Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
HSN confirms its first case involving hospital staff:
Health Sciences North has confirmed its first ever COVID-19 case involving a staff member at the hospital. “During the holidays, HSN had its first case during the pandemic of workplace transmission of COVID-19 between an employee who contracted COVID-19 through community transmission and another health care worker,” said an email from hospital communications officer Jason Turnbull on Monday evening. Turnbull said immediate steps were taken for the staff member to self-isolate as per public health guidelines. “HSN’s Occupational Health and Safety team worked closely with Public Health on contact tracing. No other contact in the workplace tested positive,” said the email. The hospital also said that it continues to implement stringent safety practices and guidelines around masking, social distancing and handwashing. HSN is a safe place for people to work, learn or receive care. HSN is unable to comment further due to staff privacy requirements.
Council meeting cut short, Bigger calls for special projects meeting on the KED:
Greater Sudbury council held one of their shortest meetings in recent memory Tuesday evening, adjourning after less than 20 minutes. Councillors met in closed session for several hours prior to Tuesday's meeting and council proceedings didn't get underway until around 8:50 p.m. despite being scheduled for 6 p.m. When the meeting was called to order, mayor Brian Bigger did most of the talking, touching on some pressing issues that he and council have in front of them, while also calling for a special projects meeting on the Kingsway Entertainment District. "We've been working really hard on a number of fronts and we've been tackling some really big challenges in our community," said Bigger. "We've been seeing many challenges with the opioid crisis in our community and we've been doing our best and we'll continue to protect the homeless and we've also been working hard to protect our residents from COVID-19." While no items on the consent agenda were debated and no resolutions were passed Tuesday night, the mayor did make it clear that there will be a meeting the the second quarter of this year to lay out the facts associated with the Kingsway Entertainment District. "It's too large a priority for our community and something we should be making sure we get right and in that vein I will be opening with a request," said Bigger. "As council and as a community we've all waited for the legal and various other processes to conclude on the Kingsway Entertainment District and in recent weeks we've seen an enormous amount of public and council discussion, data, information, facts, letters regarding this project, and the reality is much has changed since 2017." Get the full story here.
Ford: ‘Bad actors’ flouting emergency orders will be fined:
With one-third of Ontario's population ignoring normal COVID-19 pandemic precautions and with more people getting sick and dying, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has issued a stay-at-home order in the hopes that the "bad actors" out there will heed the advice. This means the province has declared a second provincial emergency as defined in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). The premier said the stay-at-home order, which is part of the emergency declaration, takes place this Thursday January 14 at 12:01 a.m. It will be in place for 28 days until Thursday February 11, 2021. "Under this order, everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments," said Ford. The premier added that Ontario's health care system is on the brink of collapse with COVID-19 cases and deaths at the highest levels ever in Ontario. "New reports and data show that one-third of Ontarians are not following public health guidelines. Many are travelling and gathering," said Ford. He said he wasn't blaming anyone, except the virus itself. He said anyone letting their guard down is putting family members and friends at risk. Full story here.
What the new state of emergency means for retailers:
Under the state of emergency declared today, many retailers can remain open, with some exceptions. Reduced hours of operation are in place for all non-essential retail stores — places like hardware and liquor stores — and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m., under rules released today. Food sellers, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants for takeout or delivery are allowed to be open. When it comes to places of business other than retail, business owners and managers must ensure those who can work remotely are doing so. Businesses that require workers to be on-site to do their jobs can remain open. Get the full breakdown on how local retailers will be impacted here.
New Ontario COVID-19 restrictions have some implications for local schoolchildren:
The further COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Ontario government today will have some implications for area schoolchildren. While schools in this part of the province will remain open, there will be some new health and safety measures (effective Thursday): Masking for Grade 1-3 and requirements for mask wearing outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained (currently it’s Grade 4 and up — unless boards have more stringent rules — and kids were allowed to take masks off outdoors); Enhanced screening protocols will be introduced where recommended by the CMOH. To support this, Ontario’s COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool, will be updated to reflect the new screening criteria. Expanded targeted testing. The province also said it will implement new health and safety measures in Ontario child care settings, such as enhanced screening to align with school requirements, voluntary participation in targeted testing and additional infection prevention and control measures to align with schools. More on this story here.
Public Health Sudbury reports 13 new cases of COVID-19:
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 in its service area. All of the most recently reported cases are in Greater Sudbury. There have been nine cases resolved since the Jan. 11 report from PHSD, bringing the total number of active cases in the area to 71, up four from Monday. The newly reported cases are all outbreak-associated. Since March, there have been 57 cases associated with outbreaks, 199 linked to close contact and 41 travel-related cases in Greater Sudbury. Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported an increase of 13 cases in people in the 80 and older age group. Greater Sudbury and area have had 372 positive cases of COVID-19 since March, with 301 cases resolved and two deaths. Daily COVID-19 reports from PHSD can be found at phsd.ca.
Trudeau says 20M more doses of Pfizer vaccine on the way:
In a media briefing Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 20 million additional doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been secured. This means Canada has some 80 million doses of the vaccine expected to arrive this year. “We are on track for every Canadian who wants a vaccine can have one by September,” Trudeau said Tuesday morning. He added the federal government continues to work to secure more vaccine doses. During the same briefing, the prime minister announced the measures in place at the Canada-U.S. border have been extended to Feb. 21. “This will keep people on both sides of the border safe,” Trudeau said. You can watch Tuesday's briefing here.
Crime of the Week: Police look to ID man responsible for Kirkwood break-ins:
A break, enter and theft that occurred Dec. 18 is being highlighted by Crime Stoppers as this week’s Crime of the Week. Crime Stoppers and Greater Sudbury Police Service are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the man responsible for the crime (see attached security photos). Shortly after midnight Dec. 18, a lone man entered a garage, searched vehicles and stole some power tools in the area of Kirkwood Drive. The man was also observed by numerous security cameras and witnesses entering or attempting to enter vehicles and other garages in that same area. The suspect is described as Caucasian, with a slim to average build, and dressed in a toque, blue hoodie, construction type coat, jeans and boots. Full story and photos of the suspect can be found here.
Cloudy with 40 per cent chance of flurries today. There's a risk of freezing drizzle in the morning. Temperature will be steady near zero throughout the day. Mostly cloudy this evening with a 40 per cent chance of flurries and risk of freezing drizzle. Overnight low will be -7, feeling like -10 with the wind. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit Sudbury.com's weather page at www.sudbury.com/weather.