COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATE

COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATE

 

(Updated Monday, May 25th 9:50 am)

 

Premier Doug Ford says testing protocols for COVID-19 have been expanded and anybody who feels they were exposed to the virus can be tested. Ford says even asymptomatic people can get tested, marking a shift in previous testing practices. The Hospital website say the local Assessment Centre is in a self-contained area of the North Bay Regional Health Centre, with a separate entrance on the west side of the building, and free outdoor parking close to the entrance. They’re open 9 am to 5 pm, every day of the week.

 

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit reports 25 cases of COVID-19 in the district. As of Friday afternoon, 20 cases have been resolved, four are isolating and there’s been one death.
 

The Health Unit has announced there was a privacy breach involving their online COVID-19 dashboard, which has since been removed from their website. Officials say personal identifying information was inadvertently made accessible through the dashboard. The incident has been reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The breach affects those individuals whose permanent address is in the Health Unit district and were tested for COVID-19 on or before May 8th. For more information on the breach go to www.myhealthunit.ca/dashboardbreach

 

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Eastholme in Powassan. The Health Unit says as part of the enhanced testing of long-term care homes, residents and staff at Eastholme were tested on May 12th. A health care worker has tested positive and is in isolation. An outbreak is declared when there is a single lab-confirmed case in a resident or staff member. Officials say all test results for residents at Eastholme have come back negative for COVID-19.

 

Stage one of the province’s reopening is underway. For more information check out ontario.ca/covid-19

 

Three municipal boat launches are now open at Champlain Park, Sunset Park and Armstrong Park. The city also says the launch at the Waterfront Marina opened Saturday, May 16th. Officials say if another boater is launching when you arrive, wait in line, in your vehicle until they’re finished as physical distancing protocols remain in effect.

 

$49.5 million is earmarked for FedNor through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund as part of COVID-19 relief efforts. Ottawa says the fund is for northern Ontario businesses, in sectors like manufacturing, technology and tourism, that are unable to access other existing funds.

 

There will be no Mattawa River Canoe Race this year due to COVID-19. North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority CAO Brian Tayler says it takes a great deal of time and effort to make the arrangements for a successful event and the lead time we need has been dwindling away with the restrictions everyone is facing. This coupled with the need to follow provincial direction regarding physical distancing and restricting large gatherings made the decision obvious. The next race is scheduled to be held on July 24, 2021.

 

Mattawa Voyageur Days is being cancelled this summer because of COVID-19. Officials say they’ve been monitoring the situation over the last few weeks and have determined, along with government mandates, it’s no longer safe to move forward with the July festival this year. They will be back for 2021. For now they say the safety and well-being of fans, artists, staff, vendors and everyone in the community is their top priority.

 

COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 Northern Football Conference season. Officials say the teams, including the North Bay Bulldogs are planning for a strong comeback in 2021. Clubs may hold football camps and inter team scrimmages later in the summer, if fields become available and intercity travel is deemed safe by the province.

 

Due to COVID-19 and the importance of physical distancing the city has decided to cancel the events planned for Armed Forces Day on June 10th. Officials say health and safety are paramount to the organizers, so the decision was made to protect the public, volunteers and the Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds, SkyHawks parachute team and the CF-18 Demonstration Team.

 

Air Canada is extending the suspension of local flights to and from Toronto to the end of May. Back in March, the service was put on hold until the end of April because of COVID-19, but that’s been extended another month. The North Bay route is one of 160 impacted at Air Canada.

 

The 24 hour COVID-19 Responsive Emergency Homelessness Shelter is moving from the YMCA to Pete Palangio Arena on Thursday. Officials say need for the shelter has already outgrown the space. They point out the shelter at the Y reached capacity several days and nights since opening on April 1st. The move to Pete Palangio Arena will provide for more space and the double rink allows for an isolation area for anyone attending that is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. The emergency shelter at the YMCA provided space for 35 cots and five staff, including security personnel. The new space will allow for 50 cots in the shelter side of the arena and 10 cots in the isolation side.

