New cases of COVID-19 rose by 13 in the Algoma district in the last week and variants of concern have been identified.
Algoma Public Health (APH) announced a new case in Elliot Lake and area on March 30.
Case 229 is the result of close contact and is self-isolating.
On March 31, APH announced that they had received laboratory screening results that showed evidence of variants of concern (VOCs) circulating in Algoma.
Three recent case, including two from Sault Ste. Marie and area and one from Elliot Lake and area, have screened positive for VOCs, but the specific strains is not available at this time pending additional laboratory information.
Variants of concern (VOCs) are new strains of the COVID-19 virus that have changed or mutated. VOCs can spread more easily, and some can also cause more severe disease.
The health unit advises that all public health measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission continue to apply to the new variants, and they must be applied very rigorously, due to the higher risk of transmission.
On April 1, APH reported five new cases of COVID-19, all from Sault Ste. Marie and area.
In addition, APH is advising anyone who visited Tim Hortons in Sault Ste. Marie, located at the corner of Great Northern Road and Third Line (628 Third Line E), either through walk-in or drive-thru on March 25 and 26 from 5:30 a.m. to noon, that there is a potential of low-risk exposure to COVID-19.
People who visited this Tim Hortons on the dates/times listed above are asked to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from potential exposure, self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop and seek testing if symptoms occur.
Case 230 to 234 are all the result of close contact and are self-isolating.
On April 2, the health unit reported one new case from Sault Ste. Marie and area.
Case 235 is the result of close contact and is self-isolating.
Three new cases from Sault Ste. Marie and area were announced on April 3. In addition, Algoma Public Health is working to identify and notify high risk close contacts for a potential exposure at the Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre.
Anyone who worked or was at the facility on March 29 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 30 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., March 31 from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and April 1 from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. is advised to get testing for COVID-19 immediately.
Until test results are available, you and anyone you live with in your household must stay home and self-isolate and call Algoma Public Health for further instructions at 705-942-4646 , ext. 3274.
Case 236 is unknown exposure while case 237 and 238 are the result of close contact. All new cases are self-isolating.
On April 4, APH reported three new cases from Sault Ste. Marie and area.
In addition, the health unit said anyone visiting Pino’s Grocery Store, located at 219 Trunk Road in Sault Ste. Marie, on March 29, 30, 31 and April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or if you were at the Seniors Centre, located at 619 Bay Street in Sault Ste. Marie, on March 29, 30, 31 and April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. have the potential for a low-risk exposure to COVID-19.
Actions to take for potential exposure is to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from potential exposure, self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop and seek testing if symptoms occur.
Case 239 is unknown exposure while case 240 and 241 are the result of close contact. All three cases are self-isolating.
As of April 5, there are 15 active cases in Algoma. A total of 226 out of 241 cases have been resolved and that number includes four deaths.