COVID-19: MECG - Holidays Must Look and Feel Different This Year

Posted On Thursday December 17, 2020

The City’s Municipal Emergency Control Group discussed the importance of continued vigilance at its weekly meeting today with community partners as part of its ongoing management of the COVID-19 situation. The group continues to meet weekly.

They discussed ongoing efforts to manage the virus with Thunder Bay expected to remain for now in the Province’s Orange Restrict (intermediate measures) category. The Orange category of the Province’s COVID-19 Response Framework is outlined by the Province as “enhanced measures, restrictions and enforcement, avoiding any closures.”

Mayor Bill Mauro reminds residents to remain vigilant and adhere to Public Health guidelines as we head into the holiday season.

“While we are all encouraged by the positive news related to the vaccine and its impending distribution, we still have some work and runway in front of us to get on the other side of this pandemic,” said Mayor Mauro. “We owe it to each other, and the most vulnerable among us, to continue to conduct ourselves as safely and respectfully as possible.”

Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, also wanted to remind everyone to continue to do their part to minimize any further spread in the community.

“Holiday celebrations are important to our mental health and well-being, but this year will look and feel different than usual and we must not let our guard down.” said Dr. DeMille. “Keep gatherings and celebrations to only people within your household and connect virtually with others.”

Cynthia Olsen, the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy Coordinator, updated the group on the Supported Isolation and Overflow shelter spaces that continue to be available for individuals experiencing homelessness. Over 500 individuals have accessed these spaces since their development during the pandemic.

“Work is also being done to develop an Emergency Cold Weather Plan to aid in preventing negative health impacts of cold weather conditions on residents of Thunder Bay during the COVID-19 pandemic response,” said Olsen.

“There continues to be increased risk of overdose in the community – it is highly recommended for individuals who use drugs to not do so alone, to access the supervised consumption service Path 525, and to ensure they have naloxone on hand.”

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.

Those in attendance represented the City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, Superior North EMS, tbaytel, Thunder Bay Airport, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, Aurora Borealis Catholic District School Board Lakehead Public Schools, and the Catholic District School Board.

For more information:

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Contact:          Stacey Levanen, Public Information Officer - MECG, 625-3650

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