 

Officials with North Bay Pride 2020 say this summer’s events have been postponed because of COVID-19. They also say it cannot be the same event they had planned for July 22nd to 25th and they’ll adjust events to meet the needs of the community and protect the health of everyone. Further updates will be made soon.

 

Some childcare providers are getting ready to open free-of-charge emergency childcare spaces for essential workers next week. The application process starts at 11 am today (Thursday April 9th)l. Officials with the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board say about 24 spaces will be available in North Bay first, then West Nipissing, which are the two areas with the greatest need. Mattawa is another community they’re working towards providing services too. There are certain criteria and families will receive the service on a ‘first come first served’ basis. The online application form can be found on DNSSAB’s website.

 

With the province recently updating the list of Essential Workplaces, the building department at the Municipality of West Nipissing has adopted additional service precautions. They will continue to accept permit applications and prepare for them to be issued, however, they will only issue permits for projects that are deemed “essential”. Permit applications that are not “essential” will be fully processed, but won’t be issued until the Province updates their restrictions. Inspections will be done on all projects that comply with the updated Emergency Order, for unoccupied buildings only.

 

The North Bay Food Bank says clients can call 705-495-3290 to have food hampers delivered to them. Non-perishable food donation pick-up can be arranged by calling Crystal at 705-474-0626 x2329 or crystal.mcleod@cityofnorthbay.ca

 

The Near North District School Board has closed all school playgrounds and other amenities, including sports fields and access to school board property until further notice. It all has to do with provincial advice and orders around reducing the spread of COVID-19.

 

Ontario’s entire legislated fire region has been classified as a Restricted Fire Zone. Officials put the designation in place so emergency responders can focus their efforts during COVID-19 on where they’re needed most. City Fire Chief Jason Whiteley says North Bay is issuing a Fire Ban on all outdoor burning as well. It means no burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit.

 

Council for the Municipality of Callander has decided to cancel the annual FunFest event due to COVID-19. The decision was made at a Special Council Meeting last Tuesday. The event was slated to take place on June 27, 2020. The Family Board Games meeting, Arbour Day and Evening of Appreciation, all scheduled to take place in April, have also been cancelled. Callander council also passed a resolution to close all Callander outdoor recreational amenities, following the Province of Ontario’s recent mandate.

 

The City of North Bay is operating a community hotline for residents looking for information and services on those impacted by COVID-19. Call 705-474-0400 and then press 2. You can also send an e mail customerservice@cityofnorthbay.ca The Customer Service Centre is operating Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

 

Ontario Northland has suspended the Polar Bear Express passenger train service between Cochrane and Moosonee. The suspension will take effect next Tuesday. Freight service between Cochrane and Moosonee will continue as scheduled. If you have reservations after next Monday you will be contacted by Ontario Northland and fully reimbursed.

 

The Clear Springs Golf Course clubhouse will remain closed until April 30th. Officials say memberships can be arranged by email or phone.

 

The North Bay Golf and Country Club is extending their clubhouse restrictions, that started March 15th, until April 30th. They will remain closed to all member and guest activity, meaning their Open House on April 23rd is cancelled. Officials say all membership payments can be arranged through phone or email.

 

The city is making  staff available to deliver groceries and other essential items to seniors, people with disabilities and others who may be without someone to assist them.   The service is available from 10 am to 1 pm Monday-Friday and the groceries must be pre-paid.  You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number and grocery store location  Those in need can contact Crystal at 705-474-0626, ext. 2329, or e mail crystal.Mcleod@cityofnorthbay.ca.

 

This year’s Northern Ontario Open Country Singing Contest has been cancelled. Officials made the announcement on their website thenorthernopen.com saying “with heavy heart and with the safety of the public” the board has decided to CANCEL the 2020 event. Refunds are being sent out. The event was planned for July 31st to August 2nd.

