Thunder Bay Moves to COVID-19 Response Level Orange – Restrict

Posted On Friday December 04, 2020

Thunder Bay will enter the Province’s Orange – Restrict (intermediate measures) category effective Monday, Dec. 7. The Orange category is outlined by the Province as “enhanced measures, restrictions and enforcement, avoiding any closures.”

“The Province has made the decision to move the Thunder Bay District Health Unit into the Orange category,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “Rising numbers represent an increased health risk to our population, and if it continues, could ultimately further impact the operation of municipal facilities and lead to a shutdown of our local economy. We all need to do everything we can to contain continued spread, especially with the Christmas season and associated family gatherings soon to occur.”                                                                    

Everyone in our community is asked to their part to protect the residents of Thunder Bay as we see COVID-19 cases rise. Limit travel, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, stay home when ill, respect gathering limits, reduce outings, and be vigilant in following all public health advice.

“The City is strongly committed to health and safety measures at our facilities to keep city employees and residents safe,” said City Manager Norm Gale.

City facilities operate under strict health and safety measures. Many of these measures were implemented at their time of re-opening and additional measures have been put in place over the course of the pandemic including the most recent shift from the Province’s green to yellow category.

Existing facility safety measures include active screenings, collection of contact information, Northwestern Ontario travel restrictions, physical distancing measures, mask policies, enhancing cleaning, pre-booking reservations, and controlled/limited attendance numbers. 

The City of Thunder Bay is part of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) zone.

As the district enters level Orange, effective Monday, Dec. 7, the following additional changes will occur for City services:

All Recreational Facilities

Recreational facilities include the Canada Games Complex, Churchill Pool, Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre, West Arthur 55 Plus Centre programming, Kinsmen Youth Centre, Arenas, Stadia, and Community Centres. Moving to level Orange will mean that the allowance for higher capacity limits for facilities operating under enhanced guidelines in levels Green and Yellow will no longer apply.

In level Orange, new rules for all recreational facilities include:

  • Maximum of 50 people total per facility for all classes, organized programs or organized activities, together with the total number of people in all areas with weights and exercise machines (pool is considered separate from this total for the Canada Games Complex)
  • Maximum of 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors in fitness or exercise classes
  • No spectators (exemption for one parent/guardian to accompany each child under the age of 18 who is engaged in an activity at the facility)
  • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport

In addition to the general measures outlined above for recreational facilities, some facilities have additional measures. These include:

Community Centres

  • For centres that offer meeting and event spaces (including weddings), a limit of four people may be seated together
  • Liquor can only be sold or served up until 9 pm
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 pm to 9 am
  • Meeting and event spaces must be closed from 10 pm to 5 am

Please note that due to a change in capacity limits, there may be some impacts on previously scheduled programs at these facilities. Participants will be notified if their activity is modified or cancelled.

Pioneer Ridge Long-term Care and Jasper Place Assisted Living

The City remains committed to the residents and tenants living in long-term care and assisted living Homes who may be some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Operational changes were implemented on Nov. 20, restricting general visitation to essential visitors only, encouraging window and FaceTime visits, and restricting short-term absences to essential absences only.

Active screening continues to take place for all entry to our facilities. Moving to the  orange requires Pioneer Ridge to perform  weekly COVID-19 tests or all staff and essential caregivers in Pioneer Ridge.

Further restrictions may be implemented as directed by the Ministry of Long-term Care and Public Health

Appointment bookings for service at other City facilities such as City Hall and Victoriaville Civic Centre remain available. Residents can refer to the individual item in the A-Z Directory to find specific instructions.

For the latest City information and service updates during the pandemic visit:

For public health information, visit:


  • - the Ontario Ministry of Health reports on the status of cases in Ontario each morning at 10:30 am.
  • www.TBDHU.COM/coronavirus - the Health Unit’s website contains links to credible sources of information for both the public and local health care providers.


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Contact:       Stacey Levanen, Supervisor – Corporate Communications, 625-3650

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