Thunder Bay – Growing case numbers of COVID-19 in the Thunder Bay District are raising concerns across Ontario, and across Canada.
Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam says, “I’m aware of the situation in Thunder Bay and obviously as a provincial jurisdiction and we can, you know, from a public health agency perspective, can provide support from a — which is generally more technical, but government-wide, there’s of course federal supports provided, whether it’s isolation sites or, you know, support for people who have to abide with the public health measures”.
The CMOH continues, “I think Ontario is taking a more regional approach to how they’re managing their outbreaks and epidemiologic situation, so that they — they are, you know, obviously treating Thunder Bay, I think, differently to maybe other areas where there’s less activity.”
Thunder Bay as a Hot Spot
Dr. Tam says, “I think the other sort of key message about what’s happening in Thunder Bay is that one is, you know, areas that were less affected in the past can easily become the next hot spot”.
“The other thing is that there are a number of vulnerable settings in whether it’s congregate living or shelters or other more vulnerable settings, which you’ve got to give them as much support as possible, because it actually has community impact as well”.
“These viruses know no borders, and — and it affects certain high-risk and vulnerable groups — it’s going to impact the rest of the community. So, as much help as you can provide in that context, the better, and obviously, with the vaccinations in Thunder Bay and elsewhere, that has got to sort of continue as fast as possible, but I don’t have specific details as to what supports we may have already provided”.
“But those are the general things that the federal government can — can help with. But yeah, I mean, I think at these — and any place could become a hot spot, and the key again is to act fast so that you can get out of that crisis situation fast”.