 

The Municipality of West Nipissing now has only one due date for residents there to pay their interim taxes.  It is May 22nd. Previously, the dates were April 24th and May 22nd but the April 24th date is being waived. All preauthorized payments will continue as scheduled. As well, effective April 1, the municipality will freeze any penalties and interest charges on overdue accounts, non-payment of bills or past arrears will not be charged interest and the water and sewer bill scheduled for May has been postponed to June.  The Municipal Office remains closed to all walk-in visits and in-person essential services will be conducted by appointment only.

 

Access is being restricted between the Quebec and Ontario border at Temiscaming. A caller says police are only letting essential workers through. Quebec announced the measures for eight regions on the weekend. Some exceptions include people who live there, people who work for priority services as deemed by the government, travel necessary for humanitarian reasons and more. Check out the March 28th orders issued by that province, online at quebec.ca

 

The local Student Nutrition Program is now offering food to children, youth and families. Officials say with schools closed and children and youth still hungry, they want to meet the needs of the community in these uncertain times. Two hubs are being set up for families to pick-up breakfast items, with regulations from public health being followed, including safe physical distancing. The hubs are The Gathering Place from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Mondays and the Home Style Cafe from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Wednesdays. Register by emailing studentnutrition@communityliving.org

 

North Bay Transit is now operating on a reduced Saturday schedule from Monday through Saturday, in response to customer demand. Buses on Sunday will continue to operate on a Sunday schedule. Officials say the change means a reduction of three hours of service. They also say the MyRideNBT app will update to reflect the changes. It was previously announced that North Bay Transit is asking passengers to board buses at the rear door in order to limit interactions with drivers. Fares will be suspended until further notice. If you use the accessible ramp the service will still be provided.

 

Officials with the Kiwanis North Bay Triathlon say given current health concerns, and out of an abundance of caution, this summer’s Triathlon has been cancelled. They will be contacting everyone who registered over the next week or so for refunds or a credit towards next year, if interested.

 

A state of emergency has been declared in Bonfield due to COVID-19. Bonfield Mayor Randall McClaren says the community’s Emergency Control Group has met twice and they want to do everything necessary for the citizens health and this is one step they can take. He’s encouraging residents to stay home, stay safe and wash hands frequently.

 

Hands The Family Help Network has changed the way it serves clients, moving the majority of its services to online and telephone support and that includes counselling services and walk-in clinics. All of the offices are closed. Check out thefamilyhelpnetwork.ca for information on contacts for their programs and services.

 

The city is asking residents to bag all garbage before placing it in your trash bins on garbage day. Officials say the request is being made for the safety of those collecting the garbage. They say it means no loose garbage should be placed in the bins. Officials are also asking anyone with symptoms to hang onto their recyclables.

Meantime, a list of resources and a hot line for local businesses to call has been put together by the city. The hot line will be answered by a staff representative Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The hotline number is 705-474-0626 x 2417, or email invest@investinnorthbay.ca.

 

The Nipissing Serenity Hospice Hike for Hospice event has been postponed due to COVID-1. It will be held later in the year. Meantime, all planned tours, meetings or events nonessential to the care of residents have been cancelled or postponed. If a family is interested in a tour for an imminent admission, please have the hospital or the family contact Care Coordinator, Lindsay Campbell.

 

United Way Centraide North East Ontario has established a Community Response Fund during the COVID-19 crisis. The fund will provide emergency grants to local charitable organizations working to meet the basic needs of individuals disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Donations to the Community Response Fund can be made at uwcneo.com

 

With non-essential businesses now closed across Ontario, Downtown North Bay is offering up suggestions for local residents. They say call ahead to see if the business is essential and open and consider supporting businesses by buying gift cards that can be used later or shopping by phone, email or online. Officials also point out several restaurants are supplying take-out, delivery and in some cases pre-packaged or frozen meals. Another suggestion is to be patient and kind with each other with officials saying, ‘we’re in this together”.

