THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF COCHRANE

For Immediate Release — Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
See below for a list of reposted cases since March 2020. 

The Porcupine Health Unit COVID-19 Information Line
• If you are experiencing fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath, call the PHU COVID-19 Info Line at 1-800-461-1818 extension 2919.
• Available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
• Callers can leave messages and PHU staff will call back within 24 hours.
• At times, call volumes are high, and your patience is appreciated.

Prevention Measures
Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
• Cough into your sleeve or tissue
• Stay home if you are sick
• Practice physical distancing – stay home as much as possible, limit visitors to your home.
• Do your best to keep at least two metres away from others

Symptoms of COVID-19
• Fever, cough and difficulty breathing
• Complications can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some
cases, death.

IMPORTANT: If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19
• If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider. You can also call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or toll-free 1-800-461-1818.
• Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.
• If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them if you have a respiratory illness.
• If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

For further information, please contact:
Gary Schelling
Communications Specialist
Porcupine Health Unit
705- 267-1181 ext. 2413
gary.schelling@porcupinehu.on.ca

April, 2021

Issued: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting two new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

Read the full bulletin here:
COVID Bulletin – Case 419-420

___

Issued: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting three new additional COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area, for a total of six cases today. 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.

Read the full bulletin here:
Bulletin Cases 416-418 + VOCs

___

Issued: Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting three new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

Read the full bulletin here:
COVID-19 Bulletin – Cases 405-407 + VOC

___

Issued: Friday, April 9, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting twelve new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

Read the full bulletin here:
COVID Bulletin – Cases 393-404

___

Issued: Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting seven new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. As a result of two of these new cases, the PHU is also declaring a workplace oubreak of COVID-19 at the Municipal Office of the Township of Black River-Matheson. 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.

Read the full bulletin here:
COVID Bulletin – Cases 386-392 + VOC + Outbreak Apr 8

___

Issued: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting seven new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

As well, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is advising that two confirmed cases previously reported in Timmins and the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Smooth Rock Falls, 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.

Bulletin Case 374-376 EN FR Apr 5

COVID Bulletin – Cases 377-383 and VOC Apr 6

___

TAKE NOTICE THAT the Town of Cochrane is working in partnership with the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) for the next phase of public vaccination clinics in Cochrane.

To facilitate mass public vaccination clinics the PHU has requested the use of the ice pad at the Tim Horton Event Centre (THEC). Staff are actively removing the ice so that vaccination clinics can be moved from the Pavilion to the THEC effective April 7, 2021.

The Town acknowledges the short notice and significant impact on ice users and thanks all affected organizations for their understanding and commitment to a healthy and protected Cochrane.

To read the official bulletin from the PHU see the attached pdf.
Bulletin Change in Venue in Cochrane EN FR Apr 1

___

Issued: Thursday, April 1, 2021

With the surge in COVID-19 cases, including the increased predominance in cases of variants of concern across the province and in neighbouring health units, there is much uncertainty and cause for alarm. Whether you are awaiting COVID-19 vaccination or have received one or two doses of the vaccine, diligence in using all public health measures at all times remains crucial to not only protect yourself but also in preventing the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations who are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalizations and death.

Read the full. bulletin and see the PHU vaccine plan attached

COVID-19 Vaccine Bulletin 10 – approved CR 2021-04-06_V2
COVID-19 Vaccine Bulletin 10 FR – approved CR 2021-04-09

___

For Immediate Release — Thursday, April 1, 2021

Timmins, Ontario — Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU), states “With the recent surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases locally, we are seeing an increase in the number of close contacts and links to private social gatherings. We are very concerned about this trend, especially since variants of concern (VOC) are present in our region,” adds Dr. Catton. There is now confirmed spread from private social gatherings with a total of four cases linked so far to one event and the presence of a positive VOC screen is confirmed.

The Government of Ontario’s announcement today of a provincewide shutdown starting Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m will help the PHU prevent further spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern. Although this does not start until Saturday morning it is critical to limit close contact immediately – please do not gather inside with those you do not live with.

To read the full bulletin from the PHU or to read the notice in French see the attached pdfs.
Media Release – Increase in cases EN Apr 1
Media Release – Increase in cases FR Apr 1

March, 2021

Issued: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting a total of nine new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

With one of these cases, the PHU is also declaring a COVID-19 outbreak at the Extendicare Long-Term Care Home in Timmins, The one case is the only positive result received at the home at this time. The PHU is working closely with Extendicare to ensure
the infection prevention and control measures are in place. The management team at Extendicare is taking all the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

To read the full notices, or to read the notices in French, see the attached pdf.

