Ontario to explore idea of creating northern bubble: Sudbury mayor
By Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
THE SUDBURY STAR
Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said that he secured a commitment from the province to explore the option of creating a Northern bubble.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, Bigger said that he had a one-on-one conversation with Premier Ford the day before about the implementation of safety measures like checkpoints to stem traffic of unnecessary travellers coming north.
“In our call he reiterated the threat and danger of the new variants and their ability to travel. He also indicated that there would be enhance communication efforts to further enforce his request that everybody stay home unless absolutely necessary,” said Bigger.
“Premier Ford then committed to me that he would be in contact with Minister Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Solicitor General, to explore what options there may be when it comes to implementing road checks on Highway 69 towards Greater Sudbury.”
The mayor added that he will continue to advocate for the safety of Northerners and pursue what is best for the community.
“I promise to keep council, residents, and the media up to date in my ongoing conversations and the developments I hope occur in the very near future,” he said.
“Until then — please stay home, be safe, and make the right decisions when it comes to the health of yourself and others.”
Public Health Sudbury and Districts indicated that they would continue to follow government direction, and if needed, discuss additional safety measures with the Ministry of Health.
“At this time, PHSD supports the current stay-at-home order in effect and reminds everyone to stay home, avoid non-essential outings and travel, and follow public health guidance,” said a spokesperson for the agency.
“While the stay-at-home order is in effect, PHSD also recognizes that there continues to be a need for essential travel (for example, for medical appointments) and that a contained bubble could bring challenges as well.
“PHSD continues to monitor local data on COVID-19 in our region to identify potential areas of concern to protect the health of the public.”
The health unit reported 243 positive cases of COVID-19 in its service area between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2 of this year, and 521 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Around 46 per cent of the cases reported within the last month were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case and 39.5 per cent of cases were outbreak associated.
Only 10 cases out of 243 were identified as being travel-related which equals to roughly four per cent, while 24 cases had no known epidemiological link.