SUDBURY—As of Friday, July 17, more businesses, organizations and public spaces were permitted to reopen in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. The catchment area of Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) was one of the areas permitted to proceed to Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening framework, as announced by the Ontario government on Monday of last week.
“It is reassuring and truly remarkable how so many people in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts have rallied together to gradually and safely reopen throughout this area. The sacrifices, investments and commitments of businesses and community members alike have allowed us to transition to Stage 3,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health with PHSD. “You have stayed home, kept your two-metre distance, created your safe social circle, washed your hands and put on a face covering—all these individual actions have added up to great success in keeping COVID-19 at bay. Area businesses have stepped up to reopen safely, often at significant financial cost. So, thumbs up to all for putting the brakes on the virus and the accelerator on local reopening.”
As part of the Stage 3 reopening, officials have issued revised instructions under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). These update the Stage 2 instructions and now, all businesses and organizations must have a face covering policy implemented for members of the public and employees who enter and remain in enclosed public spaces. Distancing, masking and other requirements continue to be in place for indoor spaces that are only accessed by employees.
“Exemptions to face covering requirements, such as those based on health conditions or age, continue to be in force and businesses are not to require any proof of exemption,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Businesses are expected to act in good faith with public education being an important goal. They also must have policies, signage, verbal reminders, and hand sanitizer in place.”
With Stage 3, gathering limits increased: indoor gatherings increased to a maximum of 50 people; outdoor gathering limits increased to a maximum of 100 people. Participants at all gatherings, unless in the same social bubble (up to 10 people), must maintain two metres’ distance apart.
Public health continues to work closely with area businesses and organizations to provide support and answer questions. A number of new workplace resources are available at phsd.ca/COVID-19, including a toolkit that offers sample policies and signage, as well as frequently asked questions and answers.
Members of the public are reminded to continue to follow public health recommendations: continue to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering when distancing is not possible or when in enclosed public spaces, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze. Continue to be patient, kind and respectful as we all do our part and safely navigate this next stage together.
If you have a COVID-19 symptom, get tested. People who are asymptomatic, who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19, or those who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment are also encouraged to contact an assessment centre and get tested.