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Mayor Provenzano issues caution about Ontario's highest-ever COVID-19 numbers

'We still have no vaccine for the virus. The virus is growing, not shrinking' - Mayor Christian Provenzano
20161202 Mayor Christian Provenzano Silhouette KA
Mayor Christian Provenzano. File photo by Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Responding to Monday's news of 700 new COVID-19 cases, the most ever reported in a single day in Ontario, Mayor Christian Provenzano warned tonight about the need for Saultites to minimize social interaction.

"We see a trend where there's an increase on Mondays, and that might be a result of a lag," Provenzano said at the close of a City Council meeting.

"Whether that's the case or not, 700 cases reported today is a significant amount."

"I believe that rightfully and naturally and understandably, a lot of people in the community are fatigued by this. It's been difficult to stay committed to the public health guidelines and instructions. It's been difficult to keep our social circles tight and to not engage in some of the activities that we naturally want to get back to."

"It's confusing to bring your child to school or see kids going to high school or college or university, but then still be restricting your own interactions and your family's interactions at other times."

"I think it's really clear from the numbers that it's critically important that, as a community, we re-commit to Algoma Public Health's advice that we make sure that when we are inside public spaces or private spaces with people who aren't in our social circles, that we wear non-medical masks, that we minimize our social interactions to the smallest group of people that we reasonably can. That we wash our hands frequently, that we make sure that we keep track of our contacts so that if we do test positive for COVID-19 we could contact other people that we've been in touch with."

"And critically, that if we don't feel well, we don't go to work. And if our children don't feel well we don't bring them to school."

"The last thing that we want to see is to go back to a state where we're locked down and we're all at home. But if the numbers keep on climbing, there'll have to be decisions that are made."

"I'm hopeful that we can keep the numbers here low so that the decisions made elsewhere to do those things, that we can have a case that we don't have to do those things here, but that's yet to be seen."

"We have to really, as a community, focus on the task at hand. Although we have been in this for seven months, we have to focus on what Algoma Public Health is asking us to do."

"I think Algoma Public Health has given us good advice to date. It's helped us stay safe to date, but we have to continue."

"We still have no vaccine for the virus. The virus is growing, not shrinking. It's a very serious virus. We need to keep each other safe by following Algoma Public Health's advice."

Provenzano then quoted Coun. Corey Gardi: "The best way to keep the virus out of our schools – whether it's our elementary schools or our high schools or colleges or universities – is to keep the virus out of our community. The best way to keep the virus out of our retirement homes and keep it away from our seniors is to keep the virus out of our community. Let's all be patient with each other and be kind to each other, but let's all focus on re-committing to Algoma Public Health's advice and doing what we need to do to keep our community safe."

The bulk of the new COVID-19 cases announced Monday were in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa.

Algoma Public Health reports we've had 32 lab-confirmed cases here, a rate of 28 per 100,000 population.

There are two known active cases in Algoma.