Tracking the number of active COVID-19 cases in northeastern Ontario
Published Tuesday, September 29, 2020 3:00PM EDT Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2021 4:55PM EST
The number of active COVID-19 cases in northeastern Ontario as of Jan. 15 at 4 p.m. is 139. (CTV Northern Ontario)
SUDBURY -- As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, CTV News Northern Ontario is continuing to keep track of the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the northeast region. Check back often for daily updates on the number of new, active and resolved cases.
Novel coronavirus infections are reported by public health agencies for residents that live within the districts. In northeastern Ontario, there are five health units.
The number of active cases comes from the total confirmed positive less all reported deaths and cases that have been resolved.
The Ford government announced stay-at-home orders Tuesday for the next 28 days after new after infections continue to surge threatening to overwhelm the Ontario healthcare system despite a province-wide lockdown that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Boxing Day. The new emergency orders take effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 14.
Northern Ontario, which includes communities from Parry Sound north, was initially subject to only a two-week lockdown, but that was extended following a steep rise in the number of new infections. Despite the new stay-at-home orders, students and education workers in the north will continue with in-class learning at schools in the northern region of the province. A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Education told CTV News due to the "low levels of cases and transmission" in northern Ontario schools, they will remain open.
Prior to the province-wide lockdown, four of the five health units in northeastern Ontario were in the green - prevent category of Ontario's COVID-19 Response Framework. The only one that was listed in yellow - protect was Timiskaming Health Unit after a sharp rise in cases in mid-December.
As of Jan. 15 at 4 p.m., there are 139 active cases in northeastern Ontario, with four new infections and 25 cases recorded as resolved on Friday, including one death. Here is how the disease rates stand in each of the northeastern health units:
There are currently 32 active cases of COVID-19 in the Algoma District, including one non-resident, after 12 cases were recorded as resolved and no new infections confirmed on Friday.
On Thursday night, eight new infections were confirmed and five more cases were recorded as resolved. One of the new cases involves a resident in the Elliot Lake area, while the other seven are from the central and east Algoma area. Five of these cases were exposed through close contact with other confirmed cases and three are still being investigated.
This after three days in a row with no new cases and 16 previous infections have been recorded as resolved since Monday. There is currently one COVID-related hospitalization in the Algoma District.
This after 18 new infections were confirmed and five were recorded as resolved over the weekend.
Since New Year's Eve, there have been 73 new cases of the disease, accounting for more than half of the total cases in the district since the pandemic began.
Algoma health officials announced last Friday due to the rise in cases high school students in Sault Ste. Marie will not return to in-person learning Monday like the rest of northern Ontario. Instead, in-class learning is expected to resume Jan. 25.
Health officials said passengers seated in rows 3-9 and flight crews on the Dec. 28 Air Canada flight #8325 from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie are considered close contacts of a person infected with COVID-19. This after public health officials issued a warning to the public on Monday about three public exposure risks including a New Year's Eve gathering at 66 Sage Street in Garden River and two Dec. 30 Air Canada flights. Those on flight #8498 from Windsor to Toronto, especially passengers in Rows 3-9, and #8321 from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie, especially those in Rows 3-7, along with flight crew that served in these areas are all considered close contacts.
Last Thursday, Algoma Public Health declared an outbreak at Great Northern Retirement Home in Sault Ste. Marie after a staff member tested positive for the disease. Surveillance testing of staff and residents at the facility is underway. It is currently the second active outbreak in the district. On New Year's Eve, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Extendicare Maple View after two long-term care home staff members tested positive for the disease.
"Across Ontario, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are attributed to where a person resides. In special circumstances, where people happen to be travelling, Algoma Public Health may need to manage cases of confirmed COVID-19 who are temporarily in Algoma but who are not Algoma residents," public health said in a news release. "Non-Algoma residents will appear as active cases in brackets but will not be counted as part of Algoma’s overall confirmed case count."
CTV News is including the numbers in the count as it presents a risk to residents.
"Though this increase in numbers is alarming, we as a community need to recommit to following public health guidance during this pandemic. Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted except with the members of the same household. Limit your trips in the community for necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members," said Dr. Jennifer Loo, the medical officer of health for Algoma. "If you know of someone who is vulnerable, or who needs to isolate and stay home, reach out to offer help with essentials, or connect with them to offer social support by phone or online."
The New Year's Eve gathering was reportedly held without the homeowner's knowledge. Anyone who attended is asked to self-isolate immediately and call public health.
"Public health is advising the public of this exposure because we do not have information to contact everyone who may have been exposed," said the health unit. "It is imperative that anyone who attended this gathering follow public health guidance to prevent further spread of the virus."
Algoma Public Health has also extended a special advisory again to residents who regularly cross the Canada-U.S. border for work or study due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Chippewa County, Michigan. Health officials are advising Canadians to avoid cross-border travel until at least Jan. 26 and to use virtual options when possible. Read more about the advisory here.
"Anyone who is ill, even with mild symptoms, must stay home and self-isolate away from others," said Algoma Public Health's website. "Do not have close contact with others outside the immediate household of people you live with. Limit non-essential trips outside of home and avoid non-essential travel to other regions of the province."
"All returning international travellers must stay home for 14 days," said Algoma Public Health.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 138 confirmed positive cases (including two non-Algoma residents which CTV News is counting), 106 resolved, and zero COVID-related deaths in the Algoma District. Of the positive cases, 118 come from the Sault Ste. Marie, 15 came from central and east Algoma, while less than five came from the Elliot Lake area. There have been zero cases in north Algoma.
There are currently 11 active cases of COVID-19 in the North Bay and Parry Sound Districts after two new infections were confirmed and five cases recorded as resolved in the Nipissing District on Friday. This after 16 new infections were confirmed since Monday and 17 others resolved.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Eastholme Home for the Aged in Powassan after one staff member tested positive. An outbreak has also been declared at Lakeland Long Term Care in Parry Sound after one staff member tested positive for the disease. There are currently two outbreak-related infections in the district.
Nine of the active cases involve residents in Nipissing while the other two are from the Parry Sound area. Most of the active cases, 10, were exposed through close contact with a person that had the disease. The other case is outbreak-related. There is also still evidence of community spread and one person has been hospitalized due to the disease.
Last week, 32 new cases were confirmed.
There have been 69 new cases since Christmas Eve two and a half weeks ago, 74 cases have been resolved in this same period. This accounts for 38 per cent of the total number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
A total of 53 new infections were confirmed in December, 37 per cent of the total cases since the pandemic began. In November, there were 32 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed, at the time accounting for more than 40 per cent of the total cases in these two districts since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, health officials said in a news release that despite two members of the White Woods school community testing positive for COVID-19 last week when schools were still closed, there is no risk to other in the school community.
The COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nipissing University in North Bay on Nov. 24 is considered over more than a month later. It affected 19 people after six members of the school's athletic community tested positive for the disease.
Health officials said they are waiting for confirmation from the province about when the North Bay and Parry Sound Districts will receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but when it does priority will be given to employees and residents at long-term care homes, as well as retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors.
A total of 182 cases have been confirmed in the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts to date, of which 171 have been resolved, including one COVID-related death on May 15. Nipissing District has had 107 cases total, while 75 cases are from the Parry Sound District.
There are currently 72 active cases of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts after public health officials announced one COVID patient connected to the outbreak at Amberwood Suites retirement home in the Nickel City. The individual passed away in hospital. This is Sudbury's third COVID-related death, the last one was on May 1.
The outbreak at the Amberwood Suites was declared Jan. 5 after a resident tested positive for the disease last week. Health officials now say there are 35 cases of COVID-19 linked to the senior's residence in city's South End. Three of those cases involve staff members, while the other 32 are residents.
Also on Friday, two new infections were confirmed in Greater Sudbury and four other cases were deemed resolved. This after 30 new infections were confirmed and 24 resolved cases in the last four days.
A total of 26 new infections were confirmed and six cases were recorded as resolved over the weekend. In the last week, there have been 59 new cases confirmed.
Since Christmas Eve, there have been 126 new cases and 57 resolved. This accounts for 33 per cent of the total number of cases since the pandemic began.
An outbreak that began at Sudbury long-term care home St. Joseph's Villa on Dec. 31 after one staffer tested positive for COVID-19 has been declared over. It was the long-term care home's second outbreak since the pandemic began.
Vale has confirmed the first COVID-19 case at Coleman Mine and said there is no evidence of workplace transmission.
"Self-isolation means not leaving home for work or school, not using public transportation, and avoiding contact with others," public health said.
