Dr Janet DeMille Says Pickleball-Linked COVID Outbreak May Be ‘Super Widespread’ Event
A number of factors are taken into account in determining which of the five zones applies to each local health unit in Ontario, including weekly COVID-19 incidence rates, test positivity rates, drug trends. outbreaks and level of community transmission.
The green zone allows the widest range of activities.
Currently, all public health units in Northern Ontario except Sudbury and the Districts fall into this category.
Sudbury recently moved to the yellow zone, which, under the framework, requires “enhanced targeted enforcement, fines and improved education to limit transmission.”
There have been 69 new cases of COVID-19 in the Thunder Bay area just since November 6, well over a third of the total number of cases throughout the year.
In an interview on Tuesday, Dr DeMille said she had contacted the ministry for clarification on how decisions are made about moving health units to a different area.
“It’s a fairly new process… I might be involved at some point this week to make that decision,” she said, but added that the provincial cabinet will eventually make the appeal.
If Thunder Bay were to change from green to yellow, the decision could come on Friday and be implemented the following Monday.
Following Tuesday’s announcement of 21 new cases in the region – the largest single-day total so far during the pandemic – DeMille was asked if she expected more days with a large number of case.
She noted that 29 of the recent cases are linked to exposure at several local pickleball centers.
“I think we see this as a possible super-spread event, where the virus is able to spread, maybe someone is particularly contagious, so more people are affected by that. ”
DeMille said: “When we have an important event [that] we’re going to expect to see a higher number of cases in the first seven days and then it should decrease a bit after that. “