Advisory on Cross-Border Travel into Chippewa County, Michigan

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COVID-19

Due to rising COVID-19 cases throughout late October in Chippewa County, Michigan, Algoma Public Health (APH) is issuing a special advisory for Algoma residents who regularly cross the Canada-US border for work or study. Even if you are exempt from federal travel and quarantine restrictions:

  • Avoid cross-border travel and use virtual options if possible.
  • While in Chippewa County, protect yourself by avoiding crowded indoor spaces and staying 2 metres apart from other people at all times.
  • Once back in Algoma, protect others by staying home as much as possible for 14 days and not having close contact with others, especially vulnerable people who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

This advisory is in effect for 28 days until December 2, at which point an update will be provided based on COVID-19 activity at that time.

APH acknowledges the challenges faced by essential workers, and is grateful for their role in allowing everyone to continue to receive essential goods and services.  If you know of a family, friend or neighbour who must cross the border for essential reasons, consider the following ways to offer support:

  • Help pick up and deliver groceries or a prepared meal
  • Offer to help run errands in the community
  • Call or link up virtually to chat, catch up, and stay socially connected

APH is also reminding all Algoma residents to keep following current advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario:

  • Avoid non-essential travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission areas to lower transmission areas.
  • Cut down the number of non-essential trips outside of home.  Non-essential trips are those for reasons other than work, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity.

Do not have close contact with others outside the immediate household of people you live with.  When socializing with non-household friends and relatives, stay 2 metres apart at all times – the further apart, the lower the risk.

Current Situation in Chippewa County

Chippewa County, Michigan, currently has over 100 active cases of COVID-19, with a range of 4 to 13 new cases reported each day by Chippewa County Health Department.

On October 28, Chippewa County Health Department reported (https://www.facebook.com/ChippewaCountyHealth/posts/2095508223906451) cases have increased dramatically in Chippewa County, and that this is likely due to community transmission, group gatherings among adults, and relaxing of social distancing and masking.  Team sports, gatherings and parties are linked to the spike in case counts.

Rates of new COVID-19 infections during the week of Oct 24 to 30 are provided below for comparison.

http://www.algomapublichealth.com/disease-and-illness/infectious-diseases/novel-coronavirus/

Region Population Size Rate of new COVID-19 infections per week
(number of cases per 100,000 people)
Chippewa County 37,349 91.0
Algoma 114,434 1.7
North Eastern Ontario 559,339 1.8
Peel 1,605,952 94.2
Toronto 3,120,358 71.6
Ontario 14,864,428 42.9

 

Actions for Cross-Border Travellers to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones

  • Avoid cross-border travel and use virtual options if possible
  • While in Chippewa County
    • Stay 2 metres away from other people at all times
    • Avoid close contact with others and crowded indoor spaces
    • Do not attend gatherings
    • Avoid non-essential activities such as shopping or running errands
    • Wear a mask or face covering at all times.  If your work puts you in contact with other people where you are closer than 2 metres, use PPE to protect yourself (i.e. wear a medical mask and eye protection)
    • Wash or sanitize your hands often and do not touch your face unless you have just washed your hands
  • Once back in Algoma
    • If you can, stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others for 14 days, especially vulnerable people who are elderly or have underlying health conditions
    • Monitor yourself for symptoms every day
    • If you become sick, isolate away from others and call to get tested for COVID-19
  • Keep track of your daily activities, including the dates and times of where you go and who you are with

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