Municipal Emergency Control Group Update for Provincial Stay At Home Order

COVID-19 Update

Thunder Bay – The City of Thunder Bay has provided some updated information after the Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) met today.

Under the order, outdoor public gatherings are restricted to a limit of five people. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.

Outdoor Recreational Amenities

When using any outdoor facility, residents must maintain a distance of two metres from people who are not part of their household. A mask or face covering is recommended on outdoor rinks and other park areas as an additional measure during the lockdown extension, especially when physical distancing is a challenge. Details include:

  • Outdoor rinks will remain open, with certain restrictions. Residents are asked to obey signage at the rinks and maintain physical distancing of at least two metres. Washrooms, if present, may be used by one person at a time upon request, and masks are required. Indoor benches and change rooms remain closed.
  • The outdoor skating rink at Prince Arthur’s Landing has a maximum capacity of 57 users on the ice, which must be adhered to. Other outdoor rinks do not have listed maximum capacities, but users must maintain recommended physical distancing. Organized games or practices are not permitted, but if nets are present they may be used.
  • Dog parks remain open.
  • Parks, including sliding hills, remain open. However, organized sports or practices are prohibited on playfields and ball diamonds.
  • Recreational trails remain open.
  • No changes to curbside garbage collection or landfill procedures, but residents are reminded to bag all garbage and not put loose items in cans or containers.

“The second declaration of a state of emergency and the stay at home order issued by the provincial government is in response to a grave concern about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, and while Thunder Bay is faring better than other parts of the province, that can change quickly,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “This virus is on track to overwhelm our healthcare system if we don’t get it in check. It’s imperative that we take this seriously. Please follow the orders and stay home as much as you can.”

City Manager Norm Gale said that many services will continue during the State of Emergency and Provincial stay-at-home order, but changes will be made to reduce the need for people to leave their homes to access services.

“We continue to review the Provincial Orders in full, and are making adjustments on the specific impacts to municipal services, amenities and facilities where required,” he added.

Ontario is now in a second provincial emergency and a stay-at-home order is in effect until at least Thursday, Feb. 11. The Province’s order requires everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise, or for essential work.

As a result, in-person services will only be offered where they are legislatively required or in extenuating circumstances. Appointments will still be offered virtually or over the phone whenever possible. Appointment bookings for service at other City facilities such as City Hall and Victoriaville Civic Centre remain available, with specific instructions in the City’s A-Z Directory.

All registered recreational programs have been cancelled for the duration of the Orders. Staff will provide updates on postponed start dates once known. For inquiries on credits and refunds, call 625-2227 and leave a message with contact information only (do not leave credit card information over voicemail).

Reminders:

  • By provincial order, residents must stay home except for essential purposes, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.
  • Only gather indoors with the people you live with. No indoor organized public events are permitted. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Outdoor organized events and social gatherings are restricted to five people and physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Residents must wear a mask or face covering inside businesses or organizations that are open. A mask or face covering is also recommended outdoors when physical distancing is a challenge.
  • Travel outside of the Thunder Bay District should be for essential purposes only. It is strongly recommended that anyone travelling during the shutdown period should self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
  • Continue to follow basic but important measures to prevent the spread of illness. Wash your hands often, wear a mask or face covering, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve and stay home if you feel sick.

The following municipal facilities are still closed until further notice:

  • Canada Games Complex, our largest recreational facility
  • Churchill Pool (Volunteer Pool has remained closed under renovation during the pandemic)
  • Arenas: Fort William Gardens, Neebing, Delaney, Port Arthur, Grandview, Current River
  • Older Adult Centres: 55 Plus Centre and West Arthur. Take-out food service (curbside pick-up) will continue for seniors’ food security
  • Community Centres: West Thunder, Current River, North End, Oliver Road, North McIntyre, Jumbo Gardens, South Neebing, Vale, Vickers Heights, West Arthur (includes volunteer-board operated community centres)
  • Kinsmen Youth Centre
  • Baggage Building Arts Centre
  • Water Garden Pavilion, (Prince Arthur’s Landing rink will remain open)
  • Conservatory

The enforcement of COVID-19 legislation is a joint initiative by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, City By-law Officers, and the Thunder Bay Police Service.

If residents have concerns about businesses and individuals who are not following Ontario’s COVID-19 related orders can phone (807) 625-5900 or toll-free 1 (888) 294-6630 to report any instances of non-compliance. This phone line will be monitored between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 9 am and 1 pm Saturday and Sunday. This includes residents gathering in large groups.