Good news for the northeastern Ontario health unit hardest-hit by COVID-19
Porcupine Health Unit's Dr. Lianne Catton. May 29/20 (PHU)
SUDBURY -- A little over two months after the first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Porcupine Health Unit service area, the pandemic's first wave appears to be ending.
Overnight, the number of active cases in the Timmins and Cochrane Districts dropped to just one.
The public health agency has been the hardest-hit by the novel coronavirus in northeastern Ontario with the highest number of deaths related to the pandemic.
It has been 18 days since the last new positive COVID-19 case on May 11.
Dr. Lianne Catton is the medical officer of health with Porcupine Health Unit.
"At this point in time, we are very pleased to have several days steady at a confirmed 65 cases of COVID-19. While any day that we’re not announcing a new case or sharing a tragic loss is always a good day, we need to take this with an abundance of caution, said Dr. Catton. "We need to recognize, celebrate and thank everyone for the committed measures that led us to this point."
The first positive result was confirmed on March 20 and out of a total of 65 people, who tested positive in the area, seven have died, almost 5,000 people have undergone testing, and over 175 results are still pending as of Thursday.
The Ontario government extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 9, affecting bars and restaurants, and social gatherings of more than five people.
STATISTICS ON POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES IN PORCUPINE HEALTH UNIT as of May 22
Gender - 44.6 per cent were male and 55.4 per cent female
Age – Almost half, 49.3 per cent of individuals with COVID-19 were aged 60 and over
- 6.2 per cent for ages 19 and under
- 18.5 per cent for ages 20 to 39
- 26.2 per cent for ages 40-59
- 38.5 per cent 60-79
- 10.8 per cent for ages 80 and over
Health officials say older adults remain the most at risk for complications from COVID-19. The best and most caring way to continue helping keep your loved ones and friends safe is to avoid visiting with them in person. If you have older parents or know of people in this situation, check in on them often by phone or video to see how they are doing, talk to them about staying home, pick up their essentials (groceries and medicine) and use contactless delivery.
Anyone who feels they need a test for COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms, can go for testing at an assessment centre. Call your health care provider or the health unit to access testing.
The COVID-19 Information line is open today from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call the toll-free number, 1-800-461-1818, or the PHU office in your community.
Elsewhere in the north, all of the positive cases in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts and Timiskaming Health Unit have been resolved.
Algoma Public health has had only one active case since Thursday and the agency with the highest number of active cases remaining is North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, with six.
Chantal Riopel has clarified that Porcupine Health Unit is not including the number of deaths in the count of the resolved cases, unlike other northeasetern public health agencies.