Health units map out vaccination schedule

The Ontario government has confirmed that it will be local health units that will make the decision on COVID-19 vaccination distribution.

For Algoma Public Health, the agency is following the Ontario Vaccination Plan and is moving into Phase Two of the three-step plan, focusing on older adults aged 80 and over, high-risk workers and their caregivers, frontline essential workers, including first responders, teachers and education staff.

Phase Two also includes other populations facing barriers related to the risk.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has already released their vaccination plan and is now waiting for the arrival of the vaccine this week for final second doses for long-term care homes, as well as workers at high risk, older adults and essential workers.

The health unit’s vaccination roll-out plans can be found on their respective websites.

Sudbury schools dealing with COVID-19

What is being termed “probable” cases of COVID-19 have been reported at two schools in Sudbury.

Both Cyril Varney Public School and Lasalle Secondary School remain open for in-person learning, but the Rainbow District School Board says the affected individuals are self-isolating and being monitored by Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Grade 1 students at Cyril Varney are home and the afternoon portion of bus route has also been cancelled for now.

At Lasalle, two classes, Grade 10 History and Grade 10 English are self-isolating.

Public Health is also investigating two other COVID-19 cases reported for the weekend at St. Charles College in Sudbury and St-Augustin school in Garson.

Some busing has been affected for both schools with the boards sending information to parents.

A look at the local numbers …

Public Health Sudbury & Districts says there are no new active cases of COVID-19 reported on Monday.

With resolved cases, the number of active cases stands at 21.

Health Sciences North has released several patients reducing the number to six admitted cases of which two individuals are in intensive care.

The hospital is also investigating two other admitted patients and waiting for test results.

Algoma Public Health has no new active cases to report either.

Considering resolved cases, the number of active cases is at four individuals with two of them in hospital.

Third vaccine nears approval …

Federal health officials say they’re close to approving the third COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada.

All the scientific data regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine’s effectiveness has been received.

But the government still has some questions about labelling and the product’s monograph….the instructions to medical staff about who can receive the vaccine, and how it should be administered.

They note different countries have made different decisions about using the company’s vaccine….that’s why this approval process is taking longer.

Electricity rates return to normal …

The break we’ve been enjoying on electricity rates is over.

Since January 1st, an emergency order had seen Ontarians charged the lowest price under the Time of Use and Tiered rate system 24 hours a day.

But with the end of the stay-at-home restrictions, that order has been allowed to expire.

Effective today, we’re back under the three-rate program, which sees electricity prices increase during periods of heavier use.

The province says customers who are unable to pay their electricity bills due to the pandemic can apply for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program through their local utility.

U.S. marks 500,000 deaths due to COVID-19 …

U-S president Joe Biden says Americans must never forget those who have as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic.

Biden led a candle-light ceremony at the White House last night, as the number of coronavirus deaths in
the U-S crossed the 500-thousand mark, the highest death toll in the world.

But he adds, with vaccines
now available, there are signs of hope that the pandemic will soon be over.