Skip to content

COVID-19: Here's the situation in the Sault this week

Two new cases reported in the region this week
Stock photo

This week, new COVID cases ranged between a low of 975 and a high of 1,258.

Ontario's Science Table provided an update on Thursday on COVID-19 projections in the province. 

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown told media that although overall COVID-19 cases are down across the province, numbers are once again beginning to rise in some health units. Brown is also concerned about variants spreading across the province.

Two new cases of COVID-19 reported by Algoma Public Health this week

On Saturday, APH reported one new COVID-19 case from the central and east Algoma.

On Thursday, the health unit reported a case linked to another positive case in the Elliot Lake area.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers from Algoma Public Health, updated today at 1:30 p.m.:

  • 97,443 tested
  • 196 confirmed 
  • 4 active case
  • 2 currently hospitalized
  • 192 resolved
  • 3 deceased

According to data on, a University of Toronto-led website which collects and analyzes data from Ontario's COVID-19 cases, 64 per cent of ICU beds in Algoma Public Health's jurisdiction are currently occupied, and one COVID patient is in the ICU in the region.

The health unit has listed the most recent COVID outbreak at the FJ Davey Home as over. 

There are no active cases in non-Algoma residents temporarily in the region.

The data also describes the community risk level for COVID-19 in our region as 'very low.'

Total confirmed cases by area of residence: 

  • 146 in Sault Ste. Marie and area
  • 35 in central and east Algoma
  • 12 in Elliot Lake and area
  • 3 in north Algoma

Comparatively, in Chippewa County, which covers Sault Ste. Marie Mich. and surrounding area, the COVID-19 data as of Tuesday states:

  • 1,749 cumulative positives
  • 1,667 cumulative recovered
  • 26 deaths
  • 0 cases currently hospitalized

Sault gets more detail on COVID-19 vaccination rollout

After much anticipation, Saultites now have some clarity on when they can expect the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed locally.

Shipments are expected of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines this week and next, according to Dr. Jennifer Loo at APH.

According to the Algoma Ontario Health Team (AOHT), the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available in the coming weeks through the COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub, in the format of a large-scale accessible clinic at the GFL Memorial Gardens.

Starting March 5, vaccinations will be administered to long-term care workers and essential caregivers.

Voluntary testing coming to area schools

The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (H-SCDSB) is preparing for the voluntary testing of its students and staff for COVID-19.

The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is also working through the process of selecting school locations where testing will occur.

In February, the Ministry of Education announced plans to expand targeted COVID-19 testing in schools for students, children and staff across Ontario. School boards have been asked to undertake asymptomatic targeted testing in at least five per cent of the elementary and secondary schools within their jurisdiction each week.

The latest on procurement, distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, nationally and provincially

This morning, media learned that Health Canada has approved the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, the third to be given the green light for national use.

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was co-developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.

This week, Canada received a record number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered, with over 643,000 doses distributed.

Up to Feb. 25, there have been 1.5 million doses administered in Canada, meaning 2.9 per cent of Canadians have received one dose, while 1.1 per cent have received two.

Officials said on Thursday it is expected Pfizer will deliver 796,000 doses a week for the first two weeks of March.

In terms of Moderna, Canada is expecting 466,000 doses the week of March 8 and another 466,000 the week of March 22.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced last week that the province has administered more than 500,000 doses of the COVID-19, the most among all Canadian provinces.

Phase One of the vaccine rollout focused on high-risk populations, including residents of long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes.

Feds extend CRB, sickness benefit

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is extending the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit by 12 weeks, bringing the total maximum Canadians can claim to 38 weeks.

The federal government is also extending the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit to four weeks, from the previous two weeks.

Watch Trudeau's full press conference explaining the extension here.

Man caring for elderly Sault, Ont. parents caught up in COVID test confusion at the border

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel due to COVID-19 restrictions since last March, but Aubrey Trudeau, a Sault, Ontario native working in Sault, Mich. had been crossing to look after his elderly parents since the first lockdown ended last summer.

That all changed on Feb. 16 when Trudeau, who works in the U.S. under a Green Card, was kept from entering Sault, Ont. by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials as a result of new federal government rules that came into effect Friday, Feb. 12, requiring all those who enter Canada by air or land to show proof of being COVID-negative.

