COVID-19 UPDATES

MUNICIPAL SERVICES

Click here to see all updates to our municipal programs and services.

LATEST MUNICIPAL NEWS AND NOTICES

May 28 - Minnehaha Bay Marina opens on June 1, 2020 with limited services
May 27 - Municipal parks, sports fields and courts open with restrictions
May 14 - Reminders for Victoria Day Long Weekend 
May 5 -  Spring Cleanup 2020 • Sturgeon Falls Landfill
Apr. 30 - News Release: Thank You for Doing Your Part
Apr. 22 - Access to Public Boat Launches
Apr. 16 - West Nipissing Assessment Centre: News Hours of Operation 

Click here to see more News and Notices

BUSINESSES & COVID-19

Click here to see information and resources for businesses, employers, students and recent graduates. 

LOCAL STATUS OF COVID-19

Visit the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit website to stay up-to-date on the latest information and local status of COVID-19.

Additional Information: 

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ontario
Health Canada
Public Health Ontario
World Health Organization
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)

Other resources :

Printable Notice for Businesses. 
Self-Isolation Guidelines
Self-Assessment Tool
West Nipissing Assessment Centre 

 


MUNICIPAL SERVICES

MUNICIPAL OFFICE
The Municipal Office is closed to all walk-in visits until further notice. 

For inquiries and appointments:
705.753.2250
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BILL AND TAX PAYMENTS

  • Interim taxes will be due on a single due date of May 22.  All preauthorized payments will continue as scheduled. Residents with concerns over preauthorized payments may contact the Tax Department at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

  • Effective April 1, the Municipality will freeze any penalties and interest charges on overdue accounts.

  • The Water and Sewer bill scheduled for May has been postponed to June.
  • The 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. Property assessments for the 2021 property tax year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values. This means your property assessment for the 2021 property tax year will be the same as the 2020 tax year, unless there have been changes to your property.

Please use alternatives for making payments such as paying online through your financial institution, at banking machines or by dropping a cheque into the drop-box located at the front of the Municipal Office.

WELL WATER TESTING

Please call ahead of time to make arrangements at 705.753.2250

BUILDING SERVICES
All Building Services inquiries and submissions (permit applications, inspection requests, code-related, etc.) will only be received by telephone at 705.753.2250 or by email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PERMITS

During this time, we ask that all submissions be submitted electronically to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  OR through an appointment by calling the Department at 705-753-2250. Appointments will be available Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to 3:30pm, and will be restricted to one visitor, to drop off documents only. 

INSPECTIONS 

1.  Worksites shall be limited to no more than 4 employees inside the building during the requested inspection.

2. Any site where a worker is ill or has been out of the country within the last 14 days will not be inspected.

3.  All required inspection papers (i.e. truss drawings) shall be submitted electronically in advance.

Note for enclosed inspections:

For inspections occurring within an enclosed, but unoccupied structure, such as insulation, plumbing, heating, occupancy or final, Inspectors will be qualifying the site with the conditions 1 and 2 above. If any of these conditions are not satisfactory to conduct an inspection, the inspection will not be available for a minimum of 14 days. If an inspection is needed to finalize or advance a permit, the Building Department will review any acceptable Engineer or Architectural report for its compliance to the Building Code. The Municipality may consider inspections via digital pictures or video.

Note for occupied premises:

We have made the decision to temporarily halt our inspections of occupied dwellings. As of Friday, March 20, 2020, the Municipality of West Nipissing Building Officials will not be conducting inspections on projects that contain an occupied dwelling (e.g. Finished basement, Secondary suites, Additions, Interior Alterations and etc.). This temporary halt to inspections will be continually monitored for reduction or extension.

In the event of Building Code Emergency situations, an inspection will occur and municipal staff will be supplied with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

MARRIAGE LICENCES
Marriage Licence Applications will be accepted electronically only, with all required documentation submitted by email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Applications will be processed when all documents are received, and the applicant will be contacted to sign and obtain the licence. Only one applicant may attend the appointment. If the ceremony does not proceed due to ongoing distancing restructions, there will be no refund for the licence. 

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
All Municipal facilities are closed to the public until further notice, this includes: 

  • Community and Recreation Centre
  • Sturgeon River House Museum
  • Sturgeon Falls and Verner Arenas

Swimming lessons, aqua fitness, and gym memberships will be put on hold for the duration of the closure. Rental holders will be contacted to reschedule or refund.

