Public Health Sudbury and Districts
Consistently high and rising COVID-19 case rates have prompted Sudbury and District Public Health Medical Officer of Health to expand legally enforceable provisions Instructions currently in place locally under the responsibility Ontario Reopening Act. New protection measures are being implemented throughout the agency’s service area and those currently in effect in Greater Sudbury are being extended to reach the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin.
âWe’re at a point where we need to redouble our efforts on basics like masking, physical distancing and vaccination. But local circumstances also mean that we also need new rules, reversing some easing measures, to further protect unvaccinated people, especially children, âsaid Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health at Public Health Sudbury and districts. âToday, I am announcing new protective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and do our best to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for the highly transmissible variant of Omicron,â added Dr. Sutcliffe.
After reviewing the trends and the data – and given concerns about the Omicron variant and the socialization that occurs with the holiday season – Dr. Sutcliffe, with the support of the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, calls for the following actions are in place in Greater Sudbury, the District of Manitoulin and the District of Sudbury, effective Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Instructions extend the measures currently in place so that the City of Greater Sudbury applies to the entire service area of ââthe agency, in particular:
- Capacity limits restored and physical distancing requirements relaxed by the province in early fall.
- Reinforcement of masking requirements during organized public events.
- Strengthened evidence of vaccination requirements for those participating in organized sports at indoor facilities.
- Reinstatement of the old requirement that people work remotely (e.g. from home) unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.
These new Instructions also add new protections as follows:
- Businesses and open organizations should limit the size of social gatherings and public events held at their premises and venues to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
- Proof of immunization requirements (for ages 12 and up) for all businesses and non-essential organizations for which it is currently voluntary (opt-in) under Step 3 rules, while maintaining capacity limits. This will apply, for example, to personal care services, indoor recreation equipment and museums, galleries and science centers, among others. A complete list of parameters is available in the detailed data sheet (PDF). This measure will only be in effect on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
- Strengthened requirements for basic public health measures in all sectors, including masking, physical distancing, active screening and contact tracing. For example, masks will be mandatory outdoors in places where people cannot maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters from those who are not part of their household (subject to exemptions for use mask).
- Enhanced requirements for security plans for all businesses and organizations, including details on what they should contain. This includes, for example, conducting and documenting regular reviews of the plan with workers.
- Eating establishments will be required to reimplement certain Stage 2 protections, including the absence of buffets and ensuring that customers generally remain seated (except when dancing in establishments where this is permitted).
- In facilities used for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities, and for personal fitness trainers:
- Return to a physical distancing requirement of 3 meters (instead of 2 meters) for certain activities.
- Establish new protections to improve the safety of the facility, for example, in washrooms and changing rooms.
- Team sports or games which may result in personal contact should not be practiced or played in the facility, indoors or outdoors, unless the sport or game has been modified to avoid personal contacts. Limited exceptions apply to professional and elite sports leagues or associations. Team sports or school-related extracurricular games are the subject of separate measures communicated in advance.
- Require shopping malls to reduce the volume of music and prevent queues and gatherings unless the physical distance of 2 meters is maintained.
- For those who cannot work remotely, strengthening occupational health and safety measures, such as virtual meeting requirements and staggered breaks wherever possible.
Case rates continue to rise in the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin. On December 4, 2021, Public Health Sudbury & Districts passed the milestone of 4,000 COVID-19 cases reported since the start of the pandemic, less than a month after reaching the previous milestone of 3,000 cases. Although the pandemic is in its 21st months, more than a quarter (26%) of total cases were reported in the past 30 days alone. With a record number of currently active cases and as COVID-19 infections continue to rise, further hospitalizations and the need for intensive care admissions are expected to follow, impacting not only community members but our system as well. health. Public Health is asking everyone to understand the seriousness of this risk for all and to do everything possible to help reverse the current trends in COVID-19 cases. Public health is doing its best to ensure that additional restrictions will reduce transmission, protect in-person learning, and protect health and the health care system.
âThe additional COVID-19 protective measures already in place have had an impact as our numbers are not skyrocketing. However, case rates are stubbornly high and remain among the highest in the province. Although we are seeing cases of COVID-19 among students, which ultimately affects classrooms, cohorts and schools, transmission occurs primarily in the community – we are not seeing high transmission of COVID-19 in schools and schools. we remain focused on preserving in-person learning. Recent modeling from the Ontario Science Advisory Table paints a grim picture of case growth, even without the Omicron variant. Modeling shows we need to double public health measures to mitigate transmission, while protecting as many people as possible with vaccination, âsaid Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health at Sudbury & Districts Public Health.
In addition to Instructions issued under the Ontario Reopening Act, the medical officer of health strongly recommends that residents of the area follow these additional measures:
- Avoid non-essential travel, including vacation travel plans. If you do decide to travel, make it as safe as possible by getting the vaccine, hiding, going outdoors or to well-ventilated areas, and staying home even if you are not feeling well.
- Take steps to make social gatherings in private places as safe as possible. Consider the immunization status of everyone at the gathering. For example, it is safer to only meet with people who are fully vaccinated, knowing that some children may not be eligible. Limit the size of your gathering to as few people as possible. The fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
- Plan ahead for all overnight guests to ensure COVID security measures are in place. Consider the immunization status of everyone involved. Have a plan for how guests can safely isolate themselves if they develop a symptom during their stay, and know where to get tested.
- Adopt safe retail behaviors. Consider curbside pickup and off-peak shopping hours.
- For those who live in collective settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, or other settings with vulnerable people, consider the immunization status of people you might visit while on vacation and measures to prevent them. additional security for your return, such as careful monitoring of symptoms and testing.
Public Health reiterates its call to everyone to continue to limit your outings, get vaccinated, wear your mask, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas, and keep 2 meters away from those who are not part of your own household. Watch yourself for symptoms and stay home when sick – even people with mild symptoms should self-isolate immediately and get tested to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. When practiced diligently, COVID safety measures help limit the spread of COVID-19, including the variants of concern.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts will continue to review and assess the data and modify the Instructions Therefore. All the details, including the detail Letter of Instructions document, will be available shortly at phsd.ca. A detailed fact sheet (PDF) describing the current local circumstances of COVID-19 can be found here.
For more information or if you have questions about COVID-19 or vaccinations, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Sudbury & Districts Public Health at 705.522.9200 (toll free 1.866.522.9200).
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