Northern Ontario Lockdown Extended for Two Weeks

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Lockdown for COVID-19

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – It looks like the provincial lockdown for the region will keep going for another two weeks.

Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending the shutdown of the seven public health unit regions in Northern Ontario until at least January 23, 2021, aligning with the shutdown period in Southern Ontario.

In the nearly two weeks since Ontario moved into a Provincewide Shutdown, the COVID-19 trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen in both Northern and Southern Ontario.

Greg Rickford
Stock Image Minister Rickford

Minister Greg Rickford says, “Our top priority is keeping our frontline workers and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19 here in Northern Ontario and across the province. That’s why our government is following the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer, in alignment with the seven health units across the North, and extending the shutdown in Northern Ontario for another 14 days, until January 23, 2021.

“Schools in Northern Ontario will proceed with the plan to return to in person learning for elementary and secondary students beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021. While proactive asymptomatic testing has confirmed that our schools are not a source of transmission, we all play an important role in keeping them safe by limiting the amount of movement and spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“In the nearly two weeks since Ontario was moved into a Provincewide Shutdown, trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen in Northern Ontario, including concerning trends in health system capacity, most notably in our hospitals. As Premier Ford said, we have to get the numbers down and today’s measures will help us contain the spread of this deadly virus.”

With the increased risk of transmissions due to the confirmed presence of the COVID-19 UK variant in the province, Ontario is taking measures to ensure the safety of all Ontarians and the ability for the health system to provide care for patients. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated after 14 days to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.

There is no word yet on any curfew for the province, as Quebec has implemented.