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Good morning, Sudbury! Here are 5 stories to start your Monday

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
Several of the anti-mask protesters’ signs sit on a bench on Lasalle Boulevard. (Heidi Ulrichsen/

Anti-mask protester accosts reporter at afternoon demonstration

A couple dozen anti-mask protesters gathered on the sidewalks and medians along Lasalle Boulevard near the New Sudbury Centre Sunday afternoon. The protesters carried signs with slogans including “mainstream media is the propaganda -- the fear is the virus,” “the real pandemic is fear and control” and “my health, my choice, my right to breathe.” At least one protester carried a sign that said “Sudbury Ontario Freedom Keepers - Join us on Facebook,” referring to a local anti-masker Facebook group. When attempted to interview the protesters, a middle-aged woman wearing medical scrubs interrupted the interview, telling her fellow protesters not to speak to the reporter, an order she repeated several times. Getting progressively closer to our reporter, the woman, who did not give her name, but claimed to be the protest’s organizer, also grabbed at the reporter’s arm and small voice recording device, shutting it off in the process, and taking (and failing to give back) the windsock secured to the recording device with a hair elastic. Read the full story here.

Consortium director: Bus route cancellations should ease within a few weeks 

With new school bus drivers currently in training to replace those who quit just prior to the start of the school year, the executive director of the Sudbury Student Services Consortium said the issue of route cancellations should get a lot better within a few weeks. The consortium announced Friday that 14 school bus routes will be cancelled for the week of Sept. 21 due to an ongoing shortage of bus drivers. That’s down from 19 routes this past week, and 25 during the first week of school. Renee Boucher said Leuschen Transportation, a large local school bus company which has experienced a shortage of drivers, has 16 new people in training. Their training started a week ago as of Monday, and takes three weeks in total, with requirements including licensing with the MTO and police checks. Read our full story here.

Northern Ont. mining company uses new device to keep COVID-19 off the mine property

A Northern Ontario mining company has stepped up with a new process to fight the pandemic. New Gold Inc. mine employees near Rainy River are being tested for COVID-19 and are getting their results within a couple of hours of their test thanks to the use of a Precision Biomonitoring testing system.  Details of the system were outlined Thursday during a webinar hosted by the Sudbury branch of CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum). Read our full story here.

Dr. Peter Zalan: We badly need a cheaper, less-invasive COVID-19 test 

The past-president of Health Sciences North's medical staff talks COVID-19 testing in his latest column. "The present test in use in Ontario is not appropriate for widespread testing of individuals," he said. "The swab is invasive, it is expensive, and supplies have been in short supply from time to time. The results return too late. The take-home message is that while we await the introduction of a proven, safe vaccine for COVID-19, and governments must invest big in testing. We very much need a reliable test that is easy to perform, cheap, yields rapid results and not so unpleasant as to be avoided by many people." Read his full column here.

Premier cuts social gathering limits for all province: 'alarm bells are ringing'

Over the weekend, the provincial government lowered social gathering sizes for every region in Ontario. Premier Doug Ford began his announcement Saturday noting there were 407 new cases that day.  "Folks, the alarm bells are ringing," said Ford. He said any informal social gatherings anywhere in Ontario now may not exceed 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. This does not apply to commercial facilities such as event spaces, gyms, and church gatherings. There will be a fine of at least $10,000 for anyone organizing an informal gathering over the new limits, and people attending such gatherings can also be "slapped" with a $750 fine. "This is geared to the wild parties out there ... it's a deterrent," said Ford. Learn more here.

Sunsprout Micro Greens Alfalfa recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination

A recall has been issued for Sprouts Alive brand and Sunsprout brand Micro – Greens Alfalfa due to possible Salmonella contamination. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the products were distributed across Ontario. It also notes that Public Health Ontario is investigating an outbreak of human illness associated with consumption of these products. The items being recalled — Sprouts Alive Micro – Greens Alfalfa and Sunsprout Micro – Greens Alfalfa, both have best before dates of Oct. 13, 2020. The CFIA says consumers or businesses that have the products should throw them out or return them to the place of purchase.

Monday weather:

The last day of summer 2020 will be a lovely one. Monday will be mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High of 17 C. UV index 6 or high. Monday night will be clear with a low of 11 C.