One year ago today the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality for area residents.

It was on March 14, 2020, that the Northwestern Health Unit recorded the first case of COVID-19 in the region, which was identified in a Fort Frances adult that recently returned from international travel. 

COVID-19 and as of Friday listed 492 of those cases as resolved.

Thunder Bay's first COVID-19 case was reported on March 27, 2020,  Sioux Lookout and Dryden's first COVID-19 cases were reported on April 2, 2020 and Kenora's first case of COVID-19 was reported on April 17, 2020.

Since then Canada has approved four COVID-19 vaccines and the Northwestern Health Unit has administered 3,463 doses to area residents, as of this past Friday.

Beginning tomorrow, Northwestern Ontario residents, over the age of 80, will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments using Ontario’s new online appointment booking system to schedule their appointment. Vaccination clinics in the region will begin next week.