The Northwestern Health Unit saw the active COVID-19 case count slightly rise to 352, after reporting 55 new cases in the region Thursday.
16 were found in the Fort Frances Health Hub, 14 in the Sioux Lookout Health Hub, 10 in the Kenora Health Hub, six in the Dryden Health Hub, three each in the Red Lake and Rainy River Health Hubs, two in the Emo Health Hub, and one in Atikokan Health Hub.
There are eight people hospitalized from COVID-19 in the region.
Of the 352 known cases, 134 are in both the Kenora and Sioux Lookout Health Hubs, 36 are in the Fort Frances Health Hub, 20 cases in the Dryden Health Hub, nine are in each the Rainy River and Red Lake Health Hubs, and five are in each the Atikokan, and Emo Health Hubs.
NWHU recommends that everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, assume COVID-19 is in their community and practise preventive measures like physical distancing, wearing a mask in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing is a challenge, good hand hygiene, and not touching their face. Anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, should visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for more information on what to do next.
The NWHU does want to note that the confirmed cases are an underestimate of the true number of people with COVID-19 in the Northwestern Health Unit region, given that access to PCR testing is increasingly limited, positive rapid antigen test results are not reported to Public Health, and the likelihood that people with asymptomatic infections may not seek testing.