Increase in COVID-19 cases in Sudbury delays reopening of arena, other facilities
Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the reopening of some facilities in Greater Sudbury is being postponed for about two weeks, the city said Friday. (File)
SUDBURY -- Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the reopening of some facilities in Greater Sudbury is being postponed for about two weeks, the city said Friday.
That includes the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, which was scheduled to partially reopen Aug. 3.
"The decision also affects the reopening of sports fields for booking by user groups," the city said in a news release. "City facilities that have already been reopened will remain open."
The postponements are a precautionary measure in order to fully understand the impact of the current surge in COVID-19 cases before continuing municipal Stage 3 openings, the city said.
“The decision to put these openings on hold was a difficult one, but we must continue to make decisions with the health and well-being of our residents top of mind,” Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said in the release.
“While this may be disappointing news, it would be even more disappointing to undo all the great progress our community has made over the past several months. This doesn’t mean these facilities won’t reopen. But they need to reopen with caution and foresight, and that means pausing to monitor the current situation and ensure we’re all still doing our part to flatten the curve."
Bigger said the move to delay reopening will help preserve the progress the city has made in containing COVID-19.
“It would be devastating for our workers and businesses who have just re-opened to have to shut down again," he said. "We have the ability to successfully work through this if we continue to take this terrible virus as seriously as we have for the past four months.”
The city will work with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to monitor developments over the next two weeks. Based on the results, the facilities could open the week of Aug. 10. An update will be provided prior to that date.
Evidence of community spread
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, said there is evidence of community spread in the city and delaying the reopening process to assess the situation is part of the measures to limit the spread.
“Our recent increase in cases is very concerning in our community,” Sutcliffe said. “COVID-19 has not gone away and our past efforts—as good as they were—will not protect us unless we stay the course in the future."
For the time being, local sports association teams can continue to book play fields at James Jerome Sports Complex (soccer) and Terry Fox Sports Complex (baseball) for training purposes only. No other fields will be available for booking.
Sports organizations are required to ensure they are following all mandated provincial orders and Public Health guidelines for their activities. For more information, call Parks Services at 705-674-4455, ext. 4578.
Residents and sports organizations who have ice bookings at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex over the next two weeks will be contacted by Arenas staff over the coming days. Full refunds will be provided.
Libraries will continue to offer scheduled curbside pickup at the six main branches – Chelmsford, Lively, Main, New Sudbury, South End and Valley East. These branches are scheduled to reopen on August 17. For more information, visit www.sudburylibraries.ca/covid-19-update
Reminders: Safety Precautions
• In accordance with instructions by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, residents are required to wear a face covering or non-medical mask when visiting any indoor city facility or when using GOVA Transit. For information on how we are making your GOVA Transit trip safe, visit https://youtu.be/vJIvXRcBhtw.
• Wherever possible, limit exposures to people within social circles of 10, as established by the Province.
• The permitted size for a social gathering is 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Physical distancing rules remain in effect and residents must stay two metres away from people who are not part of their household or social circle or bubble. To report violations, call 311.
• City bylaw officers and contracted security will continue to patrol the use of municipal spaces, and signage will be in place to remind users of rules.
• Where there are concerns that people are not practising physical distancing, or where the number of users creates a situation where it is not manageable, the City will further review and implement changes.
For COVID-19 updates and information related to city services, visit www.greatersudbury.ca/covid. For the most up-to-date local information on COVID-19, visit the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website at www.phsd.ca/coronavirus.