Emo outbreak still active: NWHU

Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The outbreak centered around the Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program (SCAP) in Emo is still active according to Dr. Kit Young-Hoon. An inspection of the facility turned up no obvious violations of health and safety standards.

According to Dr. Young-Hoon, the facility was inspected for basic health and safety precautions, like screening practices, cohorting, hand hygiene, cleaning protocols and chemicals, physical distancing and ventilation. One question did arise as to when the school’s ventilation system was serviced last but otherwise no remedial actions were called for.

“There were some additional restrictions put in place because of the outbreak,” she said. “But there was nothing in the inspection to suggest there were significant deficits in the infection prevention and control measures at that facility.”

It is also important to note that there are cases in the Rainy River District which are not attached to the outbreak at SCAP.

Proof of vaccination requirements went into place last week across Ontario with the province sitting at 78 percent with two doses of a vaccine. Vaccine numbers have started to increase again after a plateau. Dr. Young-Hoon would not attribute that solely to the proof of vaccination requirement.

“I think there are multiple reasons why people have delayed getting vaccinated and of course, multiple reasons why people are now coming forward,” Dr. Young-Hoon said. “So there’s no one answer.”

While recent provincial policies, such as the proof of vaccination mandate, may have some influence, Young-Hoon also thinks that people may have now had time to do their own research and consult with their own medical care providers and now see the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

Dr. Young-Hoon said: “The majority of the cases in Ontario are the Delta variant, and the majority of the cases in our catchment area are the Delta variant.” The Delta Variant is more easily transmitted from person to person and may possibly be more likely to lead to hospitalization and serious symptoms, which is why vaccination is very important.

Dr. Young-Hoon also said that vaccination rates remain low among younger residents, specifically in the 12-40 age range.