 

The North Bay Regional Health Centre and the foundation are asking for the public to donate personal protective equipment supplies. Needed are gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection in high quantities. Items can be dropped off at the receiving department of the hospital from 7 am to 3 pm daily.

 

The North Bay & District Trappers AAA Hockey Association is suspending all operations until further notice. This will include tryouts for the coming season, coaching announcements, the Annual General Meeting. It says once the NOHA and Hockey Canada has approved the return to regular hockey operations the NBDTHA will begin to plan for the 2020/21 season.

 

North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport remains open. That from airport officials who say they will continue to operate while providing essential air transportation services. Heightened protocols are in place that include restricting access, encouraging physical distancing and limiting non-essential activities. They’ve also increased cleaning and disinfecting frequency of common areas and touch services. As of March 20th, they’ve been advised that Air Canada service has been cancelled until April 30th, Bearskin will operate a single daily scheduled flight on top of charter operations and Sunwing has halted commercial charter southern flight operations.

 

West Nipissing says the Municipal Office is now closed to all walk-in visits until further notice. In-person essential services will be conducted by appointment only. For inquiries and appointments, residents may contact the Municipality by telephone at 705.753.2250 or by email to support@westnipissing.ca They also remind residents that tax dues dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22, 2020.

 

The Ontario Hockey League has announced the cancellation of the 2020 playoffs while the CHL also announced the cancellation of the 2020 Memorial Cup. Both the J. Ross Roberton Cup and the Memorial Cup will not be awarded this season. Officials say they continue to monitor the public health developments around COVID-19, but given the troubling state of our global climate and public welfare, they say there is still too much risk and uncertainty to move forward in good conscience. Meantime, the North Bay Battalion will pick first overall in the OHL Priority Selection in early April. The Troops finished with 38 points and will have the first selection in the April 4th draft.

 

TP North Bay will be cancelling their May Campaign, due to the Covid-19 virus. They’re looking at having a September Campaign.

 

The North Bay and Area Community Foundation and Rotary Club of North Bay have launched a combined effort called the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The goal is to support local organizations and projects in the areas of healthcare and food security. For information go to www.nbacf.ca/covid-19-emergency-relief-fund/

 

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority’s offices are closed but staff are all responding to emails and telephone queries.

 

The North Bay Food Bank has changed its hours of operation for clients. They are now open Monday and Friday from 9 am-noon and noon to 4 on Wednesday. Donations and drop offs are being accepted from 9-4 daily Monday to Friday.

 

Jazz at the Junction concerts are cancelled until further notice

 

The province is closing all full-time DriveTest Centres. They will stay closed until further notice.

 

The North Bay Sports Hall of Fame has decided to cancel the 40th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd at the Davedi Club.

 

Callander says all municipal offices are closed for walk in until further notice. You can still contact staff by phone or email but in person service is for appointment only. For information on payments go to www.mycallander.ca Callander has already closed all recreational and cultural facilities.

 

As recommended by the province and in keeping with the Prime Minister’s recent recommendation to limit the spread of COVID-19, Nipissing University is restricting access to the Education Centre effective 9 pm on Friday, March 20th. Most university employees will be working from home effective Monday, March 23rd until at least Monday, April 6th when officials will re-evaluate the situation. All students currently living in residence are required to leave residence prior to Sunday March 22nd at 7 pm. For more information on Nipissing University’s updates and FAQs relating to COVID-19, please visit?www.nipissingu.ca/coronavirus

 

Further protective measures during the COVID-19 pandemic are being put in place by the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration. Officials say they include the closure of their offices in North Bay, Mattawa, South Algonquin, and West Nipissing. Anyone seeking services of DSSAB are advised to call 705-474-2151. In-office visits are restricted to emergencies only, and only at their 200 McIntyre Street East location. People receiving social assistance payments are strongly urged to set up Direct Bank Deposit if they haven’t already done so. Meantime, the office at the Nipissing District Housing Corporation at 133 Main Street in North Bay will also be closed as of Friday, March 20. Anyone requiring NDHC services are asked to call 705-472-2441. All client emergency needs, including health and safety issues, will continue to be addressed. Tenants will be advised of alternative ways to pay their rent where necessary. The majority of staff at all sites will be working remotely.

