November 8, 2020 — Today, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 in residents in our service area (Greater Sudbury, Sudbury District, and Manitoulin District). Through contact tracing, Public Health will notify all close contacts directly. If you are not contacted by Public Health, you are not considered a close contact.
“Our daily case counts are at an all-time high since the pandemic began, with 48 new cases reported over the last week. This surge is not a trend we want to continue,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “I am asking everyone to critically assess daily actions and decisions and to take deliberate steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Otherwise, we risk seeing widespread community transmission and outbreaks, putting our health and education systems, our vulnerable populations, and our businesses at risk,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.
Of the newly reported cases (#168 to #175), all are from Greater Sudbury. Six are close contacts of confirmed cases and the remaining two are still under investigation. All are following Public Health direction and are self-isolating.
“Detailed case investigations rely on people being forthcoming about who they have been in contact with and their activities. Public Health maintains strict confidentiality with information shared with us,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Our whole community benefits from the honesty we have experienced in our interactions with cases,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.
Investigations to date reveal that no one incident is driving this surge in cases. What is occurring locally—similar to elsewhere in the province—is an increase in infections among young people. Transmission is occurring among household contacts and through social interactions outside of households, and the spread is occurring quickly. A rise in infections in our communities, particularly if it affects other more vulnerable populations, could have significant health consequences. Keeping the local case count low reduces the risk of the virus spreading and is key to protecting local health and long-term care systems, and keeping COVID-19 out of schools. To date, there are no institutional or workplace outbreaks.
“When we see increasing case counts in our community, we become concerned about the needs of people who may require hospitalization,” said Dominic Giroux, President and CEO of Health Sciences North. “It is critical for everyone to do their part and act now to lower transmission of COVID-19 in order to protect our hospitals and other health system partners from becoming overwhelmed.”
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is currently in the Green-Prevent category of the Government of Ontario’s new COVID-19 response framework. The situation will be carefully monitored to determine what impact, if any, the recent surge in cases has on the region’s category. Decisions to move to the next, Yellow-Protect category, are made by the province. Changing categories would result in additional, more targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions, and other settings.
Our actions today determine what happens tomorrow to our schools, our restaurants, our workplaces, our hospitals, our long-term care homes, and more. It is essential that individuals stay home when they’re ill and get tested if they have any symptom of COVID-19. Limit close contact to only household contacts and maintain two metres physical distancing from everyone else—in all settings. Practise frequent handwashing and wear a face covering. Limit non-essential travel and continue to work remotely, where possible. Remember to practise kindness, patience, and gratitude.
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).