'We are safely at the end of our first wave of COVID-19': Sudbury and Manitoulin's top doctor
Sudbury Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe. Mar. 16/20 (Ian Campbell/CTV Northern Ontario)
SUDBURY -- As of Monday, there are zero active cases of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts and the area's top doctor says 'we are safely at the end of our first wave of COVID-19.'
However, there are still over 200 people waiting for test results, so that could change.
Since the first case was confirmed March 11, 10,386 tests have been administered in the region and 64 of those were confirmed positive.
While two people have died of the virus, all current cases are considered resolved.
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe is the medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
"I would really like to congratulation and thank everybody for the sacrifices you have all been making over the last two and a half months or more," said Dr. Sutcliffe.
She says all of the safety measures have helped flatten the curve:
- Staying home when you've been ill
- Washing your hands meticulously
- Teaching your children at home, you've been
- Only going out when it's been essential
- Keeping two meters distance when you do go out, and wearing a non-medical mask when you're not able to do so
"All of these measures have really taken us to the good place that we're at right now. And I do think there is very good news. In our area, I would say, that we are safely at the end of our first wave of COVID-19 in our service area," said Dr. Sutcliffe.
She says all of the sacrifices have helped protect our hospitals, health-care workers, long-term care homes and elderly population who are vulnerable.
"The good news also, of course, is that the province is opening up and with that, there is more testing that is available to people. So, even if you don't have any symptoms of COVID-19, testing is available to you if you are concerned and would like to get tested by calling and making an appointment at a local assessment centre," said Dr. Sutcliffe.
She says the key to successfully reopening in our area will be to continue the public health recommendations of keeping up with physical distancing, washing our hands and staying home when sick.
"The length of the end of this first wave, when we might see a second wave, I do think that depends on the actions of all of us," said Dr. Sutcliffe. "So thank you very much for everything you have done. Thank you for continuing to take these measures, to take things seriously so that we can protect ourselves, our families, our communities, in particular the vulnerable people in our area."
While Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts have eliminated COVID-19, other parts of the province are still battling the virus. This is the reason that the provincial government has extended the state of emergency for another 10 days. The emergency orders are now in effect until June 9.
For now, this means that the state of emergency declared by Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger is also extended, as it is to remain in effect for the duration of the provincial order.
Another public health agency in northeastern Ontario, Timiskaming Heatlh Unit, has not had any active cases of COVID-19 for two weeks. The last positive cases were confirmed on April 30 and all have been resolved.
This leaves only 19 active COVID-19 cases in the whole northeastern Ontario region.