Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 in Greater Sudbury.

There are now 19 active cases, with one more being resolved since yesterday. Exposure information for all three new cases is pending.

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 Dec. 30: 

-14 new cases, six cases were resolved, zero deaths occurred. At end of day Dec. 30, there were 17 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 275 local cases of which 258 are resolved, and two people have died in our service area.

Trends in the past seven days

-Of the 14 new cases in our service area, 11 were close contacts of confirmed cases while one 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 two cases.

-None of the new cases were associated with outbreaks in the past seven days.

-Thirteen (13) of the cases were from Greater Sudbury, while one resides in the Sudbury District.

-By end of day on Dec. 30, contact tracing information was available for all 14 of the new cases. Through our investigation, we identified 81 people who had high-risk close contacts with these cases. That is an average of six high-risk close contacts per case, compared to three 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 seven-day incidence rate was seven new cases per 100 000 population (compared to 5.5 for the previous seven days).

-The percent positivity was 0.35 per cent for the period of Dec. 22-28 (compared to 0.3 per cent for the previous seven days).

-For the period of Dec. 23-29, the effective reproductive number (Rt) was 1.0 for Northern Ontario, and 1.0 for Ontario overall.

In a “stay COVID-safe” message, the health unit said, “We are in a provincial shutdown (Government of Ontario). Stay home as much as possible.”

Trips outside your home should be limited to essential reasons, such as grocery shopping, pharmacy supplies, health care access, or work that cannot be done from home. When you do go out, follow public health measures carefully for the entire duration of your outing. Indoor social gatherings are not permitted except with members of the same household. This means no visits to other households or allowing visitors into your home.

-Many symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with common illnesses. Remember, right now, a cold might not just be a cold. If you are feeling sick reduce the risk of spreading the virus – seek testing and stay home.

This New Year’s Eve will look different. Stay home and spend time in person with only those in your household. Consider getting dressed up just for the fun of it. Remember, right now we’re stronger together, and safer apart.

Public Health is planning for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in our area. 

“As we move into the New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on the many challenges we faced in 2020 and look ahead to a more promising 2021,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health. “Over the past 10 months, people have demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of a global pandemic. Thankfully, the COVID-19 vaccine has brought on a lot of optimism. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to plan for the distribution and administration of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to our communities. 

“This is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ of the pandemic. At a time when we are typically preparing our short- and long-term resolutions, remember, the decisions and sacrifices we make today mean a safer and healthier tomorrow. Tomorrow, take the time to relax, reflect, and ring in the new year in person only with those you live with. Stay connected virtually with others during this difficult time—we are all (still) in this together. 

“Thank you to everyone for doing their best to keep each other healthy. Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.”

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