The Kraken Has Arrived in Greater Sudbury
RELEASE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH SUDBURY AND DISTRICTS Friday January 20, 2023
The new Omicron sub-variant, XBB (including XBB.1.5) has been detected in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area. Some reports show that XXB is the most transmissible variant detected to date and projections for this week are that it will make up over 20% of all strains detected in Ontario. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone of the importance of continuing to practice personal protective measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission, including staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and getting a bivalent booster when eligible.
“If it’s been more than six months since you completed your primary vaccination series, your last COVID-19 booster, or since your last infection, now is the time to get a bivalent booster dose” said Dr. Imran Adrian Khan, Public Health Physician with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “A bivalent booster helps the immune system to remember how to recognize and fight COVID-19 and it provides greater protection against the Omicron strains of COVID-19 now circulating” added Dr. Khan.
All COVID-19 vaccines, including the bivalent boosters, are safe and effective and help to prevent severe illness caused by COVID-19. Vaccines and boosters are effective at helping to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. Staying up to date is critical regardless of the number of COVID-19 booster doses received to date. Although children under 5 years of age are not currently eligible for a booster dose, it is strongly encouraged that they complete an initial vaccination series for protection against COVID-19.
Individuals should continue to use layers of protection to prevent transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. These include:
- Staying up to date on COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations by visiting a local pharmacy or by making an appointment through Public Health or your health care provider to get vaccinated. The influenza vaccine, like the COVID-19 vaccine, is safe and effective.
- Wearing a well-fitted high-quality mask when feasible indoors or in crowded spaces.
- Use of outdoor spaces when weather permits.
- Covering your cough or sneeze by using your upper sleeve or a tissue.
- Washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer, especially after being in contact with others or being in a shared or public space.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands to prevent germs from entering your body.
- Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
- Staying home when sick.
- Staying away from people who are sick.
- Checking the Public Health Sudbury & Districts COVID-19 Risk Index and Respiratory Activity Report regularly to understand your level of risk.
If you are eligible for the vaccine, please book your appointment by calling 705.522.9200 (toll-free: 1.866.522.9200). The call center is open Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and is closed on statutory holidays. Alternatively, book online by visiting covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine.
For more information or if you have questions, please talk to trusted sources such as Public Health, health care providers, and pharmacists. You can also visit phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200.