The Porcupine Health Unit had gotten down to one active case before the numbers started climbing again. As of yesterday, Sun. April 4, there are 21 active cases and the region sits at 370 cases since March.
There are currently one case in Hearst, Hornepayne, one in Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Hardy, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland, two cases in the Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquios Falls, Smooth Rock Falls area and the remaining 17 in Timmins.
The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is advising that three previously reported cases, one in the area of Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland and two in Timmins, have screened positive for a variant of concern. The individuals are currently in self-isolation and following the public health recommendations. It is expected that the variant is the predominant strain in Ontario which is the B.1.1.7 first detected in the United Kingdom. No further testing will be done as per ministry guidance. All measures and precautions are currently in place, and vigilance with the public health measures remains critical for all.
Public health will notify all close contacts directly. If you are not contacted by public health, you are not considered a close contact. Regardless of an announcement of a case, everyone is reminded to stay home if they have symptoms and get tested.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and complete the on-line COVID-19 SelfAssessment (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/) to determine your next steps.
If testing is required, seek testing through one of the assessment centres across Ontario (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/). You can also call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or toll-free at 1-800-461-1818.
The Government of Ontario has implemented of a province wide shutdown in effect until at least Saturday, May1, 2021.
Major restrictions under the province wide shutdown include:
• Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with the people you live with. Do not visit others in their home or allow visitors in your home.
• Limit outdoor gatherings to 5 people and maintain physical distancing, wear a mask if distancing is a challenge.
• Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with only one other family.
• In person shopping permitted for all retail, subject to ability to maintain two metres of physical distancing and capacity limits of: 50% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies, 25% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres
• Personal care services closed.
• Indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited at restaurants. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments can continue to operate take out, drive-through and delivery only.
• Limiting capacity at wedding, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15% occupancy per room indoors and to the number of people who can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors.
For a full list of restrictions, visit the Ministry of Ontario’s webpage COVID-19 Province wide Shutdown.
Continue to follow the public health measures:
▪ screen regularly for symptoms
▪ stay home and isolate if you have any symptoms
▪ wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
▪ sneeze and cough into your sleeve
▪ avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
▪ practice 2 metres physical distancing
▪ wear a mask in indoor public spaces
▪ wear a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet cannot be maintained with anyone outside your household.
Potential Public Exposure to COVID-19 Related to Travel
The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is releasing information about a potential risk exposure to the public related to the following travel: Thursday, April 1, 2021 – Air Canada, flight AC8289, scheduled departure at 6:55 p.m. from Toronto to Timmins, especially those seated in rows 1 to 4.
The passengers in these rows must self-isolate immediately and call their local public health unit. Other travellers are directed to self-monitor.
If you are experiencing symptoms, self-isolate at home and call the Porcupine Health Unit COVID-19 Information Line at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 or your local public health unit.
An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.
The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is pleased to announce upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for individuals who are 70 years of age and older (born in 1951 or earlier). Any eligible individual living in a smaller outlying community is always welcome to schedule.
Tim Horton Events Centre: Saturday, April 10
Appointments are required. Walk ins will not be accepted. Individuals who are eligible can book an appointment online at phu.fyi/covid-vaccine or call the health unit at 1-800-461-1818. As we expect an increase in calls, please book online if you are able. If you need to call to book an appointment, please only leave one message and you will receive a call back within one business day.
The Porcupine Health Unit is also planning COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for Adults 65 years and older. Dates have been chosen for the first clinics for this age group however BOOKING IS NOT YET AVAILABLE. The PHU will advise when eligible individuals can schedule an appointment to receive their vaccine.
Tim Horton Events Centre: Thursday, April 15
Everyone in the PHU region is a priority and everyone who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine. Because the vaccine arrives in waves, there isn’t enough vaccine to immunize everyone at the same time. We are still planning clinics for the many groups in Phase 1. Stay tuned to the health unit’s website: phu.fyi/covidvaccine, Facebook page and Twitter feed for information on how the vaccine plan is progressing. Thank you for your patience.