Sudbury leads Northern Ontario for confirmed COVID-19 cases

·3 min read

Public Health Sudbury and Districts is reporting more COVID-19 cases than any other public health jurisdiction in Northern Ontario with 130 confirmed cases so far. This includes three new cases reported on Tuesday November 3. Of that number, 123 cases are resolved. Only seven cases are active, said a detailed epidemiology report from the health unit released this week.

The nearest jurisdiction that comes close to Sudbury is the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, which updated its statistics Wednesday morning to reveal 117 active cases.

PHSD reports the three new cases in the Sudbury jurisdiction are the result of close contact with another confirmed case. No other details were provided.

In the eight-month period from March 1 to Nov. 1, the health unit also reported two deaths attributed to COVID-19 that occurred in the Sudbury jurisdiction. Both were senior citizens. By comparison, the Porcupine Health Unit has reported nine COVID-19 deaths and Thunder Bay has reported one COVID-19 death in the same period of time.

In the PHSD area, one death was reported on April 2, 2020 and involved a man in his seventies who is believed to have become infected with the virus as the result of international travel.

The second death was reported on May 1 and involved a woman in her eighties who was a resident at St. Joseph's Villa in Sudbury when an outbreak occurred at that home in late April, said PHSD.

The demographics of cases reported by PHSD appears to be a mish-mash of information designed to obscure any data that might identify individuals.

Of the 130 active cases reported by the Sudbury Health Unit, 54 cases were female, but no information is provided for the number of male cases.

Based on previous information provided by PHSD, one cannot assume percentages of gender because some cases were identified as neither male nor female.

Also, the PHSD is not providing gender information for cases of persons 19 and younger.

It was also reported that 57 cases were persons 40 years or younger.

The health unit’s epidemiology update also revealed only one outbreak in local schools. This involved three persons at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School in Sudbury reported on Oct. 25. While the health unit did not identify the cases specifically as students, the Ontario government website said the three cases did not involve staff.

"Data on gender and age groups are updated when there are sufficient data to ensure individual cases cannot be identified," said the health unit news release.

The health unit continues to suggest that residents can limit the spread of the virus by being proactive in such things as travel and gatherings.

"Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone that the safest options are to avoid non-essential travel, limit indoor gatherings to your own household, and otherwise be outdoors or go virtual, practise physical distancing, masking, and handwashing, and of course, stay away if you have any symptoms," said PHSD.

"As much as possible, Ontarians are encouraged to limit outings to essentials like going to work or school, picking up groceries, attending a medical appointment, or engaging in outdoor physical activity. For all outings, continue to practise COVID-safe behaviours like distancing and wearing a face covering."

Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com