NORTH BAY, ON – The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Heath Unit) is lifting closures of outdoor skating rinks, skating trails, tobogganing hills, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) snowmobile trails and snowmobile trails on Crown Land in the district effective Monday February 22, 2021. The outdoor amenities were closed in January 2021, after numerous complaints about individuals and groups not following public health measures.
Municipalities are asked to assess their plan and capacity to be able to safely open their outdoor recreational amenities in compliance with COVID-19 public health measures. Plans must ensure that individuals are following public health measures, such as physical distancing, following gathering limits and wearing a face covering, as required. If there is evidence that public health measures are not being followed, the Health Unit will re-evaluate the situation, potentially resulting in the closure of these outdoor amenities.
OFSC snowmobile trails and snowmobile trails on Crown Land are also permitted to reopen as of February 22, 2021. This decision was made through consultation with the OFSC, who have outlined a comprehensive COVID-19 Flex Trails plan. If there is evidence that public health measures are not being followed, the Health Unit will re-evaluate the situation, potentially reclosing these trails.
Outdoor physical activity, such as walking, running, playing outside and biking are important for physical and mental health and still recommended by the Health Unit. However, all activities outside the house need to be done with extreme caution, following the COVID-19 public health measures, and should be done close to home.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care. If you need further assistance call your health care provider or the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your symptoms.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
For more information, please visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.