Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford says local residents need to continue following all of the proper safety precautions to prevent any further COVID-19 outbreaks, as we collectively wait for more vaccine shipments to arrive in our area.

“Northern Ontario’s hot right now,” said Minister Rickford. “We’re seeing some numbers in Thunder Bay that are disturbing. That’s impacting Sioux Lookout. The emergency brake was applied in Sudbury last week. This is serious business.”

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit reported its 38th death from the virus on Monday, along with an additional 51 confirmed cases. The first 15 days of March have seen 778 cases announced in their area, shattering their previous monthly records. They've been under a lockdown since March 1, with 446 cases considered to be active. 

In the Northwestern Health Unit’s catchment area, as of March 15, there have been 579 confirmed cases of the virus and 1 death, with 75 cases currently considered to be active. Staff also confirmed cases of the UK variant of the virus had been found in the region last week.

Rickford, who also serves as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Indigenous Affairs and Energy, says residents need to follow all of the proper precautions to prevent a similar situation from taking place in northwestern Ontario.

“This is community-spread. These are not numbers being driven by an intense outbreak in a small community. Home visits have been the source from what I understand. It is time to pay attention to the basic rules.”

The NWHU is asking all residents to assume COVID-19 is spreading in their community, and to get tested, self-isolate and remain in isolation if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with a positive case of the illness.

For more information:
First case of COVID-19 in the region identified one year ago today
Northwestern Health Unit region moving into Red-Control as of Monday