Today, the Government of Ontario announced a Provincewide Shutdown to help slow the increase in COVID-19 cases. Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area, including Greater Sudbury and the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin will be in a temporary shutdown, effective Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., for 14 days.
“Today’s announcement recognizes that a province-wide approach is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 as it threatens to overburden our health care system and our public health system across the province,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “We have worked hard to keep our case counts manageable, but unfortunately, a regional approach is not enough. We are not immune to this threat in the north and, as we’ve seen in other jurisdictions, things can change very quickly. As case counts rise it becomes more difficult to continue to protect the health of individuals and our health systems,” continued Dr. Sutcliffe.
This temporary Provincewide Shutdown means Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area will experience time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season. The measures in place are similar to those experienced in the spring, during Stage 1. Individuals are expected to stay home as much as possible except for essential reasons, work remotely, and avoid anything but essential travel.
Specific measures in effect Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m:
The following list highlights some additional measures in effect as part of the Provincewide Shutdown.
- Only gathering indoors with the people you live with. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
- No indoor organized public events are allowed.
- Outdoor organized events and social gatherings are limited to 10 people and physical distancing must be maintained.
- No in-person shopping in most retail settings. Essential retail outlets will remain open and must follow capacity limits (25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping in big-box stores and 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies).
- No indoor access to shopping malls unless in a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only) or to go to an essential retail outlet.
- No indoor and outdoor dining. Take out, drive-through, and delivery may continue.
- Indoor and outdoor recreational fitness facilities will close. Outdoor recreational amenities will remain open for individual use with public health measures in place.
- Post-secondary institutions are open for virtual instruction, with limited exceptions (for example clinical training and trades).
- Students will participate in virtual school from January 4 to January 8, 2021. In-person attendance will resume January 11, 202 These changes do not apply to First Nation schools.
- Child care centres will remain open during the shutdown. During the period of virtual learning (January 4 to January 8), school-aged children cannot attend to limit exposures. The Ministry of Education will implement a targeted emergency child care program for school-aged children.
- Further details can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-provincewide-shutdown.
- The regulation that establishes the rules for the Provincewide Shutdown is Ontario Regulation 82/20.
“We are being asked to sacrifice again to keep our families, our communities, and our health systems safe. This requires another big effort at a time when all have given so much. We will get through this and we will remember the kindness and patience we drew upon and that we experienced from others,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “This is hard but it is temporary and we can be reassured by the vaccines that will soon arrive.”
The province placed Public Health Sudbury & Districts in the Green-Protect level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework on Friday, December 18, 2020. Following this 14-day Provincewide Shutdown, depending the current local context and conditions, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will return to that level.
For more information or if you have questions, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).