Read more about his story and the new border regulations here.

Ontario introduces stricter measures for COVID screening in schools

The Ministry of Health has introduced stricter self-isolation and school screening requirements.

Enhanced self-isolation requirements are in place for all household contacts of individuals who have even one symptom of COVID-19. 

Under the new guidance, all household members of an individual with even one symptom of COVID-19 are required to stay home and self-isolate until the individual with symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test result or receives an alternate diagnosis by a health-care professional. 

Chippewa County Health Department identifies possible COVID exposure site

Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD), which covers Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., has reported a possible exposure site for COVID-19 within its jurisdiction.

In a press release issued Monday, CCHD identified Jacks’s Grub & Pub in Brimley, Mich. as a possible site for COVID-19 exposure. The health unit says anyone who was at the location on Feb. 17 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. should monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

School boards preparing to test students, staff for COVID-19

Local school boards are getting ready to test their staff members and students for COVID-19. 

In February, the Ministry of Education announced plans to expand targeted COVID-19 testing in schools for students, children and staff across Ontario. School boards have been asked to undertake asymptomatic targeted testing in at least five per cent of the elementary and secondary schools within their jurisdiction each week.

Read more from area boards here.

City Council agrees to waive interest, penalties on late tax payments due to March 2020 lockdown

Sault Ste. Marie City Council agreed on Monday to waive interest and penalties on late tax payments that came due since the lockdown measures were first introduced in March 2020.

The expiry date has been moved to June 30, when it will again be reviewed.

Legislators call for clear criteria of 'emergency brake' pandemic measure

Ontario's Opposition has asked the government to clearly define what would trigger an 'emergency brake' measure, meant to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control as the economy reopens.

The measure was put in place by the PCs to allow the government to swiftly move a region back into lockdown, in the event that cases spike.

Read more on what the Opposition had to say about measures here.

Chiefs call out Ford government for using pandemic restrictions as cover to push through legislation

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare has accused the Ford government of using coronavirus pandemic restrictions as one more excuse for not consulting with First Nations.

In a forum last week, Hare said that the government is doing a lot of work behind the scenes without First Nations' input, more so during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before.

Read more from regional chiefs here.

CEO of Canada Pension plan resigns after travelling for COVID vaccine

The head of Canada's largest pension fund received a COVID-19 vaccination while on a "very personal" trip to Dubai, he told staff in an email Thursday night. 

Mark Machin disclosed the information in an internal memo after the Wall Street Journal reported he flew to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, where he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is awaiting the second dose. 

He has resigned and the board has appointed John Graham as the new CEO.

Sault businesses starting to see post-lockdown foot traffic

Local establishments are hanging in there, despite taking a financial hit during the province's latest lockdown phase.

With restrictions being lifted on Feb. 16, SooToday's James Hopkin spoke with local business owners about their operations post-lockdown.

Time-of-use electricity pricing and tiered pricing resume

As of Tuesday, residential and small business electricity customers in Ontario cease paying a fixed electricity price, as time-of-use and Tiered Pricing saw rates resume.

Customers have recently been paying 8.5 cents/kWh regardless of the time of day or the total volume consumed.

Read more about the rates here.

Summer camp rethinks and regroups during COVID shutdowns

One of the harder-hit sectors in 2020 due to COVID-19 is tourism.  

Forced to close their doors for the season,  All Tribes Christian Camp - a not for profit religious organization with strong ties to both tourism and education was forced to sit out last season, regroup and rethink the way business would work for them in the coming season should they be allowed to reopen.

Thunderbirds return to play this week

In an announcement made Monday afternoon, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League said it will continue to play in cohorts, though teams will only play against teams from the same public health unit for the time being.

That means that, locally, the Soo Thunderbirds will return to play games against the Blind River Beavers as both teams play in markets that are served by Algoma Public Health.

The Thunderbirds returned to action on Wednesday night.

Library opens to the public next week

Both the James L. McIntyre Centennial Branch and the North Branch opened to the public as of Monday, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library announced in a news release issued on Friday.

Capacity at each location will be limited, as will hours of operation and available services.

Local movie theatre reopens

Galaxy Cinemas opened its doors to movie-goers in Sault Ste. Marie Friday afternoon after being closed due to the province-wide lockdown that went in to effect on Boxing Day. 

Read more about the cinema's reopening plans here.