In November, 104 new cases were confirmed, which accounts for more than 36 per cent of all cases in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts since the pandemic began.
A total of 385 positive cases have been confirmed in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts, 315 resolved with three COVID-related deaths. The majority of cases, 344, have been in Greater Sudbury, while 18 were in the Sudbury District and another 23 were in the Manitoulin District.
There are currently 11 COVID-related hospitalizations at Health Sciences North, none are in the intensive care unit (ICU), up from nine on Tuesday. Eleven more patients at the Sudbury hospital have been tested and are waiting for results, including one in the ICU, down from four. A man in his 80s with COVID-19 was transferred from the Timiskaming District to the Sudbury hospital last Friday and passed away on Monday, marking the first COVID-related death of a Timiskaming District resident.
Porcupine Health Unit (Includes the Town of Hornepayne, which is a part of the Algoma District)
There are currently 23 active cases of COVID-19 in the Cochrane District after three previous infections from Timmins were recorded as resolved Friday with no new infections reported. This marks the second day in a row with no new cases, as health officials only noted four cases from Timmins as resolved on Thursday.
This after three new outbreak-related infections were confirmed on Wednesday. All three are residents of the Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland area. Last week, an outbreak was declared at Extendicare in Kapuskasing after a staff member and two residents at the facility tested positive for the disease. There have been a total of six cases related to this long-term care home outbreak.
This after four new infections were confirmed and eight cases recorded as resolved between Monday and Tuesday.
There were a total of eight new cases over the weekend, all from Timmins. One of these cases was a result of community transmission, the rest were exposed to the disease through close contact with other confirmed cases.
Of the 23 active cases in the Cochrane District, two are due to community spread, five are outbreak-related, 15 were exposed through close contact with an infected person, and one case is still under investigation.
On Sunday, an outbreak was also declared at the Kidd Mine in Timmins, after two employees were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus. One of these employees is a resident in the health unit's jurisdiction, while the other resides in another health unit's area.
Two of the Cochrane District's active cases involves residents currently outside of the region, 16 are from Timmins, one involves a resident from the James and Hudson Bay region, six from Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland area.
Since Christmas Eve, there have been 40 new cases and 26 resolved, accounting for 24 per cent of the total positive cases since the pandemic began.
On Jan. 2, health officials warned recent passengers of an Air Creebec flight, which flew out of Timmins on Mon. Dec. 28 at 9:11 a.m., to self-isolate, as they are now considered close contacts of a confirmed case.
Dr. Lianne Catton, the medical officer of health for the Cochrane District, shared a video message on the Porcupine Health Unit's Facebook page Dec. 8. Watch it here.
Earlier this month, Porcupine Health Unit said there have been three possible public exposures to COVID-19 related to air travel and two Timmins restaurants.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and call the health unit.
"An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before having any symptoms or testing positive for the disease," the health unit said.
Public health officials say there is a continued risk of community spread.
Since the pandemic began, 167 cases have been confirmed positive in the Timmins District and the Town of Hornepayne, 144 have been resolved, including nine deaths. The most recent death occurred on Aug. 28, when a man in his 70s has died due to complications related to his COVID-19 infection.
The first COVID-related death involving a resident of the Timiskaming District happened on Monday. A man in his 80s with the disease was transferred to Health Sciences North on Friday and passed away after three days. He was exposed to the disease through close contact with another confirmed case and was tested on Christmas Eve.
As of Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the Timiskaming District is three after health officials recorded two more cases as resolved. This after two days of no changes reported. On Tuesday, two new infections were confirmed and three cases were deemed resolved.
Of the remaining active cases, there are no longer any COVID-related hospitalizations in the district, down from five. Two of the individuals were exposed through close contact with another confirmed case, while the other was exposed through community spread.
Since the beginning of December, the number of COVID-19 cases in the health unit's coverage area has more than quadrupled, rising from 19 to 84. There have been 55 new cases since Christmas Eve, accounting for 64 per cent of the total infections since the pandemic began.
Health officials have also closed the Encore Club in Kirkland Lake at the order of a public health inspector.
On Friday, the Timiskaming Health Unit also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Teck Pioneer Residence in Kirkland Lake after one staff member tested positive for the disease.
Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 86 confirmed cases in the Timiskaming District, and 83 have been resolved including one COVID-related death on Jan. 11, 2021.
Read more about the first wave of COVID-19 in northeastern Ontario here.
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