COVID Bulletin – Cases 353-356 and Extendicare Outbreak

COVID Bulletin – Cases 357-361

___

Issued: Monday, March 29, 2021

As we approach the Easter holiday and spring break, the northern Medical Officers of Health are asking all community members in northern Ontario to work together to prevent another surge in COVID-19.

In many parts of northern Ontario, COVID-19 infection rates have been at some of the highest levels since the pandemic began. COVID-19 activity is rising again across the province, and the rapid spread of variants of concern (VOCs) is causing aggressive outbreaks, and in some cases, more severe illness, even in younger people.

We know that everyone has made tremendous sacrifices for over a year. And there is ongoing hope, as more vaccine becomes available, week by week. At this very moment in time, however, the vast majority of our community members are not yet immunized. This means risky activities like gatherings and travel must still be avoided by all.

To read the full notice or to read the notice in french, see the pdfs below.

Media Release – Spring Break Stop the Surge-FR

Media Release – Spring Break Stop the Surge

___

Issued: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is sharing that some upcoming clinics within the health unit region are available for booking for eligible residents. Eligible individuals include:
• Staff and essential caregivers of long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations elder care;
• Highest, Very High and High Priority Health care workers (https://bit.ly/3cc6wQE);
• Adult chronic home care recipients;
• Adults 80 years and older;
• First Nation people, Métis and Inuit who are 18 years or older

To read the full bulletin and see a list of clinic dates or to read the bulletin in French see the attached pdf.

Bulletin Multiple COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic EN FR Mar 24 Final

___

Issued: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is advising that a confirmed case, who resides outside the health unit region, has screened positive for a variant of concern. The individual is currently in self-isolation in our area 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.

To read the full bulletin or to read the bulletin in French see the attached pdf.

Bulletin – Potential Exposure to VOC on Flight EN FR Mar 23

___

Issued: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Because there are still appointments available, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is sharing that some upcoming clinics within the health unit region are available for booking for eligible residents. Eligible individuals include:

• Staff and essential caregivers of long term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations elder care;
• Highest, Very High and High Priority Health care workers
• Adult chronic home care recipients;
• Adults 80 years and older;
• First Nation people, Métis and Inuit who are 18 years or older

To read the full bulletin or to read the bulletin in French see the PDF link below.

Bulletin Multiple COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic EN FR Mar 23 Final

___

Issued March 19th, 2021

Based on emerging evidence about the robust protection provided by the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has strongly recommended that in the context of the current limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the protection provided by vaccines by extending the timeline for the second dose of vaccine up to four months after the first dose.

Ontario has accepted and started following NACI’s recommendations on March 10th, 2021 with some limited exceptions. This document outlines the rationale for the adoption of NACI’s recommendation for most groups and explains the rationale for small numbers of exceptions.

To read the full notice from the Ministry of Health see the document attached below.

Extended Dose Key Messages 2021-03-19 FINAL EN AODA

___

For Immediate Release — Friday, March 19, 2021 – PHU to move to “YELLOW – PROTECT”

Timmins, Ontario —Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU), is confirming that, beginning Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:01 am, the Government of Ontario is placing the Porcupine Health Unit area in the “Yellow – Protect” category of the COVID-19 Response Framework.

To read the Full Notice or to read the notice in French, see the full documents attached below.

Media Release – Yellow Protect March
Media Release – Yellow Protect – FR

___

Issued March 18th, 2021

Risk Level to Canadians:
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians: aged 65 and over, individuals with weakened immune systems, and individuals with underlying medical conditions.  There are also increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad.  Because of these risks, the Government of Canada advises you to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.  This includes cruise ships.

Status of Cases in our District:
A list of confirmed positive cases in the Porcupine Health Unit district and their current status are available on the PHU COVID-19 page.

Testing Status:
Due to the volume of testing across the province, current turnaround time is 4 – 6 business days from when the specimen is received by the laboratory.

Status of Cases in Ontario:
The Ministry of Health updates their website every weekday at 10:30 am and 5:30 p.m. EST with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario.

When to Call the Health Unit:
If you develop a fever, cough, and/or have difficulty breathing AND within 14 days have traveled to an impacted area OR, had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, OR close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to an impacted area – isolate yourself from others immediately and call the Porcupine Health Unit COVID-19
Info Line at 1-800-461-1818 extension 2919.
• Available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
• Callers can leave messages and PHU staff will call back within 24 hours.
• At times, call volumes are high, and your patience is appreciated.

Self-assessment tool:
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool can help you determine if you need to seek further care.

___

Issued: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health, Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is releasing information related to a confirmed case of COVID-19 from out of the PHU region.

