THUNDER BAY – As Thunder Bay starts to re-open parts of the economy, the Municipal Emergency Group met Thursday to examine the situation.
Officials remind residents to maintain precautions against the spread of COVID-19 including regular hand washing, keeping a distance of two metres from others, and wearing a cloth mask when physical distancing is not possible such as when shopping or on a bus.
“There’s a lot going on that will support residents getting out in the community more,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “It’s going to take some time for this first reopening stage – it’s not like flicking a switch as we work hard to put in place all the changes to make facilities, programs and services safe for participants.”
“The effort and commitment to stopping the spread of the virus in our area has been successful. It is reasonable that we now transition to this next phase,” says Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health. “However, we need to be mindful that COVID-19 is still around and we all must remain vigilant. Organizations and businesses that are opening up need to have all the proper precautions in place. Don’t open up tomorrow unless you can do so safely.”
She continues to encourage anyone with any symptoms, even if mild, to get tested. As of yesterday, the Health Unit amended its travel recommendations so that individuals who do travel within Canada are no longer required to isolate for 14 days on return to Thunder Bay. Instead, they should monitor themselves and get tested if they have any symptoms or if they think they have been in contact with an individual who has COVID-19.
Those in attendance represented the City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, Superior North EMS, Tbaytel, Synergy North, Thunder Bay Airport, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Bay District Health Unit, District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales, Lakehead Public Schools, the Catholic District School Board, Lakehead University and Confederation College.
Police, Health Unit and By-law Officers have taken an active role in educating members of the public about the importance of physical distancing.
As some restrictions are lifted, residents who 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 7:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 9 am and 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. This includes residents gathering in large groups.