COVID-19 - Update on City Services Including Closure of Child Care Centres

Posted On Tuesday March 17, 2020

Mayor Bill Mauro encourages all residents to follow the direction of the Province as the City of Thunder Bay closes all City child care centres until further notice, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 situation and our response continues to evolve,” the Mayor said today. “Today’s Declaration of Emergency by Ontario Premier Doug Ford further demonstrates we are in unprecedented times. I encourage all residents to follow the direction of the Province including no gatherings of over 50 people and the closure of entertainment facilities, bars and restaurants except to provide takeout food and delivery.”

“We have rallied together as a community to protect the greater public health. I would like to thank all of our residents for practicing social distancing, staying home when sick, washing hands, looking after family and neighbours, and doing their part to remain calm. Thank you for your patience and doing your part to help flatten the curve. We will address this situation day by day, together as a community.”

 

New Service Changes

All Child Care Centres Close

City Child Care Centres: Grace Remus, Algoma, Ogden, Woodcrest, and City-delivered licensed private home child care are closed until further notice.

 

Updated – Parks Buildings Added to Closure of Recreation Facilities and Programs

All parks buildings and recreation facilities and their programs are closed until further notice including but not limited to the following:

  • Canada Games Complex, our largest recreational facility
  • Other Aquatic Venues: Churchill Pool & Volunteer Pool and Community Centre
  • Arenas: Fort William Gardens, Neebing, Delaney, Port Arthur, Grandview, Current River.
  • Older Adult Centres: 55 Plus Centre and West Arthur Community Centre
  • Community Centres: including volunteer-board operated community centres (West Thunder, Current River, North End, Oliver Road, North McIntyre, Jumbo Gardens, South Neebing, Vale, Vickers Heights)
  • Kinsmen Youth Centre
  • Baggage Building Arts Centre
  • Water Garden Pavilion
  • Mariner’s Hall - New
  • Centennial Botanical Conservatory – New

 

Credits and Refunds for Programs and Services

Program registration and facility rental credits are being applied to client accounts in accordance with the City’s refund/credit policies. These credits will be processed over the next three weeks. Clients wishing to request a refund instead of a credit may contact the City at the contact numbers listed below as of Monday, March 23, 2020.

Memberships will automatically be extended for the lesser of: the duration of the facility closure, or remaining membership term as of March 17. Alternatively, clients may contact the City through the provided phone numbers as of March 23, to request a refund for the pro-rated, unexpired portion of their membership.

Registration for spring program sessions may be taken, but is subject to cancellation and credit/refund based on the length of facility closures.

For additional information, or to switch a client credit to a refund, contact the following City lines, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, as of Monday, March 23:

  • General Inquiries – 625-2351
  • Facility Rentals/Bookings – 625-2227
  • Ice Rentals/Bookings – 625-2434
  • Aquatics/Fitness Memberships – 684-3323
  • Programs – 625-2227
  • Event Tickets – 625-2929

 

Public Meetings – Council’s COW Will Be Held Monday, March 23

Until further notice, Committee of the Whole (COW) and City Council meetings will only be scheduled as required to ensure business continuity and compliance with legislation. The COW on Monday, March 16, was cancelled.

There will be a Committee of the Whole and a City Council meeting on Monday, March 23. The gallery will be closed to members of the public.

Live stream and television coverage (Tbaytel and Shaw Cable) of meetings will continue. Residents may choose to make their views known to Members of Council by contacting the City Clerk via letter, email or phone call. Where appropriate the correspondence will be read aloud in the meeting when the related business is discussed. Members of the public are encouraged to watch the meetings which are livestreamed at www.thunderbay.ca/watchcouncil

Steps will be taken for all in attendance including:

  • Signage for self-screening
  • Additional space to distance from others
  • Reminder to follow proper hand hygiene

 

Meetings of Advisory Committees and working groups are suspended unless there is a requirement to meet for the purpose of compliance with legislation.

All flag raising ceremonies will be cancelled. Proclamations will continue to be posted online as scheduled at www.thunderbay.ca/proclamations

 

Previously Announced Service Changes

Changes at Facilities

Enhanced cleaning, signage for screening and personal hygiene protocols are in place in all municipal facilities. The public are asked to contact the City by phone or online wherever possible. Visit www.thunderbay.ca for more information.

The Harry Kirk Archives and Records Centre will be closed to the public and staff will be available by phone and by appointment for research inquiries.

No tours will be conducted in any City facilities until further notice.

 

Transit – Avoid Non-Essential Trips

Customers of Thunder Bay Transit and Lift+ Specialized Transit are asked to avoid all non-essential travel. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of buses is in place with a focus on high touch areas such as buttons and handles. Please do not use public transit if you are feeling unwell, or you have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.

 

Events

The Spring Family Skate in support of PRO Kids on March 20, at the Fort William Gardens has been cancelled.

 

Restrictions at Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care & Senior Services/Jasper Place Support Services

In consultation with Public Health, Pioneer Ridge has taken a number of steps:

  • Visitation has been suspended unless your loved one is very ill or end of life
  • Large programs have all been cancelled and the Homes are focusing on small groups and individual programming at this time
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning and assessment protocols are in place

 

Provincial Offences Court (POA) Closure

Thunder Bay & District, Provincial Offences courtrooms are closed effective March 16, 2020, at 8 am up to and including April 3, 2020. All matters will be rescheduled to a later day once courts resume. The public is not to attend court for any court appearances during this time period. The POA administration office will remain open for counter service. POA court fine payments will continue to be accepted at the counters, or can also be paid by mail, by credit card over the phone, or online at: www.paytickets.ca  More information is available at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj    

 

Other

The school crossing guard program is suspended during the school closure.

 

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Family

Public Health reminds us to take measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness such as COVID-19, Influenza, colds and stomach bugs at work and home:

  • Stay home if you are sick, follow up with your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Cover your mouth - cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care homes if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t done so already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community. NOTE: the flu shot is available from health care providers as well as pharmacies. For those under five without a health care provider, please call the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a vaccine nurse.

These measures may seem simple, but they are very powerful ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick. 

Steps have also been taken to protect the health and safety of City employees including the suspension of work-related travel, signage for self-screening, regular updates on steps they can take, direction to follow Public Health Canada’s self-quarantine on return from out of country including the United States and work from home protocols where appropriate.

For more information:

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Contact: Jodi Wright, Communications Specialist, 625-2438

 

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