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Mayor leaving self-isolation; City Hall monitoring COVID-19 situation

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Mayor Al McDonald is expected to return to City Hall to work from his office tomorrow.

In a Facebook post, McDonald thanked the many well-wishers “who have reached out over the past couple of days with messages of concern and encouragement. I am in good health and I have no symptoms.”

McDonald has been in self-isolation since news broke about Sudbury’s first positive case. It was revealed the patient had attended the same conference in Toronto as the mayor and other city staff members. Besides McDonald, another staff member has also been self-isolating. The Sudbury positive case attended the PDAC conference in Toronto, March 3-4.

“I made the personal decision to work from home until the 14 days are up out of an abundance of caution. All of my meetings are being done by telephone and everyone I was scheduled to meet with face to face has been understanding and appreciative.”

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McDonald said he continued to speak with senior staff on a daily basis in order to stay apprised of city business and thanked city councillors “that stepped up and represented the city in my place the last couple of days.”

Meanwhile, the City of North Bay says it continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and is working with the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit and community partners to respond appropriately.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit continues to advise that the risk to individuals for COVID-19 remains low. There are no confirmed cases in our area at this time.

Measures to protect staff and residents and contain the spread of the virus will be implemented as deemed necessary in consultation with our community partners and public health officials.

All City-operated arenas, including Memorial Gardens, West Ferris and Pete Palangio facilities, are closed until further notice.

Additionally, North Bay Transit will begin operating according to its summer schedule as of Tuesday morning. This adjustment is being made based on demand in light of the suspension of classes at schools and our local post-secondary institutions. All routes will continue to operate.

“The cancellation of large gatherings is unfortunate but necessary and sound. Please follow the advice from our Health Unit on an ongoing basis. The situation is evolving and changing on a daily basis and it is important to stay informed and educated,” said McDonald.

Last week, the City announced an open house planned for March 18 related to future plans for Bourke Park will be moved to an online forum and that a regular meeting of Council scheduled for March 24 will be cancelled. Tentatively, agenda items will be moved to the April 7 meeting.

The City advises it will be re-evaluating the situation on an ongoing basis.

As a way to prevent the spread of illness, the City encourages the use of online and telephone services. Residents visiting City Hall and other municipal facilities that remain open are asked to follow the recommendations of public health officials regarding social distancing, safe handwashing and hygiene.

“The city is taking every step necessary to assist our citizens in conjunction with the Health Unit. I encourage everyone to practice social distancing, good hygiene and to remain calm,” said McDonald.

  • City staff is continuing to ensure increased sanitizing practices on all common touchpoints and public spaces at City facilities and buses.
  • Signage focusing on hand-washing and cough etiquette has also been placed in high-traffic locations.
  • Recommending to staff proper handwashing protocols and to stay home if they feel ill.
  • Emergency preparedness plans have been reviewed.
  • Working with the health officials and providers to assess and understand the impact and potential actions that may be required to maintain critical infrastructure and essential services.

The City of North Bay is working closely with the Health Unit and other community partners to prepare and respond should the risk increase locally and will continue to share regular updates to keep residents informed on any changes to municipal programs and services.

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