February 4, 2022 – COVID-19 Update for Thunder Bay District and Beyond


What YOU Need to Know – Expanded Coverage

  • Expanded TBDHU Walk-In Clinic

  • Ontario Opening Up Long-Term Care Homes for Visitor

  • Alberta and Saskatchewan Plan End to COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Indigenous Communities Report

  • International Outlook

THUNDER BAY – COVID-19 Update – Ontario has reported 60 net new deaths from COVID-19 today. There were

Across Ontario, 2,634 patients are in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, of that number 517 are in Intensive Care Units. This number is down by 163 patients from Thursday and 3,439 patients one week ago.

In the Thunder Bay District, there are 170 new lab-confirmed cases, bringing the total to 317 active lab-confirmed cases. 57 people are in hospital with eight patients in Intensive Care Units.

Active Publicly Disclosed Outbreaks in High-Risk Settings
Note: This table will be updated on business days whenever a publicly disclosed outbreak is declared.

A table of all active institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 in TBDHU.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has announced that, effective February 3, 2022, anyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination can walk-in to the CLE Coliseum Clinic in Thunder Bay, regardless of which dose they need. This expansion of walk-in opportunities builds on the announcement from last week and now includes: 

Anyone 18 years and over – for booster doses 

Children 5-11 years old – for second doses 

These were the only two remaining groups that still required appointments. 

Individuals can walk-in to the clinic anytime during specified hours. The clinic generally operates 6 days a week with morning, afternoon and early evening times available. 

In the District communities, weekly clinics have been scheduled. Please visit the TBDHU website to see dates and locations of these clinics. Walk-in opportunities are typically available at these clinics, and will be announced through social media when they are confirmed. 

Appointments for all TBDHU-run clinics remain an option for anyone who prefers them. Appointments can be booked through the provincial booking system or by calling 1-833-943-3900. 

In addition, TBDHU is announcing that the supply of the adult (12+) Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) has improved provincially. As a result, TBDHU is no longer restricting Pfizer to those under the age of 30. Individuals 30 years and older can receive Pfizer vaccine if they choose. Select pharmacies and some primary care providers also continue to provide COVID-19 vaccine to all who are eligible. 

The Health Unit also says, “The backup list will now open at 9:00 am on Mondays and stay open until 2:30 pm on Friday. It will be closed Fridays at 2:31pm until Mondays at 8:59am. We are asking those who are interested in helping us reduce vaccine wastage to sign up to be called when we have extra vaccine at the end of the day. There is an option in the survey to select if you are available just on the Friday or any time during the week. We tend to need backup individuals on Fridays most often, so we ask that you only sign up if you can be available on the Friday.

National Scene

Ontario Opening Up Long-Term Care Homes for Visitors

With key public health and health care indicators continuing to show signs of improvement, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously and gradually lifting temporary public health measures at long-term care homes starting February 7, 2022.

“Our government responded swiftly to the Omicron variant to protect the health and safety of residents and staff in long-term care homes,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “With public health and health care indicators now improving, we are cautiously lifting these measures so our residents can spend time with more friends and family that play such an important role in their health and wellbeing.”

Effective February 7, the maximum number of designated caregivers per resident is increasing from two to four and will continue to be subject to a limit of two per resident at one time. In addition, residents who have had at least three doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to resume social day trips.

Effective February 21, general visitors five years and older who have had at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to resume visits to long-term care residents. The number of visitors at a time, per resident will also increase from two to three, including caregivers. In addition, all residents, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to resume social day trips, and residents who have had at least three vaccine doses will be able to enjoy overnight social absences.

Alberta and Saskatchewan Shifting Priorities

Saskatchewan and Alberta are shifting from COVID-19 mandates to opening up their provinces fully.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says, “I’m concerned that COVID being the constant topic of conversation and dictating our daily lives will have a negative long-term impact on each of us in the province. Eradicating COVID is not realistic, and COVID zero is not achievable. But normalizing COVID or living with COVID is.”

Jason Kenney, the Premier of Alberta states, “Once we begin to see a sustained reduction in COVID pressure on the hospitals, I am looking forward to being able to make decisions about moving toward relaxation of public health measures.”

The Alberta Premier says that the end of February is his targeted date to lift restrictions.

COVID-19 Indigenous

As of February 3, 2022, Indigenous Services Canada report the following case counts has been reported from First Nations communities:

  • 74 786 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, of which 8093 are the Omicron variant
  • 4 820 active cases
  • 2 638 hospitalizations
  • 69 357 recovered cases
  • 609 deaths

From the average daily reported active case counts from the week of January 27 to February 2, 2022 there was a 3.8% (205 case) drop since the week prior, January 20 to 26.

This compares to a 0.8% (41 case) increase reported the week of January 20 to 26 from the week prior, and  16.7% (767 case) increase reported the week of January 13 to 19 from the week prior.

Case count information is updated and published daily Monday through Friday, and can be found at Canada.ca/indigenous-covid-cases.

Community responses to COVID-19 and Government of Canada support

Request for Federal Assistance (RFA) approvals and extensions

Attawapiskat First Nation (ON) extension to the current RFA was approved on January 28, 2022. Canadian Rangers will continue providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community until at least February 11, 2022.

Weenusk First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on January 30, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community until at least February 12, 2022.

Kashechewan First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on February 1, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community until at least February 15, 2022.

Toronto Update

Team Toronto has now administered third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 60 per cent of eligible Torontonians. In total, nearly 1.4 million residents have now received a third “booster” dose, helping to better protect themselves, their families and communities against COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death. Anyone age 18 or older who received a second dose approximately three months ago is now eligible for a third dose. Third doses of vaccine provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19, including the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.

International Overview

The global COVID-19 Death Toll is now at 5.7 million people.

In the United States, Iowa Governor Reynolds says public health emergency will end on February 15, says, “COVID-19 can be managed like the flu”.

The Swedish Public Health Agency says COVID-19 no longer a “socially dangerous disease,” all restrictions to be lifted.

New Zealand says international border will gradually reopen from February 27, with a full reopening by October.

Austria’s parliament approves COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults, with fines up to €3,600 ($4,117) for non-compliance.

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