Algoma Public Health Announcement COVID NUMBERS ON THE RISE: RESIDENTS REMINDED TO TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS PUBLIC HEALTH CONTINUES TO MONITOR INCREASED COVID-19 TRENDS IN THE REGION Algoma Public Health has observed an increasing trend in COVID-19 cases across Algoma over the past two weeks. Early signals indicate that we are entering a new wave in the region. Residents are reminded to continue to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Across the Algoma District, the weekly incidence of new high risk cases has increased by 70%. Weekly incidence in Algoma was 55.9 per 100,000 the week of July 16, and increased to 95.2 per 100,000 for the week of July 23rd. There has also been an increase in hospitalizations and outbreaks in high-risk settings. For more information on these numbers visit: Status of Cases in Algoma “To put ourselves in the best position to reduce this trend and keep this wave as small as possible, it is recommended that we remain committed to practicing the COVID-19 precautions that have helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. John Tuinema, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “We are currently seeing the BA.5 variant become the dominant sub-variant in Algoma. This variant is more transmissible and has potential to infect even those who were previously infected by an earlier strain of Omicron. We must continue to take precautions every day to protect those at home and in the community.” With the Omicron sub-variants circulating in Algoma, vaccination continues to be one of the best ways to protect ourselves from severe illness, hospitalization, and death, especially if at higher-risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection. It is important to note that while a previous COVID-19 infection may provide some degree of short-term immunity, immunity does decrease over time and a person’s risk of severe illness may also increase with each re-infection (Public Health Ontario). Multiple layers of protection include: Staying up to date on vaccinations Wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor or crowded spaces (including outdoors) Keeping indoor spaces well ventilated Physical distancing Handwashing Using Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) or seeking PCR testing (if eligible) Screening for symptoms and staying home when ill Find an available pharmacy near you to get your next COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine product (i.e. brand), availability, and appointment booking vary by location.