Sudbury district residents 60 and older begin booking vaccines 

Starting today residents in the Sudbury District aged 60 and older can begin booking appointments to get their COVID-19 vaccines.
The change applies only to those public health jurisdictions that have signed on with the provincial booking system.

Other Northern Ontario health unit agencies including Algoma Public Health and Porcupine Health Unit are still on their own booking system and are still booking appointments only for those 70 and older. This will change sometime later in April, but there is no word on when.

Vaccine appointments will also be available for most Northern Ontario residents aged 55 and older who reside in areas where pharmacies have been approved for vaccinations, but this is for the AstraZeneca vaccine only, and not the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
Pharmacy appointments can also be booked through the provincial system.

The 60+ age change was outlined in a Ministry of Health technical briefing held yesterday, which reported that Ontario’s vaccine rollout plan is now in Phase 2 with the province intending to vaccinate all adults aged 60 and older until the end of June.

Beginning in July, the tentative plan is to provide vaccines to Ontario adults aged 59 and younger.

Ontario has received significant new supplies of the three major vaccines, the Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, a vaccine that is being investigated by Health Canada because of a relatively small number of blood clots reported among some vaccine recipients in Europe.

The briefing also outlined thousands of Ontario residents will receive vaccines based on individual health conditions, which will be assessed, such as organ donors, cancer patients and those with serious chronic conditions.

A look at the local numbers

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, 24 in Greater Sudbury and three others in the Sudbury District.

Considering resolved cases, there are 265 active cases within the agency’s jurisdiction.

Health Sciences North is reporting they now have 33 admitted patients, of which 19 are confirmed cases and 14 waiting for test results.

Of the 33, seven patients are in intensive care.

Algoma Public Health is reporting one new case of COVID-19 from the Sault Ste. Marie area.
Considering resolved cases, the district has 22 active cases with one person in the hospital.

Stay at home orders likely on the way

We appear to be heading for another shutdown in Ontario.

Several media reports say the Ford government will announce a stay-at-home order today, to take effect tomorrow.

All non-essential retail stores would be closed, except for delivery and curbside pickup.

Big-box stores would only be allowed to sell groceries and pharmacy items.

The order could be in place for at least a month.

The move comes after medical experts criticized the government’s imposition of its “shutdown” protocol last Saturday saying it wouldn’t be enough to stem the massive surge in COVID-19 infections.

Yesterday, Premier Ford expressed his frustration that massive crowds were seen at urban shopping malls, despite the recommendation that Ontarians only make essential trips outside the home.

Expecting a surge

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is warning us to expect a surge in COVID-19 cases following the Easter long weekend.

Doctor David Williams says he expects the number of new diagnoses to increase in the next week or ten days, resulting from gatherings that occurred, despite the provincial recommendation that people mark the occasion only with members of their own household.

Canada’s chief medical officer of health is concerned over the rising number of the more-contagious variants of concern.

Doctor Theresa Tam says the proportion of hospital admissions that require intensive care treatment is rising rapidly, especially among younger people.

Tam is concerned that this more dangerous third wave will overwhelm our health care system.