COVID-19 Update: Lifting of State of Emergency and Changes to City Services Following Provincial Announcement
Mar 14, 2022
Following the Province’s announcement that it is lifting additional public health measures, including mask requirements, there will be a number of changes for City of Greater Sudbury facilities and services over the coming days.
“We are gradually returning to as close to pre-pandemic life as we have been in two years. While these continued changes are a sign of better days ahead, it doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind,” said Greater Sudbury Deputy Mayor Al Sizer. “COVID-19 has not disappeared. As we learn to manage and live with this virus, let’s continue to make simple, smart decisions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe – like getting vaccinated and boosted, and staying home when we’re sick. Just as importantly, please be kind and respect the choices of others who may be approaching this new normal at a different pace.”
State of Emergency Ends
With people returning to the workplace, public health trends across Ontario continuing to improve, and mask and other requirements being lifted on March 21, the state of emergency related to COVID-19 in the City of Greater Sudbury will end at 11:59 p.m. today, March 14, 2022.
The local state of emergency was declared on April 6, 2020, following the declaration of a provincial state of emergency, and after careful consideration by the Community Control Group (CCG). It allowed the City and its CCG community partners to manage and coordinate the pandemic response, and make timely decisions related to municipal services, health care, enforcement, facility use, and the procurement of necessary goods and materials, to support public safety.
The local state of emergency is no longer required as the pandemic response continues toward recovery efforts and COVID-19 activities become a part of routine operations.
Although the local state of emergency is lifted, Health Sciences North (HSN) continues to experience challenges in acute care capacity with COVID-19 admissions exceeding 2020 and 2021 levels, 116 temporary hospital beds in three non-hospital facilities and unconventional bed capacity at HSN. The City will continue to support local hospital staff as they continue to battle the effects of the pandemic on our local health care system.
The CCG, which includes the Mayor and leaders from the City, Health Sciences North, Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and the Greater Sudbury Police Service, reviews the local status of the virus, assesses response and takes action. Their role is to establish coordinated emergency action plans in Greater Sudbury.
Reopening of Tom Davies Square
Tom Davies Square is once again open for walk-in service, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Residents who wish to book an appointment in advance may still do so by contacting 311. Many services are also available by telephone or through the Customer Service Portal (311.greatersudbury.ca).
Council and Committee Meetings
In-person attendance at City Council and most Committee meetings will resume Tuesday, March 22. Residents, media and members of Council will have the option to attend Council Chambers in person or to attend virtually. In-person attendance at Planning Committee meetings is expected to resume in May.
Effective March 21, masks will no longer be required in most City of Greater Sudbury facilities, including leisure facilities, libraries and Tom Davies Square.
Masks will still be required while using GOVA Transit (including while inside the Downtown Transit Hub) and for visitors and staff at Pioneer Manor. Under provincial regulation, masks will also still be required in the following settings:
- Health care settings, such as hospitals
- High-risk congregate care settings, such as shelters, group homes and correctional facilities
- Places where masks are federally required, such as during air travel
These details are based on the latest information from the Province, and are subject to change once detailed regulations are released. We will provide additional updates later this week, if required.
While masks will be optional in most settings, individuals should assess their situation to determine what is best for them. With the Omicron variant still circulating widely, Public Health Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe continues to strongly recommend the use of masks, especially in crowded indoor settings and for those at higher risk for infection.
Other City Services
The Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter continues to accept visitors for animal adoption or surrender by appointment only at this time. Please contact 311 to make an appointment.
- After completing its three-step plan to gradually ease public health restrictions across Ontario, the Province has moved to its new plan: Living With and Managing COVID-19. More details are available here: www.ontario.ca/page/living-and-managing-covid-19-march-9-2022.
- While proof of vaccination requirements were lifted by the Province earlier this month, businesses and organizations may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.
- Continue to follow basic but important measures to prevent the spread of illness. Wash your hands often, wear a mask or face covering, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve and stay home if you feel sick.
- To ensure maximum protection against COVID-19 and the variants, anyone who is eligible should complete their vaccination series as soon as possible. For vaccine clinic information, visit www.phsd.ca/health-topics-programs/vaccines-immunizations/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/upcoming-vaccination-clinics-for-specific-priority-groups.
For COVID-19 updates and information related to City services, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/covid or find us on Facebook and Twitter. If you have questions, contact 311 by phone or Live Web Chat (311.greatersudbury.ca).
For the most up-to-date local information on COVID-19, visit the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website at www.phsd.ca/coronavirus.