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Good morning, Sudbury! Here are six stories to start your work week

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe. (File)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your work week.

COVID-19 continues to impact Greater Sudbury schools 

According to the numbers listed on the four local school boards’ websites, as of Sunday afternoon, there were 42 known active cases of COVID-19 in 17 area schools, as well as one case involving a Rainbow District School Board staff member not listed under a specific school. Over the weekend alone, Public Health Sudbury declared an outbreak at École Alliance St-Joseph in Chelmsford after a second person tested positive for the virus, Collège Notre-Dame was closed by the French Catholic school board until March 19 because a second case was also detected at that school, and COVID cases were also reported at Princess Anne Public School, Pius XII Catholic Elementary School, Marymount Academy and St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. Students on a number of bus routes have also been affected by COVID-19 exposure. We'll bring you any new school COVID-19 cases later this morning. 

With COVID surge and move to Red-Control, Sutcliffe asks Sudburians to ‘step up’

Public Health Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe is asking residents to “step up and do their part” as Greater Sudbury moves into the Red-Control level of the COVID-19 response framework Monday. This news comes in response to an unprecedented surge of local cases of COVID-19. Public Health is urgently asking everyone to take immediate action to stop the spread of the virus, said a press release. “Public Health Sudbury & Districts sounded the alarm earlier this week and so the announced shift to the Red-Control level is not surprising,” Sutcliffe said, in a press release issued Saturday. “What is surprising though is how rapidly the cases are continuing to climb. The situation is very dynamic and we are assessing in real-time to figure out if any additional protective measures are needed. We are seeing growing numbers of the more transmissible virus, called COVID-19 VOCs or variants of concern. There is ample evidence of community spread within the City of Greater Sudbury in particular. This means that our thresholds for individual and community action need to be much lower.  The Public Health capacity to prevent further spread by following all cases and contacts is stretched like never before in the pandemic. So likewise, I am calling on all residents to step up and do their part like never before. To be clear: if you have even one symptom of COVID-19, stay home and arrange for testing. Tell your family members also to stay home and isolate until you have your test results back. Everyone, regardless of symptoms, is asked to only go out for essential reasons and to work remotely where possible. We will share more about the Red-Control level measures in the coming days but please know that I am assessing if any additional protections need to be put in place.” Read our full story here.

Greater Sudbury closing pools, arenas, gyms with move into Red-Control zone

The City of Greater Sudbury has announced a number of changes to municipal services as the area moves into the Red-Control category of the COVID-19 response framework as of Monday, March 8. The city, in consultation with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, will implement additional closures of municipal services and facilities, over and above provincial Red – Control restrictions, to help reduce opportunities for virus transmission in the community. Staff in the closed service areas will be redeployed wherever possible, including to support Public Health community vaccinations. “Our recent numbers are very alarming,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger, in a press release. "We have all worked too long and too hard to become complacent now. I cannot stress enough the message that we all need to stay home and leave only for essential purposes. This is why we are doing everything we can to eliminate opportunities for this virus to spread, and in consultation with Dr. Penny Sutcliffe are implementing the additional closures of municipal services and facilities. We will continue to work closely with Public Health to determine whether other changes are required to help protect every single one of our residents.”   As of Monday, March 8, the following closures and measures will be in effect for municipal facilities. These will remain in place until the Province moves Greater Sudbury into an Orange – Restrict or less restrictive category of the COVID-19 response framework. Read the city's full list of new measures here.

Police say someone is pointing a laser at aircraft near Greater Sudbury Airport

Greater Sudbury Police say they are investigating incidents involving lasers being pointed at aircraft near the Greater Sudbury Airport. Police said that at 11:12 p.m. Friday evening, they received a complaint of a green flashing laser being pointed at an aircraft initiating their departure from the airport. The aircraft was at 20,000 feet, and the laser made it very difficult for the pilots to see.  “The source of the laser is believed to originate from the west side of Boland’s Bay,” said the press release from police. “This is the second night that this incident has taken place.” Read the full story here.

Profs appeal order sealing correspondence between Laurentian, province

The union representing Laurentian University’s professors, joined by two other groups, has filed an appeal of a court sealing order that prevents the public from accessing correspondence between Laurentian University and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities that relates to the university’s insolvency. The appeal was filed March 5 by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario (CUPE Ontario), and the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA). Laurentian’s filed materials in this insolvency do not say much about the position of the Government of Ontario, which is the major funder of Laurentian, said a press release from the groups. However, the university’s president filed an affidavit with two sealed exhibits, one from the Ontario government to Laurentian and the other from Laurentian to the Ontario government. These documents are sealed and not available to the stakeholders, the public, or the media, the press release said. Learn more here

Watch: This Sudbury-North Bay family's wish if they won Family Feud Canada? A Zamboni

The Lamothe family may not be getting the Zamboni they hoped for, but Debra Michaud said her family’s dream came true when they appeared on Family Feud Canada last month. The group took a shot at winning the $10,000 prize when they challenged the Adeniyi family in the episode that aired on CBC on Feb. 2. The Lamothe crew included Sudbury couple Debra and James Michaud, along with Debra’s brother Paul Lamothe, sister Lisa and Lisa’s husband Duane, who all live in North Bay. Learn how it turned out for the family by reading our full story.

Monday weather: 

Monday there will be a mix of sun and cloud. Sixty per cent chance of light snow, changing to 30 per cent chance of rain showers near noon. Risk of freezing drizzle in the morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High of 5 C, but a windchill of -17 C in the morning. UV index 3 or moderate. Monday night there will be cloudy periods with a low of -4 C.