 

22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay is limiting access to only those personnel required for essential services, families living on the base and contractors.
The following services are closed to the public: The Ayr Mess, the Wing Chapel, the CANEX and the Subway restaurant. The following services are closed to all including military members and dependents: 22 Wing Fitness & Wellness Centre, Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defense, North Bay Military Family Resource Centre and Little Wings Childcare Centre.

 

West Nipissing’s Emergency Control Group met recently to implement an emergency plan. They say while the Health Unit continues to advise that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in our district is low, the Control Group is focused on preventative measures. They say preparations are in place for the implementation of an Assessment Centre to provide screening, assessment and testing to residents, when necessary. They continue to monitor the situation and will meet regularly to reassess.

 

The Capitol Centre is closed to visitors. Box Office staff are contacting all ticket holders of cancelled or postponed shows. This will take some days so they appreciate your patience.

The following Capitol Centre movies have been cancelled:
• Sunday Cinema: Little Women (originally scheduled Mar 22)
• Free Family Movie: Wonder Park (originally scheduled March 29)
The following live performance events are now postponed or cancelled:
• Thane Dunn’s Elvis the Comeback King – postponed to May 30th
• Capitol Centre’s Annual Children’s Festival – cancelled
• The New Shanghai Circus – postponed to Sunday February 21, 2021
• Snowed in Comedy Tour – postponed, new date TBA
• Spring Sing – postponed, new date TBA
• NB Symphony Orchestra, Brilliant Beethoven – cancelled
• The Man in Black – postponed to August 10, 2020
• The Just for Laughs Roadshow Tour – postponed to April 26, 2021

 

With Ontario declaring a state of emergency, Cecil’s Brewhouse and Kitchen says their dining room is closed, effective immediately. They will be offering take-out, delivery and online orders through Skip The Dishes. The Grande Event Centre is closed while Cecil’s Catering will be offering express drop off catering.

 

The North Bay Public Library is closed. Earlier officials said they’re looking into possible alternative service delivery options.

 

The Chamber of Commerce says all of their events are postponed until further notice. Both the Chamber and Downtown North Bay are asking the community to continue to support small business and shop locally. Downtown officials say some retailers are able to take orders for merchandise by phone and drop it off to your vehicle.

 

In Powassan, municipal facilities are closed to the public. All council, budget and committee meetings are cancelled and the decision has been made to cancel the Maple Syrup Festival this year.

 

With regret, the North Bay Regional Science Fair Committee has cancelled this year’s fair that was scheduled for April 1st.

 

The North Bay Golden Age Club has closed it’s doors for 3 weeks. Officials will assess the situation at that time and decide if they should continue with the closure.

 

One Kids Place has announced ALL one-on-one sessions (home, community and centre-based) have been cancelled.

 

All travel stores within the CAA North & East club are closed. That includes a store in North Bay.

 

North Bay Battalion headquarters has been closed to the public. For staff contact, please call 705-495-8603 or email info@battalionhockey.com

 

The North Bay Museum will be closed until at least April 5th, as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staff will be available to answer inquiries by phone or email. Gift shop orders can be arranged at this time by contacting Sarah Aubertin at sarah@northbaymuseum.com or 705-476-2323. Collections or future programming inquiries can be sent to naomi@northbaymuseum.com. All events before April 5th, including museum programming and the North Bay Heritage Gardener Education night scheduled for March 26th, are cancelled.

 

All North Bay YMCA services are closed including the Health, Fitness & Aquatics Centres. On the weekend, the YMCA cancelled all land-based programming like group fitness classes, gymnastics and youth programming along with swimming classes. They also announced all of their child care centre are closed and March Break camps are cancelled.

