City of Thunder Bay Update on Response to COVID-19

Thunder Bay City Hall
Thunder Bay City Hall

Canada Games Council Closes – Recreation Facilities to Close

THUNDER BAY – THUNDER BAY HAS updated the city response to COVID-19.

The City of Thunder Bay is closing the Canada Games Complex, 55+ Centre and other recreation facilities, effective until further notice, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City continued to work closely over the weekend with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and community partners to monitor developments and respond appropriately to COVID-19.

“While today the community has been told there is no confirmed case in Thunder Bay, the health and safety of our residents and employees is paramount,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “We are being responsible and acting out of an abundance of caution – this is the time of year when residents return from travel outside the country and we need to pull together as a community to do everything possible to slow the entry and spread of COVID-19 in Thunder Bay.

Residents can do their part. We should all take immediate steps to protect our loved ones and those who are at high risk by using social distancing and proper hygiene. We must all stay home if we are sick or showing any symptoms. We are all in this unprecedented situation together.”

Closure of Recreation Facilities and Programs

The following facilities and their programs will close at the end of business today until further notice:

  • Canada Games Complex, our largest recreational facility
  • Other Aquatic Venues: Churchill Pool & Volunteer Pool and Community Centre
  • Arenas: Fort William Gardens, Neebing, Delaney, Port Arthur, Grandview, Current River.
  • Older Adult Centres: 55 Plus Centre and West Arthur Community Centre
  • Community Centres: including volunteer-board operated community centres (West Thunder, Current River, North End, Oliver Road, North McIntyre, Jumbo Gardens, South Neebing, Vale, Vickers Heights)
  • Kinsmen Youth Centre
  • Baggage Building Arts Centre
  • Water Garden Pavilion

Public Meetings – No COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE Tonight

Tonight’s Open Session Committee of the Whole is cancelled. Until further notice, Committee of the Whole and City Council meetings will only be scheduled as required to ensure business continuity and compliance with legislation.

Meetings of Advisory Committees and working groups are suspended unless there is a requirement to meet for the purpose of compliance with legislation.

Changes at Facilities

Enhanced cleaning, signage for screening and personal hygiene protocols are in place in all municipal facilities. The public are asked to contact the City by phone or online wherever possible. Visit www.thunderbay.ca for more information.

The Harry Kirk Archives and Records Centre will be closed to the public and staff will be available by phone and by appointment for research inquiries.

No tours will be conducted in any City facilities until further notice.

Transit – Avoid Non-Essential Trips

Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of buses is in place with a focus on high touch areas such as buttons and handles. Please do not use public transit if you are feeling unwell, or you have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days. Customers of Thunder Bay Transit and Lift+ Specialized Transit are asked to avoid all non-essential travel.

Events Update

Public Health is recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings over 250 people. Organizers who have questions about smaller events are encouraged to contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

  • The Spring Family Skate in support of PRO Kids on March 20, at the Fort William Gardens has been cancelled.

New Restrictions – Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care & Senior Services/Jasper Place Support Services

In consultation with Public Health, Pioneer Ridge has taken a number of steps:

  • Visitation has been suspended unless your loved one is very ill or end of life
  • Large programs have all been cancelled and the Homes are focusing on small groups and individual programming at this time
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning and assessment protocols are in place

Daycare Centres Update

All Child Care Centres housed in Lakehead Public Schools including Ogden and Woodcrest Child Care Centres will be closed during the period of March 14 – April 5. This is in accordance with the Provincial Ministerial Order to close schools during this time. Grace Remus and Algoma Child Care Centres and City-delivered licensed private home child care will continue to operate but families should plan for alternatives in case circumstances change.

The school crossing guard program is suspended during the school closure.

Provincial Offences Court (POA) Closure

Thunder Bay & District, Provincial Offences courtrooms are closed effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8 am up to and including April 3, 2020. All matters will be rescheduled to a later day once courts resume. The public is not to attend court for any court appearances during this time period. The POA administration office will remain open for counter service. POA court fine payments will continue to be accepted at the counters, or can also be paid by mail, by credit card over the phone, or online at: www.paytickets.ca  More information is available at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Family

Public Health reminds us to take measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness such as COVID-19, Influenza, colds and stomach bugs at work and home:

  • Stay home if you are sick, follow up with your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Cover your mouth – cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care homes if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t done so already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community. NOTE: the flu shot is available from health care providers as well as pharmacies. For those under five without a health care provider, please call the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a vaccine nurse.

These measures may seem simple, but they are very powerful ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Steps have also been taken to protect the health and safety of City employees including the suspension of work-related travel, signage for self-screening, regular updates on steps they can take, direction to follow Public Health Canada’s self-quarantine on return from out of country including the United States and work from home protocols where appropriate.

For more information: