Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day.
Province providing rapid tests for schools in 'high-COVID-transmission' areas
The province will be allowing rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 in schools with several caveats. Ontario's medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced today the province will be supporting the distribution of the rapid tests to schools in areas where there is a "high prevalence" of COVID-19 transmission. Local medical officers of health will decide which schools get the test kits, according to Dr. Moore. "We are pleased our schools continue to be a safe place to learn," said Moore. "We know we need to remain vigilant and be ready to respond quickly." In his announcement on Oct. 5, the doctor explained the rapid testing is to help identify and prevent transmission in schools and licensed child care settings where there is high risk of transmission in the community already. "Routine rapid antigen screening of fully vaccinated individuals and children is not currently recommended given the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines as well as the risks posed to the disruption of learning as a result of false positives," stated a news release from the province. The COVID-19 rapid antigen screening will be for child care and school-age children who are unvaccinated, asymptomatic, and have not been identified as high-risk contacts. Testing will be voluntary and will be done at home.
Not anti-vaxxers, up to 16% of people are just really afraid of needles
Not everyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 is against the vaccine. There are thousands of people, probably more, who live in fear of getting a needle. Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) is aware of this and is prepared to accommodate people who have the fear. While it is hard to pin down the number of people who have a fear of needles, a recent article from the Harvard Medical School said it could be as much as 16 per cent who fear needles to the point they would not get a vaccine shot. One study done in Toronto in 2012 found that seven per cent of parents and eight per cent of children cited a fear of needles as a reason for not getting a vaccine. In Sudbury, public health nurse Lisa Bazinet said the fear is entirely understandable and something that public health people are familiar with. She said the obvious concern from the public health point of view is that the fear is enough to stop people from stepping up to prevent the risk of getting a serious disease. She said there are measures that can be taken to make the vaccination process less scary. Bazinet said with so many people coming in for vaccinations in the past nine months, public health people have seen people with fear.
Northern Ontario cities make up half of most expensive places in province for home insurance
A recent report by a company which compares insurance rates from different providers says Greater Sudbury is one of the Top 20 most expensive cities in Ontario when it comes to buying coverage. Northern Ontario cities make up about half of the Top 20 that have the most expensive home insurance costs according to a RATESDOTCA report released last week. Lively (in Greater Sudbury) is seventh on the list, with an estimated cost for home insurance of $1,761, more than $400 higher than the provincial average of $1,342. Garson (in Greater Sudbury) is ninth on the list, while Sudbury itself is 12th. Thunder Bay and Timmins are ranked fifth and sixth on the list, respectively, and Elliot Lake is 10th. Sault Ste. Marie lands at Number 15 on the list.
Dozens of turkeys donated to Sudbury Food Bank just in time for Thanksgiving
Thursday’s donation of more than $1,000 worth of turkeys will serve as warm comfort in time for Thanksgiving, Sudbury Food Bank executive director Dan Xilon said. “Any time we get turkeys it’s going to be well-used,” he said outside of the Real Canadian Superstore on Lasalle Boulevard upon having the turkeys loaded into a waiting minivan. “It’s nice to have them for times like Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ve got your family tradition … and all that comfort in there, too, so it’s really nice.” The Sudbury Food Bank has managed to meet the community’s basic demands, Xilon said, noting they’re averaging approximately 10,000 visits per month, be it feeding a family of five or a single person. This is a 20-per-cent increase from the average of 8,000 in 2019, which Xilon said is the most recent comparable year due to a dip in services last year coming as a result of health regulations restricting their activities and not a decrease in demand. The donation came as the result of a partnership between Sudbury.com and the Real Canada Superstore in New Sudbury. Sudbury.com publisher Abbas Homayed said the donation recognizes that the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been tough on the community as a whole, but especially on more vulnerable residents. “Supporting the food bank and spreading a little kindness around Thanksgiving is the right thing to do,” he said.
Cambrian reports its first case of COVID-19 of the new school year
Cambrian College is reporting a case of COVID-19 at its Sudbury campus, the first at the college since the new school year began. The case was reported through the COVID dashboard on the college’s website. Cambrian said the individual was last on campus Wednesday, Sept. 29, on level four, section four. The college’s COVID dashboard is dedicated to positive cases of the virus involving members of the Cambrian community who have been on the college’s main or satellite campuses within 10 days of their diagnosis.
City hosting home energy efficiency workshop on Zoom this evening
In hopes of gaining insights from residents on home energy efficiency, the City of Greater Sudbury is hosting an online workshop this evening. The workshop, called Helping Homeowners Benefit From Home Energy Efficiency, is being held on the Zoom platform from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This session is the first step in the city’s home retrofit financing model study, for which they received $170,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to conduct. Among the benefits of making homes more efficient is the progress it helps make toward achieving the community’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Those interested in registering for Wednesday’s workshop can do so by clicking here, after which registrants will receive a confirmation email with more information about joining the meeting and be entered into a draw for a chance to win a rain barrel.
Another lovely day in store
Wednesday is looking to be another nice day. Fog patches will dissipate in the morning. Expect a mix of sun and cloud today with a high of 19. The UV index will be four, or moderate. Tonight, the skies will clear and the temperature will drop to 10.