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL AMENITIES 

  • Municipal parks and outdoor spaces are open for casual and individual use, and non-contact activities such as walking, running, or biking through.
  • Tennis courts and multi-use fields are open for unorganized, casual play. Team play and groups more than 5 are not permitted
  • Public washrooms, play structures, slides, swings, and splash pads remain closed

Click here to see more details on which outdoor spaces are open in West Nipissing (May 27, 2020).
Click here to see the Province's update on its Emergency Order (May 27, 2020). 

MINNEHAHA BAY MUNICIPAL MARINA

Preparations are underway to open the Minnehaha Bay Marina on June 1, 2020. Limited services will be available. Boat launch access will be free for the 2020 season. 

Click here for full details. 

BOAT LAUNCHES

Docks have been installed at all Municipal Boat Launches. 

Boat launching at the Minnehaha Bay Marina will be at no cost for the 2020 season

Starting on June 1, the launch at the Sturgeon River House Museum will be open to the public at no cost.Boaters are reminded that trucks and trailers must be parked in the Museum lot across the street and are not permitted to park along the boat launch path. Vehicles parked along the launch will be towed at the owner's expense.

WEST NIPISSING PUBLIC LIBRARY 
All services and programs are suspended in all branches.  During this time, late fees will be forgiven.

CURBSIDE WASTE AND RECYCLING  COLLECTION
Curbside collection will continue as scheduled. (May long weekend will not affect the regular schedule)

LEAF AND YARD WASTE  COLLECTION
Leaf and Yard Waste Collection has been reinstated. The next collection will take place in the urban areas of Sturgeon Falls, Cache Bay and Springer on June 15, 2020. 

LANDFILLS
All landfills are open as per regular business hours.

On dates between May 11 and June 6, the Sturgeon Falls landfill will be open for free of charge to residents of Cache Bay, Springer and Sturgeon Falls for Spring Cleanup 2020.  

Click here for more information on Spring Cleanup 2020.


NEWS AND NOTICES

May 27, 2020 
Minnehaha Bay Marina opens on June 1, 2020, with limited services

Preparations are underway to open the Minnehaha Bay Marina on June 1, 2020. Limited services will be available. Boat launch access will be free for the 2020 season. 
 
HOURS OF OPERATION - As of June 1, 2020
Sunday – Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday and Saturday – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
Parking is limited on site. In the event that the parking lot is full at the Marina, patrons will be required to park at the municipal lot next to the Anglican Church/Amphitheatre.
 
Premium gas will be available during operating hours. 
 
 Unavailable:
- Marina convenience store remains closed
- Showering facilities are not available.
- Boat sewage pump-out services are not available.
- Canoe, paddle board and paddle boat rentals are not available.
Marina staff will not be able to assist for launching or carrying items to the boat/vehicle. 

Click here for full details. 

 


 

May 27, 2020
Notice on Outdoor Amenities

Municipal parks, sports fields and courts open with restrictions

In response to the Province's first stage of its reopening plan, the Municipality is opening access to some parks and outdoor space amenities.

Important Reminders

Provincial Emergency Orders remain in place, prohibiting gatherings of more than five people outside of your household. This applies to all public use of opened outdoor park facilities. To allow for physical distancing and to limit the spread of COVID-19 when using outdoor recreation amenities, maintain a safe distance from others, avoid picking up someone else's sports equipment, and wash your hands often.

Parks, Tennis Courts and Sports Fields

Access to outdoor parks facilities is permitted for casual and individual use, and non-contact activities such as walking, running or biking through.

The use of tennis courts and multi-use fields will also be permitted for unorganized, casual play by individuals. Physical distancing must be respected and restrictions on gatherings remain in effect, prohibiting team play and groups of more than five.

Plans are underway to reopen the skateboard park.

Beaches, Splash Pads and Playgrounds

Provincial Orders remain in effect, prohibiting the use of beaches, public washrooms, play structures, slides, swings, and splash pads. 

 


 

May 14, 2020
News Release: Reminders for Victoria Day Long Weekend

 

For release: May 14, 2020

[WEST NIPISSING, ON]
As we head into the Victoria Day long weekend, the Municipality is reminding residents that Provincial Emergency Orders remain in effect. The Ontario Government has extended the Emergency Declaration to June 2, 2020. In-person gatherings with anyone from outside your household are to be avoided. Groups of more than five people (outside of your household) are prohibited in Ontario.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this May long weekend may look a little different than past years.  With some businesses starting to reopen and with warmer weather forecasted – people will want to spend time outdoors. The risk of infection continues to be present in and around our Municipality. We ask that our residents continue to physically distance and avoid all non-essential travel. We must continue to be vigilant to protect our community, friends, and family.

