Sudbury

Sudbury health unit launches new COVID-19 Risk Index

Public Health Sudbury and Districts has launched a new colour-coded COVID-19 Risk Index to help residents make more informed decisions about their health.

As of Friday the COVID-19 risk in Sudbury and districts was moderate

Public Health Sudbury and Districts has launched a new COVID-19 Risk Index that is available online. (Erik White/CBC )

Public Health Sudbury and Districts has launched a new colour-coded COVID-19 Risk Index to help residents make more informed decisions about their health.

The health unit said in a press release that the index takes seven indicators into account, such as hospital admissions due to COVID-19 and active outbreaks to determine the public's risk of contracting the virus while out in the community.

The risk levels are low, moderate, high and very high. Each has a corresponding colour: green, yellow, orange and red.

As of Friday the health unit determined the risk level in the area was moderate, however four of the indicators were in the low-risk category.

"The COVID-19 Risk Index will be updated weekly and incorporates the most current and relevant data about the status of COVID-19 in our community," said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts, in a press release.

"We hope that this new tool will help residents more easily navigate living with COVID-19 and make informed decisions about COVID-safe precautions."

Virginia McFarland, an epidemiologist with the health unit, said data for the index will be refreshed every Wednesday.

When the risk is higher, she said the health unit recommends people take more precautions, such as wearing a well-fitted mask and social distancing.

The health unit said up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination combined with the new risk index, should help ensure public health.

"As always, people should continue to wear a tight-fitting, well constructed mask if they feel it is right for them based on such factors as their own health status, whether they have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and consideration of the health and vaccine status of close contacts," the health unit said in a press release.

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