Public Health Sudbury and Districts warned the public that the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts are once again seeing the number of COVID-19 cases rise.
“While this is unfortunate, it is not surprising given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe said in the health unit’s weekly update.
“We have had cases of COVID-19 reported in schools and cases associated with social gatherings. The way to protect in-person learning is to keep cases as low as possible in our community.”
With the transition to colder months and spending more time indoors, Dr. Sutcliffe said the community needs to pay more attention to preventing the spread of the virus.
“Vaccination is still our best defense. Locally, since June 1st, over 80 per cent of cases have been in those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated,” she said.
“The Public Health Agency of Canada has also reported that the majority of recent cases and hospitalizations in Canada are occurring in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people.”
Dr. Sutcliffe encouraged people to reach out to a trusted health care provider or speak with public health staff at local vaccine clinics if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the health unit’s weekly update, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that from Dec. 14, 2020, to Aug. 28, 2021, 0.08 per cent of fully vaccinated people became infected with COVID-19.
“Between August 1st and 28th, the average weekly rate of new COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people was 11 times higher than in the fully vaccinated,” said the report.
“During that same time frame, the average weekly rate of hospitalized cases in unvaccinated people was 39 times higher compared to fully vaccinated people.”
The health unit reminds the public that as of Sept. 22, proof of vaccination will be required to access certain indoor businesses and settings.
More information on proof of vaccination and how to get and use a vaccine receipt can be found online at www.covid-19.ontario.ca/proof-covid-19-vaccination.
From Sept. 16 to 22, Public Health reported 38 new cases in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.
To date, 25 of the 38 new cases had a mutation profile that is commonly associated with a COVID-19 variant of concern.
During the reporting period, Public Health identified 801 people as having had high-risk close contact with a case of COVID-19.
This represents an average of 21 high-risk close contacts per local case reported in the last seven days compared to nine high-risk close contacts per case reported 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 (usually not required if fully vaccinated), and make recommendations for testing according to provincial guidance,” said the report.
Of the 300 local cases reported since June 1st, 42 cases, or 14 per cent, were among fully vaccinated individuals.
Additionally, 223 (74 per cent) of cases were among unvaccinated residents and 35 (12 per cent) were among those who received once dose of the vaccine.
There were eight local hospitalizations among unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals during that same period.
“Please note that data on case counts by vaccination status are preliminary — and highly subject to change. Comparing cumulative numbers from week to week may lead to incorrect estimates of case counts by vaccination status for the previous seven days,” said the report.
To date, 296,379 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered to residents in the Sudbury area.
There are 153,926 people in the region who have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 142,453 people have been fully vaccinated as of Sept. 22.
Over the last seven days, 3,288 vaccine doses were administered.
Overall, 87.6 per cent of eligible residents in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts have received their first dose.
Second doses have been received by 81.1 per cent of all eligible residents.
The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.
Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star