Here’s what you need to know:

Municipal Office
Telephone Services at Town Hall will be closed as of 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, and will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19. For urgent inquiries, please call (705) 753-1170.

Waste and Recycling Collection
Curbside collection for waste and recycling will not be affected by the long weekend and will take place as regularly scheduled. 

Spring Cleanup
The Sturgeon Falls Landfill will be closed on Monday, May 18. Spring Cleanup will resume on Tuesday, May 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre   
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre will be closed on Monday, May 18, and will resume operations on Tuesday, May 19. Please call (705) 580-2186 to make an appointment.

Restricted Fire Zone  * update as of May 15, 2020
At 12:01 a.m. on May 16, 2020, Ontario is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) designation that was put in place last month across Ontario's fire region.  

Public Boat Launches
The Minnehaha Bay Marina remains closed over the long weekend; however, the boat launch is available for use at no cost and with no services. The launch at the Museum remains closed. All other public launches are open to provide water access for property owners to check-in on their cottages. Docks will not be installed at this time.

Fishing
As per directives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Services, fishing is permissible in Ontario on water bodies where access is open to the public for the purpose of fishing. Physical distancing must be adhered to. Gathering in groups while fishing should be avoided. Learn more at Ontario.ca/fishingregulations

Dumping Stations
RV Dumping Stations in Sturgeon Falls, Verner and Field are now open; however, users will have to supply their own hoses to connect to the water. Note that standard garden hoses are not approved for drinking water. Only approved drinking water hoses should be used for potable water.

Recreational Camping
Recreational camping is banned on Crown land until further notice to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. For more information on recreational camping: see https://www.ontario.ca/page/recreational-activities-on-crown-land

Virtual Fireworks  
On Monday, May 18 at 8 p.m., you can view virtual fireworks display through the snapd HUB app. While we can’t all be together, we can share this common experience from our backyards. Learn more: https://snapd.com/VictoriaDay/

 

The Municipality wishes everyone a safe and healthy long weekend.  

 

 

 


May 13, 2020
News Release from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit:  Health Unit Reminds Public to Continue to Physically Distance and Follow Public Health Measures. 

 

Click here to view the News Release on myhealthunit.ca 

 


May 12, 2020
News Release from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 
 Ontario Public Health Lab's Microbiologist Confirms First COVID-19 Test at Cassellholme to be a True Positive

 

Click here to view the News Release on myhealthunit.ca 

 


 

April 30, 2020
Thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe and healthy.

The Municipality and the West Nipissing Emergency Control Group (Emergency Group) commends residents in all actions taken to flatten the curve. With respect to recent data on COVID-19 cases provided by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, our district is doing well, and our commitment to physical distancing and public health measures appear to be making an impact.

"Because of your actions and commitment to keeping West Nipsising safe, we can continue forth in this uncertain time with some optimism," said Mayor Joanne Savage. "Our strength as a municipality lies in our individual actions, while keeping our community at heart. For this, we extend a heartfelt 'thank you.'" 

Thank you to our essential and frontline workers, who continue to ensure the safety of our community and keep our Municipality running.

Thank you to our many volunteers, who keep us connected and supported in this difficult time.

Thank you for doing your part—for continuing to physically distance and for supporting, encouraging, and taking care of each other.

As we continue to move forward, it's necessary to acknowledge that the risk of infection continues to be present in and around our Municipality. Provincial statistics are still alarming and testing continues to increase in the district. Our vulnerable and older populations continue to be most at risk. As warmer weather approaches, physical distancing and other necessary measures may feel difficult to maintain; however, it is important that we continue to be vigilant and follow public health recommendations to protect our community, friends, and family. 

The Emergency Group continues to meet weekly by conference call, to provide updates on measures being carried out in response to COVID-19. The Emergency Group will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and reassess safety measures accordingly. 

 


 

April 22, 2020
Public Boat Launches Remain Open for Water Access

Sturgeon River House Museum

The Boat Launch located at the Museum will remain closed until further notice.

Minnehaha Bay Marina

The Minnehaha Bay Marina will remain closed as per provincial orders; however, the boat launch will be available for use – at no cost and with no services. Parking at this location is limited. 

All Other Public Launches 

All other public boat launches in West Nipissing will remain open to provide water access for property owners to check-up on their cottages. At this time, docks will not be installed until the provincial orders have been lifted.
 
Residents are advised that access to launch is subject to change if new orders are implemented, or if residents are not following public health recommendations.
 
Physical distancing and restrictions on groups of more than five people remain in effect on the waterways. It may be difficult to apply these measures in a boat, but we urge boaters to be cautious and ensure physical distancing is respected at all times.
 
