Positive Cases Soaring In Sault and Algoma

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Jennifer Loo APH

Despite the district having 75 percent of the population immunized, COVID-19 case counts are climbing fast in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma.

Algoma Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Loo said Monday as new measures aimed at curbing a rapid spread of COVID-19 came into effect today.

Algoma Public Health held a special press conference Monday morning to outline the severity of the pandemic locally.

New measures means pausing sports and  extracurricular activities at schools, reducing the number of people gathering at venues and ensuring workplaces are following masking mandates and distancing protocols. These limits apply to social gatherings whether they are held in private settings, like homes and apartments, or at places like restaurants and meeting and event spaces. The new measure is in effect until Tuesday December 28, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Loo says the seven-day rolling average is at an all time high, as the almost two year pandemic continues to hold on and appears to be getting worse.

As of today the Sault Ste. Marie region is among the highest in the province, with October seeing 170 positive tests  per 100,000 cases.

Although the U.S. / Canada border was re-opened to non-essential travel, Loo downplayed the rise in cases to border traffic.  “We have seen an increase in traffic and some cases as a result of international travel, but currently not the majority” Loo said during a zoom meeting Monday.

Additional measures geared to curbing the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Sault Ste. Marie began Monday, limiting gathering numbers, pausing sports and extracurricular activities and ensuring workplaces are following masking and distancing protocols.

“It will take us a long time to understand transmission patterns” Loo said.

“The last time Ontario went into shutdown, provincial case levels were 130 cases per 100,000 people.” Major metropolitan centres such as Toronto are reporting 50 new positive cases per 100,000 population.

APH says it will take about two weeks to determine if current measures are working.

Loo added that the additional measures are meant to target high risk, close contact activities without disrupting vital in-person learning or impacting local businesses through broad closures”

Loo said that the one positive is the high vaccination rate in Algoma, however she noted that 22,000 persons in the district are not fully vaccinated with about 13,000 residing in the Sault.  “at the current rate we still need to have additional protections to minimize the impacts on people who are the most vulnerable in our society”

6 COMMENTS

  1. I believe Ford made a huge mistake in handing management of Covid to public health.

    Public health has three tools at their disposal:
    – education
    – vaccination
    – isolation

    These tools are all they have, it is all they do. They do not treat disease or illness, like physicians and hospitals. They do not manage a workforce, like employers and governments. They do not manage economies, like governments and central bankers. They educate, vaccinate and isolate.

    This is not the fault of public health, this is the fault of governments who abdicated from their responsibilities.

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