Through the investigation, we have learned that there may have been a potential risk exposure to the public related to the following travel:

Monday, March 15, 2021 – Air Canada, flight AC0144, scheduled departure at 12:15 p.m. from Calgary to Toronto, especially those seated in rows 14 to 18.
The passengers in these rows must self-isolate immediately and call their local public health unit.
Monday, March 15, 2021 – Air Canada, flight AC8289, scheduled departure at 6:55 p.m. from Toronto to Timmins, especially those seated in rows 8 to 12.
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.

To read the full bulletin or read the bulletin in French see the attached pdfs

Bulletin Potential Public Exposure Related to Travel EN Mar 17
BULLETIN Exposition possible à la COVID-19 liée au voyage

___

Issued – Friday March 12th, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU), in collaboration with Indigenous leaders and Indigenous-led organizations, are pleased to announce COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics across the region for First Nations people, Métis and Inuit who are 55 years of age (born in 1966 or earlier).

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.

For Full details see the attached notice.
Bulletin Multiple COVID-19 Vaccine Ind 55 and older EN FR Mar 14 (gs) (002)

___

Issued – Friday, March 12th, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is excited to announce six upcoming COVID19 Vaccine Clinics throughout the region for individuals who were born in 1941 or earlier. The booking of appointments will be staggered to provide advance notice to eligible individuals, so they have a fair chance of getting an appointment.

Appointments are required. Walk ins will not be accepted. Individuals who are 80 years of age and older (born in 1941 or before), can book an appointment online at phu.fyi/covid-vaccine or call the health unit at 1-800-461-1818.

Caregivers for individuals over the age of 80 years of age can help book online or contact the health unit on behalf of the individual who qualifies. At this time, caregivers who don’t meet the age requirements are not eligible to the COVID19 vaccine.

For Full details see the attached notice.

Bulletin Multiple COVID Vaccine Clinics Over 80 EN FR Mar 12

___

Issued — Tuesday, March 2, 2021

COVID-19 immunization clinics in the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) region are underway. Following Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation plan, Ontario’s Ethical Framework for Vaccine Distribution and working with the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Task Force, the PHU is ensuring ethical and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the PHU region.

To read the full immunization schedule and get more information see the pdfs below available in English and French.

Media Release – Immunization Underway in PHU Area
Media Release – Immunization Underway in PHU Area – FR

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is declaring an outbreak of COVID-19 at Pepco in Hearst. To date, four employees of Pepco are confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the investigation has determined that the cases are related to the workplace. The cases are currently in self-isolation.

The PHU is working closely with the workplace to ensure the infection prevention and control measures are in place. The management team at Pepco is taking all the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

To read the full bulletin or to read the bulletin in french, see the pdf attached.

Bulletin Outbreak at Pepco – Mar 2

___

Issued: Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting two new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area. 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.

To read the full bulletin or to read the bulletin in french, see the pdf attached.

COVID-19 Bulletin – Cases 340-341

__________

February, 2021 

Please note the following updates from the Porcupine Health Unit regarding new COVID-19 Cases in our region.

An outbreak has been declared at Villa Minto Long Term Care Home in accordance with the provincial guidelines which deems that one case in a long term care home is an outbreak.

We hope our residences continue to stay safe and healthy during these times.

COVID-19 Bulletin – Cases 311-314
Bulletin Outbreak at Villa Minto – Feb 19

__________

January, 2021

The following information is curtesy of the Porcupine Health Unit.

For more information about cases in our area visit their website phu.fyi/coronavirus 

__________

April 10, 2020 — The Porcupine Health Unit is reporting 3 new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area.

The current number of confirmed positive cases is now 37. Please see www.phu.fyi/coronavirus for details.

Community transmission of COVID-19 is happening in our area.

•    Everyone but essential workers need to stay home.

•    Only go out if absolutely necessary to pick up groceries, prescriptions or go to a medical appointment.

•    Stay home if you are not feeling well.

French Version

__________

March 26, 2020  —Today, Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health of the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU), is reporting that a female in her 50’s the sixth positive case of COVID-19 in the PHU area and first
outside of Timmins. Dr. Catton said, “We believe the case is linked to both international travel and contact with other another case we were investigating. The COVID-19 Operations Team at the PHU is continuing
to follow-up.”

The PHU conducts case and contact management with all cases to help identify anyone who may be a close contact. If you are considered a close contact of any COVID-19 case, Dr. Catton says you will be called by PHU staff and provided with follow-up and direction. The health unit will also share information with the public if there is potential exposure of community members that requires any follow-up, as appropriate. However, confidentiality and privacy remain a priority.

X
X