Mingling and social gatherings at boat launches are to be avoided. We aks boaters to be respectful when other are using the launch, and to remain in their vehicles.

 


 

April 16, 2020 
Assessment Centre: New Hours of Operation

219 O'Hara Street, Sturgeon Falls 

New Hours of Operation 
Monday: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call to make an appointment. Same-day appointments are available 
705. 580.2186 

 


 

April 11, 2020
News Release from the Office of the Premier:  Province Extends Emergency Order to April 23, 2020 

 

TORONTO — To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.

In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures. All of these actions are based on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

"I understand the actions we are taking are affecting the lives and livelihoods of people across the province, but these are extraordinary times and we need to do whatever we can to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of this terrible virus," said Premier Ford. "We all must continue to do our part by staying home and practicing physical distancing. With the proper precautions and additional measures we're taking today, I am confident we will get through this together and stronger."

Ontario introduced the following new steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The government is:

  • Making it easier to repurpose existing buildings and put up temporary structures, like tents, so communities can meet their local needs quickly. This will reduce pressure on health care facilities, where needed, and help shelters provide more space for sleeping to maintain the physical distancing requirements to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Temporarily enabling hospitals to increase their capacity by using the beds and services of retirement homes without certain labour relations implications during the declared provincial emergency.
  • Prohibiting recreational camping on Crown land as of April 9, 2020. Under the emergency order, no individual can camp on Crown land, including the placement of tents or other camping structures, while the order is in effect. The government will continue to monitor the situation and re-evaluate if further actions are required.
  • Supporting construction workers and businesses with emergency action to help improve cash flow in the construction industry during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act and allow the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors.

The following emergency orders have been extended until April 23, 2020:

Quick Facts

  • Temporary facilities must be designed and reviewed by qualified professionals (such as licensed architects and professional engineers) and municipal Building Officials must inspect the facilities to ensure they are safe.
  • The Construction Act is intended to regulate how payments are made, to help ensure that workers who have provided services or materials during a construction project are paid for their work.

Additional Resources

  • Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
  • Emergency information and orders
  • For public inquiries, call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (toll-free in Ontario only).

 

 


 

April 8, 2020
News Release: Let's Celebrate Safely this Easter

 

With Easter approaching, the Municipality is reminding residents that physical distancing and public health orders remain in effect over the weekend. The Municipality encourages residents to find alternative ways to celebrate with family and friends. Use creative ways to keep your traditions alive – like reaching out to your loved ones by telephone, or hosting a virtual Easter meal.

In-person gatherings with anyone from outside your household are to be avoided. Groups of more than five people (outside of your household), are prohibited in Ontario, as per the Emergency Declaration Order. All outdoor recreational amenities are closed to the public until further notice.

In addition to the province-wide fire ban, the West Nipissing Fire and Emergency Service has issued a complete fire ban throughout the Municipality of West Nipissing, restricting all outdoor fires and open flame appliances. Only covered charcoal or propane barbecues are permitted.

Increased enforcement will be present over the weekend, to ensure that provincial orders and physical distancing are being observed. Municipal Law Enforcement Officers and West Nipissing Fire Service will be patrolling the community to ensure compliance of emergency orders, including enforcement of the fire ban. Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, anyone who fails to comply with provincial orders can be issued fines ranging from $750 to $100,000, with potential jail time. We all have a social responsibility to lessen the spread of COVID-19 by supporting the efforts of federal, provincial and local health authorities during the pandemic.

For non-urgent policing matters such as non-compliance of Emergency Orders, residents can contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or can report online at opp.ca/reporting.

The Municipality wishes everyone a safe and healthy Easter.

Stay home and stop the spread.


 


 

April 8, 2020
Notice to the Building Industry on Permits and Inspections 

The Municipality has already taken steps to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 and we are taking further measures to help address this ever-evolving situation. On April 3, 2020, the Government of Ontario released updates to the list of Essential Workplaces. In light of these changes, the Building Department has adopted additional service precautions effective immediately, in compliance with the Province's reduced list of Essential Workplaces under the COVID Emergency Order. 

The Building Department will continue to accept permit applications and prepare for issuance of permits. The Department will only issue permits for projects that are deemed "essential," as per the Province's list of Essential Workplaces. Permit applications that are not "essential" will be fully processed, but issuance will be put on hold until the Province amends their restrictions. Permit Applications can be obtained online at westnipissing.ca

Inspections will be conducted on all projects that comply with the updated Emergency Order, for unoccupied buildings only. All required inspection papers (i.e. truss drawings) shall be submitted electronically in advance. Site Inspections will remain at the discretion of the attending Inspector. If the Inspector feels physical distancing is not being maintained and personal health is at risk, they will not attend. 

