COVID-19 Update: Stay Home, Stay Safe as Warm Weather Arrives

1-May-2020

As we head into May and the warm weather arrives, the City of Greater Sudbury has some important reminders about outdoor activities, as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is going to be a nice weekend, but we have to continue to stay strong and be vigilant,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. “I know there are quite a few inconveniences that we are all facing, but let's focus on the big picture. I know that this is difficult, but we're seeing low numbers because of the measures we've implemented and that is why we are asking everyone to follow these measures to keep the spread of the virus down. Let's make sure we all do our part to keep our community healthy. Let's allow our front line services like police, EMS and fire to focus on the priority issues. We're all in this together. We're making progress. Each one of us needs to do our part to see us successfully beating back the spread of this virus. We're a great city, and when we all do our part, we are greater together."

“Stemming the tide of new COVID-19 cases requires each of us to continue practising physical distancing and respecting the emergency orders in place, which seek to further protect public health,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “These are unique times, and we all long for a return to normal, but for the time being, we should be avoiding non-essential travel and staying close to home as much as possible. It’s also important for us be mindful of our mental health—to help cope, reconnect with yourself; a hobby; family, friends and co-workers; your culture; and with the land.”

Boat Launches
All municipal boat launches remain temporarily closed to the public. This decision supports physical distancing measures promoted by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and aligns with the provincial order to close outdoor recreational amenities.

Today, the Province announced that as of May 4, it is allowing certain business to open under strict guidelines. Marinas may begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft, and placing boats on the water, but may not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed. Read the Province’s announcement at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/certain-businesses-allowed-to-reopen-under-strict-safety-guidelines.html.

The City is following the lead of the Province in the closure of these outdoor recreational amenities. Residents will be updated regarding the opening of municipal boat launches as the Province releases guidelines on the proper opening of these business and public amenities.

The closure of municipal boat launches ensures our emergency crews can continue to focus on critical COVID-19 response across the community. It also discourages people from visiting Greater Sudbury from other communities, to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Residents with extenuating circumstances can call 311 to discuss their specific situation.

Parks, Trails and Other Outdoor Spaces
Parks amenities, playgrounds, golf courses and other outdoor recreational amenities remain closed as part of the Province’s emergency orders, to support physical distancing and help limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Most trails and open spaces remain open for walk-through purposes only. The Bell Park Boardwalk and AY Jackson Trail are temporarily closed as the number of pedestrians created a situation where physical distancing was not manageable.

Where there are concerns that people are not practising physical distancing, or where the number of pedestrians creates a situation where it is not manageable, the City will review and close additional trails and open spaces, if required.

Please note that golf courses are deemed a non-essential business under the Province’s emergency orders, and are not open to the public. Today, the Province announced that as of May 4, it is allowing certain business to open under strict guidelines. Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public. Read the Province’s announcement at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/certain-businesses-allowed-to-reopen-under-strict-safety-guidelines.html.

Open-Air Fire Ban
In alignment with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the open-air fire ban in Greater Sudbury remains in effect. Residents may be fined $365 for any unpermitted fire, plus the full cost of a fire service response, which is approximately $500. To report a fire in progress during a ban, call 911.

The fire ban ensures our emergency crews can continue to focus on critical COVID-19 response across the community.

Landfill Sites
Landfill sites remain closed to the public. They are open to commercial, industrial and municipal vehicles only, during regular operating hours.

The decision to close landfills was made to support physical distancing measures promoted by Public Health Sudbury & Districts. With a significant increase in visitors, physical distancing, and the safety of visitors and staff, was no longer manageable. The residential tipping fee holiday scheduled for the week of May 11 has been postponed.

To assist residents with the closures of these facilities, the residential garbage bag limit has been temporarily increased to four bags. Residential roadside collection of Blue Box recycling, Green Cart organics and leaf and yard trimmings remains unlimited.

The City also offers roadside collection of certain large furniture, appliances and electronics items. For more information on eligible items or to schedule pickup, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/live/garbage-and-recycling/furniture-and-appliances/.

Leaf and Yard Trimmings
Place your leaf and yard trimmings at the road on your regular scheduled collection day. Due to an increased volume in roadside collection items, a second truck may be dispatched to collect them, and this can take a couple days. Please leave your bags at the road.

Other reminders:
• Community gardens have been designated an essential service by the Province, as an important source of fresh food, especially for those facing food insecurity. The City is working with Public Health and community garden volunteers to put guidelines in place for ensuring proper physical distancing before gardens are reopened.
• For the safety of residents and staff, and in response to current limitations of available veterinary services, we are minimizing the number of new animals entering the Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter. The Shelter is currently not taking in healthy stray and community cats, and is not accepting the surrender of dogs or cats from owners, unless under extenuating circumstances. Call 311 to discuss your specific situation.
• The Reloadable Payment Card (RPC) is available for residents who are receiving Social Assistance. Visit www.greatersudbury.ca/live/employment-support-and-financial-assistance/financial-assistance-ontario-works/ for more information.

311
Call 311 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to report any of the following:
• Unauthorized use of closed City facilities, parks amenities and playgrounds.
• Organized public or social gatherings or events with more than five people, even when held at a private dwelling. This does not apply to a gathering of members of a single household.
• People not following Public Health orders to self-isolate after international travel, contact with a confirmed case, or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
• Continued operation of non-essential workplaces, as mandated by the Province of Ontario. Find the list of essential workplaces at www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces.

Are you interested in what people are calling us about during COVID-19? Our 311 dashboard is automatically updated several times daily and shows the number and categories of calls received by our 311 team. To check out the dashboard, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/311-COVID-Calls.

For COVID-19 updates and information related to City services, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/covid, or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/GreaterSudbury and www.twitter.com/GreaterSudbury.

For the most up-to-date local information on COVID-19, visit the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website at www.phsd.ca/coronavirus.

The City of Greater Sudbury, through decisions of City Council, and with guidance from Public Health Sudbury & Districts, continues to take additional steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.