmission in its tracks. But don’t rely on Public Health to stamp out these COVID-19 fires. Stop them before they spark by making wise choices to prevent spread of the virus. Do it for yourself, your elderly grandparent, your classmates, your favourite café, your holiday traditions, your co-workers . . . I encourage you to think carefully about your own reasons to keep COVID-19 at bay and make COVID-safe choices.

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.

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).