Through these measures, we hope to ensure that all job sites within the Municipality of West Nipissing remain safe for both on-site workers adn transient staff, to help limit the transfer of COVID-19. 

For more information: 

Alain Bazinet
Chief Building Official
Municipality of West Nipissing
705-753-2250
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


 April 7, 2020

Public Service Announcement from the NBPSD Health Unit: Physical Distancing Still in Affect Over Easter

NORTH BAY, ON – With Easter days away the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) is reminding the public that physical distancing is still required. The Health Unit asks you to keep your Easter activities, egg hunts and family meals to individuals who live in your same home. The Health Unit strongly recommends connecting with family and friends in different ways such as over voice or video calls and not in person.

If you are a returning traveller from outside of Canada and fall under the Quarantine Act, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 you are not allowed to go outside of your home except to seek medical attention. Please ask others to pick up groceries and other essentials for you in preparation for the Easter weekend.

For more information on COVID-19 visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.

 


 

April 6, 2020
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation: 2020 Assessment Update

Click here to view the full Update on mpac.ca

The Ontario government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. They have indicated that property assessments for the 2021 property tax year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values. This means your property assessment for the 2021 property tax year will be the same as the 2020 tax year, unless there have been changes to your property.

In 2016, we mailed a Property Assessment Notice to every property owner in the province - assessing more than five million properties in Ontario. Your 2016 Notice reflects the assessed value and classification of your property as of January 1, 2016 and this will be used as the basis for calculating your 2021 property taxes. 

Why did I receive a 2020 Property Assessment Notice from MPAC?

We are continuously reviewing properties. You may have received a Notice for one of the following reasons:

  • change to property ownership, legal description, or school support;
  • change to the property’s value resulting from a Request for Reconsideration, an Assessment Review Board decision, or ongoing property reviews;
  • property value increase/decrease reflecting a change to the property; for example, a new structure, addition, or removal of an old structure; or
  • change in the classification or tax liability of the property.

Your 2020 Property Assessment Notice shows the assessed value of your property based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date and will be the basis for your property taxes for the 2021 property tax year.

The valuation date, established by the Ontario government, is a fixed day to which all properties are valued. In simple terms, the value is the price your property might reasonably have sold for in its current state and condition on January 1, 2016.

What do I do with my Property Assessment Notice?

Your Property Assessment Notice has important information for you as a property owner. Please review it and file it away for your records. No action is required unless you have questions about your assessment.

Questions about your assessment?

Visit aboutmyproperty.ca to learn more about how your property was assessed, see the information we have on file, and compare it to others in your neighbourhood. Look for your Roll Number and Access Key on your Property Assessment Notice to register.

If you still disagree with MPAC’s assessment or classification of your property, you can choose to either file a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) with MPAC or file an appeal directly with the Assessment Review Board (ARB).

If your property, or a portion of it, is classified as residential, farm or managed forest, you must file an RfR with MPAC – and MPAC must make a decision before you are eligible to appeal to the ARB.

Request for Reconsideration (RfR) Deadline Extension

The RfR deadline is usually March 31 of the applicable taxation year.  However, given the emergency declared by the Province of Ontario, pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and regulations made thereunder, the RfR deadline for the 2020 taxation year will be 16 days after the emergency is lifted.

The fastest way to start the review of your property’s assessment is to file an RfR on aboutmyproperty.ca. The tool allows you to attach pictures and reports to accompany your RfR and check the status of your request. You may also send us your completed RfR form by email or mail.

Note: Business properties are not required to file an RfR before filing an appeal with the Assessment Review Board. Please check with the Assessment Review Board to confirm your appeal deadline. 



April 6, 2020 
News Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: Stay Home Except for Essential Reasons

NORTH BAY, ON – The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) wishes to emphasize the important legal directives by the Canadian government and recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. Please keep the following in mind. These directives and recommendations are intended to keep you, your loved ones and others healthy.

Federal Mandatory Isolation: Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act (March 25, 2020)

  • All persons entering Canada MUST isolate for 14 days whether or not you have symptoms and MUST STAY INSIDE your home and do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attention

Provincial Recommendations (for those NOT under Quarantine Orders):Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly recommends you:

  • STAY HOME except for essential reasons, such as to:
  • LIMIT the number of essential trips
  • PHYSICALLY DISTANCE yourself when in public by two meters
  • SELF-ISOLATE if you are elderly or have underlying health conditions
  • Access health care services;
  • Shop for groceries;
  • Pick-up medication at the pharmacy;
  • Walk pets when required; and
  • Support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs.