 

The North Bay Granite Curling Club says they are closed for the season. This includes their facilities, programs, leagues and events.

 

Mount Antoine in Mattawa is now closed. Monday, March 16th was their last day of the season. The season is also over at Laurentian Ski Hill. Officials announced late Sunday they’ve received direction from the Ontario Ski Resorts Association, their governing body, to cease all operations for the remainder of the season. They say it’s not how they wanted to end the year, but these are uncertain times and they wish all of their ski families good health in the coming weeks and months.

 

The 22 Wing Fitness and Wellness Centre has reduced services and is now closed to the public. The facility is only open to the Military and members. Their Facebook page says swimming lessons, public swims, group fitness classes, movies and March Break camps are cancelled.

 

All GoodLife and Fit4Less locations across Canada are closed until further notice to help protect members and associates from the threat of COVID-19. Officials say the clubs will reopen when it is safe to do so, based on direction from local public health authorities. All member payments are being suspended as of Tuesday, March 17 and any paid-in-full Memberships will be put on freeze until further notice and expiry dates will be extended accordingly. While many Associates will be temporarily laid off while operations are closed, GoodLife has committed to paying all Associates for two weeks to help lessen the financial burden.

 

World Gym in North Bay announced on Facebook they’re still open but the daycare is closed and they’re shutting down all of their classes. However, their Zumba instructors are going to be holding one hour Basics classes on Facebook Live, Wednesdays at 6:30pm & Saturdays at 11am through their Facebook page.

 

The North Bay & District Multicultural Centre’s “Empowering Women” catering project postponed their ‘Taste of the East’ buffet that was planned for March 25th. Tickets already purchased will be valid for the new date — once the centre reschedules the event.

 

The Rotary Club of North Bay has announced ‘Kevin’s Longest Morning’ fundraiser for Rotary4Kids on KiSS 100.5 is being postponed.  The event was scheduled to take place March 26th and 27th at Canadian Tire on McKeown Avenue.  Officials say the move is being made as a result of the escalating threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and with a concern for the well-being of the radio team, families and Rotary volunteers.  A rescheduled date has yet to be determined.  Donations can still be made online at anytime, at www.rotary4kids.ca

 

Update from the President of Nipissing University. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a number of actions will be taken. Read the statement here: www.nipissingu.ca/coronavirus

 

The Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie Roman Catholic Church has announced that, until further notice, all Masses, weekday and weekends, as well as Sunday liturgies of the Word are cancelled. Churches remain accessible for personal visits during usual mass times.

 

The North Bay FIRST Robotics event scheduled for late March at Nipissing University has been postponed because of the Coronavirus situation.  Officials say although it’s unfortunate and disappointing news for FIRST participants and supporters the safety and well-being of everyone involved is their top priority.  Updates on possibly rescheduling the event will be provided when decisions are made.

 

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 season. This includes the rest of the NOJHL playoffs, the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Region event and the Centennial Cup, Canadian National Jr. A Championship.

 

Nipissing First Nation has announced the Little NHL hockey tournament has been cancelled.  The event was to be held in Peel Region.  “This decision is regrettable, but unavoidable in light of the serious health risks associated with large public gatherings and the speed at which the coronavirus is spreading,” said Chief Scott McLeod. “The last thing we want is to see this virus spread to any First Nation communities, especially those that have limited access to health facilities and already face pre-existing socio-economic challenges.”

 

Ontario Soccer says all sanctioned soccer activities in the province are being suspended until further notice, because of the Coronavirus outbreak. This after discussions with the national governing body, input from relevant government agencies and medical experts. It affects all Ontario Soccer sanctioned activities including competitions, training, coach and match official education and team building activities.

 

In light of recent events involving the new Coronavirus, the Ontario Volleyball Association says ALL events up to and including April 5th have been cancelled.

 

CORONAVIRUS NATIONAL UPDATE

 

The latest on the coronavirus will be posted on this page every day: https://www.680news.com/2020/03/10/coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know-today/ <