Reporting period: Thursday, November 19, to Wednesday, November 25, 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 25, 2020: 18 new cases, 24 cases were resolved, 0 deaths occurred. At end of day November 25, 2020, there were 15 active cases in our service area, all of whom are self-isolating. COVID-19 has led to a total of 228 local cases of which 213 are resolved. Two people have died in our service area. Two outbreaks were declared in Long-Term Care Homes following reports of two cases of COVID-19 among staff members, one in each facility.
Trends in the past seven days
• The majority of cases of COVID-19 were either outbreak-related (61%) or close contacts of confirmed cases (6%). 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 30 (72%). 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 (89%) were from Greater Sudbury; the remaining cases were from either the Sudbury or Manitoulin districts.
• By end of day on November 25, contact tracing information was available for 17 of the 18 new cases. Through our investigation, we identified 78 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of 4.6 high-risk close contacts per case, which is a decrease from 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 9.1 per 100,000 population (compared to 10.1 for the previous 7 days); The percent positivity was 0.5% (compared to 0.47% for the previous days.
• For the period of November 18 to November 24, the effective reproductive number (Rt) for northern Ontario was 1.2, compared to 1.0 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.
• Starting your holiday shopping? Plan ahead and shop in a COVID-safe way. 1) Make a shopping list and try to limit the number of stores you visit. 2) Shop during non-peak hours. 3) Shop local when possible. 4) Order ahead and try curbside pick-up. 5) Delay your shopping if you feel unwell.
• 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.
• Is your business gearing up for a busy time of year? Provide COVID-safe services to keep customers and employees safe. Make sure everyone continues to practise physical distancing and wears a face covering. Follow COVID-19 guidance for workplaces.
• This year, try new and creative ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season together. The safest option is to gather with people in your household only. Connect with others by phone, social media, or video chat.
• Remember that while COVID-19 is a challenge for everyone, some groups are impacted more than others, including those struggling with low income, precarious employment, and lack of affordable housing. The time leading up to the winter holidays lets us reflect on the things we are grateful for, and also on how we can make a difference in the lives of others. Model compassion, kindness, and gratitude. Consider donating money or time to a charity instead of exchanging gifts.
Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health
With four weeks to go until the Christmas holidays and only two weeks to the start of Hanukkah, our minds are turning quickly toward our traditions—traditions that often include close contact with others as we prepare and as we celebrate. Close contact warms the heart… but it also spreads the virus that causes COVID-19. Show your holiday spirit this year by not spreading the virus. Limit or avoid close contact with people who don’t live with you. When you do go out, please make sure you are symptom-free, keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands. The sacrifices you make today mean a healthier tomorrow and a sooner return to the traditions we love.
Note: Effective Monday, November 30, our reporting cycle for new positive cases and related case information will be once daily at 4 p.m., seven days a week. This consistent, daily update provides timely information about case activity in our area, and the timing is aligned with the availability of data from existing sources and reporting cycles.
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).