It is important to note that the Canadian government, under the Quarantine Act, mandates that all individuals who are returning from travel outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when they return. You must not go to work, grocery stores or on walks. You should also monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning and contact your primary care provider, Health Unit or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.

For the rest of Ontarians, to the fullest extent possible, you should limit the number of essential trips. However, when you are out in public you must adhere to physical distancing by reducing your exposure to other people outside of your household by keeping two meters from other people.

For those who are at most risk of severe outcomes, such as the elderly over 70 years of age, or those with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions, Dr. Williams strongly recommends to self-isolate. This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.

The Health Unit understands how difficult these COVID-19 recommendations can be on an individual’s mental health. People want to know if they are allowed to go outside for a walk, get some fresh air or exercise.

If you are a returning traveller from outside of Canada and fall under the Quarantine Act or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 you are not allowed to go out except to seek medical attention.

All others should use their best judgement. It is strongly recommended you stay home. However, if you need to be out, only do so when you can safely stay two meters from people. Please remember, it is against the law in Ontario to gather in groups of more than five people and you need to maintain physical distancing of two meters.

The public is the first line of defense, by continuing to stay home, regularly washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face and covering your cough or sneeze we can continue to flatten the curve. Everyone has a social responsibility to follow the recommendations and to be kind to each other.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to remember that four out of five individuals with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Individuals who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

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. This will help keep the emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and tell them your travel history and your symptoms.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

-30-

Media Inquiries:

Alex McDermid, Public Relations Specialist
P: 705-474-1400, ext. 5221 or 1-800-563-2808
E:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

April 3, 2020
News Release from the Office of the Premier:Projected number of cases and deaths can be significantly reduced if people stay home

TORONTO - Today, the Ontario government released extensive COVID-19 modelling, revealing several scenarios that project the potential number of cases and deaths. In doing so, the province is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences should everyone but essential workers fail to stay home and practice physical distancing.

"The models show that the potential to spread COVID-19 is massive and deadly if we don't act swiftly to stay home and practise physical distancing," said Premier Ford. "We owe it to our frontline and essential workers, to our family, friends and neighbours to restrict our travel, and act responsibly. This is the only way we are going to minimize the risk to people, stop the spread and reduce the number of fatalities."

Key highlights from the modelling include:

  • While COVID-19 impacts Ontarians of all ages, those over the age of 60 face higher risk of severe disease leading to higher mortality rates. The data demonstrates the need to focus public health measures on protecting seniors.
  • Had Ontario taken no action, the impact of COVID-19 would have risen to an estimated 300,000 cases and an estimated death toll of 6,000 people.
  • Due to timely public health measures, Ontario has avoided much more dire impacts, preventing an estimated 220,000 cases and 4,400 deaths to date.
  • Over the course of the pandemic, between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19 are predicted with current public health measures in place, compared to a total projected 100,000 deaths if no action were taken.
  • By taking further measures, Ontario can further reduce the number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 down to projections as low as 12,500 additional cases and 200 additional deaths by the end of April.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19. Most recently, the province banned organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people and closed all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds. At the same time, the province's COVID-19 Command Table has been implementing extensive measures to build health-system capacity to prepare for increased hospitalizations.

"Ontario is entering a critical juncture in our fight against COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "The numbers released today are sobering. While they reveal a disastrous path, they also serve as a call to arms for greater action. We have for months now been preparing for this very moment, but to avoid the worst-case scenario we are relying on every Ontarian to stay home to stop the spread of this virus. Lives depend on the public heeding this advice."

"We feel is it important to be transparent with the public about the challenges we are facing, and the important work we all need to do to flatten the curve," said Dr. Peter Donnelly, President and CEO of Public Health Ontario. "How this outbreak unfolds is in the hands of the public, in all of your hands. We can change the outcomes by how we all stay at home and physically distance ourselves."

Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 or to take a self assessment.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results. By offering faster and secure access to test results on their computer or mobile device, this portal will help ease pressures on public health units and frontline workers to provide this information so that they can better focus on containing COVID-19.
  • On March 30, 2020, Dr. Williams issued a statement to strongly encourage Ontarians to stay home, limit the number of essential trips and adhere to physical distancing.
  • 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.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; Sneeze and cough into your sleeve; Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; Avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Modelling Update

 


 

April 2, 2020 
News Release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: 
Supporting emergency responders by restricting all outdoor fires in Ontario’s fire region during COVID-19 outbreak

Click here to view the full Bulletin on news.ontario.ca 

TORONTO — The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province's emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Starting April 3, 2020, Ontario's entire legislated fire region will be designated a Restricted Fire Zone. Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire—this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit.

