Public Health Ontario says COVID-19 cases gradually rising across province

By: Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star

Public Health Ontario says it’s noticed a gradual rise in COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks and expects that to continue.

The agency says there were 8,300 cases of COVID-19 detected from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, compared to 8,106 the week before.

It says projections suggest case numbers may gradually increase over the next two weeks, though case counts are an underestimate of the actual number of COVID-19 cases since the province change testing eligibility late last year.

Closer to home – where the risk of getting the virus remains high – Public Health Sudbury and Districts detected nearly 200 new cases of COVID-19 this week, including 96 on Friday and 99 on Wednesday.

Also rising are the numer of active cases – 331 across the Sudbury region, an increase from the 308 active cases reported earlier this week.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, 19,399 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Sudbury-Manitoulin area.

With no new deaths reported Friday, the number of people in the Sudbury area who have died of the virus remains at 175. Of those, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death in 121 cases, and a contributing factor in 47 more. Only seven have been attributed to an unknown cause.

In Sudbury-area hospitals, there has been a slight increase in the number of patients with a confirmed case of the virus. Of the 44 cases, 28 were admitted due to COVID and 16 were admitted for other reasons. An additional 18 are under investigation.

One person with COVID remains in intensive care. They were admitted to the ICU because of the virus.

Since Wednesday, two new outbreaks have been declared in the Sudbury-Manitoulin area. A new outbreak was identified at Health Sciences North’s fourth floor on Wednesday, and another was declared at the east wing of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home.

One previously declared outbreak, at the Hanmer site of DeafBLind Ontario Services, was declared over on Wednesday.

In total, 14 outbreaks remain active across the region. Outbreak locations include multiple retirement homes, congregate living facilities, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.

Since vaccination efforts began, 89.9 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have received two doses of the vaccine, and 57.7 per cent have received a third dose or at least one booster. Vaccination efforts continue in the region are continuing.

Public Health Ontario, meanwhile, said hospital admissions across the province are down 12 per cent, with 365 people admitted last week compared to 415 admissions the week prior.

It says 50 people died of the disease during the last week of September compared to 56 the previous week.

The agency says there has been a notable increase in COVID-19 cases for those aged 80 and older.