COVID-19 Update from the City of Greater Sudbury: Monday, March 16, 2020

16-Mar-2020

In consultation with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, the City of Greater Sudbury is suspending public programs and temporarily closing a number of public facilities to promote social distancing and limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Impacted programs and facilities are as follows: 
• All City-run camps and recreation programs, including the remainder of March Break activities, are suspended.
• Parks facilities, including fieldhouses, community spaces and Youth Centres are closed.
• Arenas are closed.
• All events at the Sudbury Community Arena are cancelled.
• Rentals at all community halls and community centres, including the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre, are suspended. No new rentals will be accepted until after April 5, 2020.
• Fitness centres are closed.
• Ski hills are closed, and all scheduled programs are suspended. 
• Pools are closed, and all scheduled programs are suspended.
• Library branches and Library/Citizen Service Centre locations (except the Tom Davies Square Citizen Service Centre) are closed. All Library late fees will be waived. 
• Museums are closed.
• Provincial Offences Act (POA) Court is suspended.
• Pioneer Manor remains closed to visitors.
• All in-person public meetings, including Public Information Centres, are suspended. Online engagement opportunities at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca will continue. 
• We will continue to explore options to accommodate payments from residents to the City, including property tax bill payments. 

The above changes take effect upon the closing of municipal facilities on Monday, March 16, and will be in effect until April 5, 2020. The City is closely monitoring local COVID-19 developments and will re-evaluate City service and program changes as needed. 

Residents will receive full reimbursements for cancelled programs, as soon as possible. More information on refunds will be shared once details are finalized. 

The City offers many important and critical services that have significant health and safety, and economic impact effects on the community. The following City services and programs will continue: 
• Tom Davies Square, including the Citizen Service Centre and all in-person counters, will remain open. 
• Building Services, including permits, approvals and inspections, will remain open.
• City Council meetings will continue, however, residents are encouraged to watch live at www.greatersudbury.ca/livestream.
• The Regional Business Centre will remain open, however all business seminars and training are suspended. 
• Emergency shelters remain open and homelessness programs will continue.
• Public Works operations, including road repair, winter road maintenance, will continue. 
• Fire and Paramedic Services Emergency Response will continue.
• Housing Registry services will continue.
• Ontario Works Program services will continue.
• Children Services will continue.
• Planning services, including rezoning applications and development approvals, will continue.
• Security, By-law and Parking services will continue.
• Landfills and the Recycling Centre remain open.
• Residential curbside collection of garbage, recyclables, compost and leaf and yard trimmings will continue.
• Property tax services will remain open• Gova Transit services will continue.
• Water and Wastewater operations will continue. 
• Scheduled civil marriage ceremonies will continue in the Council Chamber. No new bookings will be accepted until after April 5, 2020.
• The Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter will remain open.
• Cemeteries will remain open.
• Road construction projects will continue.

As a first point of contact, call 311, email 311@greatersudbury.ca or visit www.greatersudbury.ca to conduct business with the City in order to lessen the number of in-person interactions. Enhanced cleaning of all open facilities will continue to ensure the health and safety of visitors and employees. In-person service counters will have enhanced measures in place to protect residents and employees.

311 call centre hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Tom Davies Square, 200 Brady St., is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Updates and more detailed information is available online at www.greatersudbury.ca/COVID, on the Greater Sudbury Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GreaterSudbury and on Twitter at www.twitter.ca/GreaterSudbury. 

Quotes: 

“This was a hard decision to make given the already heightened anxiety many in the community are experiencing, especially those with children, caring for seniors or people with complex health issues," says Mayor Brian Bigger. "But we need to follow the expert advice of public health. They are the experts who have been tested on local, provincial and national levels and they know best what we need to do as a city to minimize the options for this virus to spread. I want to thank everybody in the City of Greater Sudbury for your patience, understanding and sacrifice during these extraordinary times. As northerners, we are resilient and I know we can work together, listen to the experts and get through this as one strong community.

“For greater benefit, it is important to implement social distancing measures early, even before there is evidence of local community spread,” said Dr. Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “There is a need to find a balance between the inconveniences and life changes that will occur with social distancing and their effectiveness in reducing disease transmission,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. "In the context of COVID-19, the goal of social distancing is to ensure that we don’t all get sick at the same time. As we have seen in other countries, when this happens, the health care system and other critical services are overwhelmed,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Despite causing mild illness in most people, the COVID-19 virus can have a more severe impact on the health of older members of our communities and on those with underlying chronic health conditions,” she added.