"During this very challenging time when we are fighting the spread of the virus, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of Ontario," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We are putting these important preventative measures in place now to ensure that our emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most."

This restriction will remain in place until Ontario's ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Local municipalities are working to update their websites with information for residents. Meanwhile, Ontarians can learn about the rules under a Restricted Fire Zone at ontario.ca/page/outdoor-fire-restrictions.

Quick Facts

  • To see a map of Ontario’s fire region, visit ontario.ca/forestfires.

  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.


 

April 1, 2020

Leaf and Yard Waste Collection on April 17 is Cancelled

Curbside leaf and yard waste pick up is cancelled until further notice to support the health and safety of residents and staff. This includes the scheduled leaf and yard waste pick up on April 17, 2020.

Please note that curbside garbage and recycling collection services remain unaffected. A reminder that no loose garbage will be accepted. All garbage must be placed in garbage bags before placing in your receptacle. For the safety of our crews, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please hold onto your recyclables for now. 

The Sturgeon Falls Landfill remains closed to the general public until further notice. This includes the cancellation of Free Saturday. The following landfills are open as per regular business hours: Verner, Field, Lavigne, River Valley, and Muskasong. Please be respectful of the physical distancing of collection crews, landfill attendants, and fellow residents. 

We thank you for understanding.

 


 

March 31, 2020
News Release from the Office of the Premier: Province announces second phase of Learn at Home to support continuity of learning

Click here to view the full News Release on news.ontario.ca 

TORONTO — Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced that schools and child care centres will remain closed to protect the health and safety of students and staff. This extension is being made on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Today's announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

To ensure continuity of learning, the government is launching the second phase of Learn at Home. Developed in conjunction with education partners, the government is establishing clarity for parents, enhancing education supports, and creating opportunities for teachers and educators to connect with students.

"The decision to extend school closures was not made lightly. We know from the medical experts that the next two weeks will be critical in the fight against COVID-19 and that's why we're taking further action to keep our kids safe and healthy by having them stay home," said Premier Ford. "At the same time, we cannot put the school year in jeopardy. That's why we're providing additional tools for at-home learning and ensuring students from kindergarten to Grade 12 to postsecondary education can finish their academic year and get the credits they need to graduate." 

Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff. Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. Select centres designated to support frontline health care workers and first responders will remain open.   

As previously announced, no student will have their graduation compromised by COVID-19 and the Ministry of Education continues to collaborate with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that there will be no barriers to accessing postsecondary education.

"We will do whatever it takes to keep students safe from COVID-19 - which is why we have extended the school closure period and why we have unveiled a teacher-led program that keeps students learning while at home," said Minister Lecce. "By providing clarity for parents, enhancing support for students and enabling the teacher-student relationship, we are ensuring our children continue to safely learn - providing some sense of stability and hope for them amid this difficulty." 

The second phase of Learn at Home features a new set of expectations for the education community, including:

  • Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers;
  • Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows:
  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy and math)
  • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
  • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
  • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
  • Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail;
  • Developing a program of training for educators to support them in virtual learning delivery;
  • Requiring final report cards for all students;
  • Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate;
  • Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction;
  • Maintaining a responsive posture for health care and community partner requests; and
  • Establishing formal COVID-19 working groups with education sector unions to work together, share ideas and to find solutions in the support of students.

"The province is taking extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "As we do, we need every Ontarian to continue to do their part by staying apart. Please stay home as much as possible and keep your distance from others if you must go out. Stay home, stay safe, lives depend on it."

On March 21, 2020, Ontario launched Ontario Together, an online portal helping organizations work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. The government will leverage partnerships with the telecommunication sector to provide innovative, low-cost and high-impact solutions to solve the equity challenges facing some students across Ontario. With this resource, the Ministry of Education has posted a new challenge that looks for learning solutions focused on:

  • Free or low-cost learning resources and supports for students, parents and educators;
  • Access to devices such as computers, tablets and portable wi-fi hotspots for families that need the supports; and
  • Other ideas, goods or services, for example, to support mental health and students with special education needs.

 


March 30, 2020
News Release from the Office of the Premier: All Outdoor Recreational Amenities across Province Now Closed. 

Click here to view the full News Release on news.ontario.ca 

TORONTO — In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home, the Government of Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures, including the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings. In addition, Ontario is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds, effective immediately. These actions are based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

"I made a commitment to be open and upfront about what we need to do as a province to beat this virus," said Premier Ford. "Based on the best medical advice available, we are taking further steps today to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians by closing outdoor recreational amenities, like sports fields and playgrounds, and extending our emergency orders to save lives. We all need to work together and do our part to stop COVID-19 by staying home, practising physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings."

This new order would close all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities. Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren't otherwise closed would remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others. Ontario's provincial parks and conservation reserves remain closed.

"We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province" said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "We will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect Ontarians' health and wellbeing."

"The health and well-being of Ontarians is a top priority of our government as we navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis. I know our municipal partners are already taking action locally to protect their residents," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "This order makes the rules around closing shared outdoor recreational amenities consistent across the province."

To ensure the province is able to continue its extensive efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, Ontario will also extend the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency and subsequent emergency orders, regulations and amendments issued under s.7.0.1 and 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The following declaration and orders have been extended and will be in effect until April 13, 2020:

 


March 30, 2020 
News Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: First Individual to Test Positive For COVID-19 From Community Transmission


Click here to view the full News Release on myhealthunit.ca 

NORTH BAY, ON - The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) has evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in our region. This means the virus is spreading within the community and is not linked to travel or a previously known individual who tested positive. The Health Unit’s first, and to-date only, individual who tested positive due to community transmission is in self-isolation and their close contacts have been contacted by the Health Unit’s Communicable Disease Control program.

It is expected that transmission within the community will continue. The Health Unit’s Communicable Disease Control program works with any individual who tests positive to connect with their close contacts. If the person who tested positive was in a location that puts the public at risk the Health Unit will make the public aware.

Community transmission stresses the need for physical distancing (2 meters). Gatherings of more than five people are now prohibited, except for private households with five or more people, child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each location does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

“We want to thank the community for working together to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by physical distancing. The public is the first line of defence and by continuing to stay home, regularly washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face and covering your cough or sneeze we are keeping ourselves and those around us safe,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to remember that four out of five people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

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. This will help keep the emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and tell them your travel history and 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.

 


March 30, 2020
COVID-19 Updates: Financial Relief for Residents and Businesses 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Municipality of West Nipissing is applying financial relief measures to help support its ratepayers through these uncertain and difficult times.

On March 16, 2020, the Municipality postponed the interim tax due dates to April 24 and May 22. To further relieve the financial burden, the Municipality is waiving the April 24due date. Interim taxes will be due on a single due date of May 22.  All preauthorized payments will continue as scheduled, including monthly and due date.  Residents with concerns over preauthorized payments may contact the Tax Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Effective April 1, the Municipality will freeze any penalties and interest charges on overdue accounts. Non-payment of bills or past arrears will not be charged interest during this emergency. This will remain in effect until this crisis situation has passed. The Water and Sewer bill scheduled for May has been postponed to June.

Residents are encouraged to use alternatives for making payments such as paying online through their financial institution, at banking machines or by dropping a cheque into the drop-box located at the front of the Municipal Office.

The Municipal Office remains closed to all walk-in visits. In-person essential services will be conducted by appointment only. For appointments, residents may contact the Municipality by telephone at 705.753.2250. Residents are encouraged to direct non-urgent matters to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 


March 30, 2020
Sturgeon Falls Landfill is Closed to the General Public Until Further Notice

The Sturgeon Falls landfill is temporarily closed the general public until further notice. This includes the cancellation of the upcoming Free Saturday. Until further notice, the Landfill will only be accessible to contractor, commercial and industrial waste. With landfill residential traffic steadily increasing at the Sturgeon Falls site, this closure is necessary to further support the importance of physical distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please note that curbside garbage and recycling collection services remain unaffected.  We thank you for your understanding. 

 


March 28, 2020
News Release from the Office of the Premier of Ontario: Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions

 TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to further stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to  operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

"If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing," said Premier Doug Ford. "I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks."

"We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important."

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.

Cick here to view the full News Release on news.ontario.ca 


March 28, 2020
News Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: Repatriated Travellers Confirmed Positive for COVID-19 in Health Unit District

NORTH BAY, ON - Two individuals from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) region were repatriated from a cruise ship by the Canadian Government. The two individuals, a female and male both in their 70s, were transported to the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton on March 10 where they were in quarantine for 10 days. While in quarantine they developed symptoms and were isolated and tested positive for COVID-19. They are now recovering at home and will continue to isolate until 14 days after their symptoms started. The two individuals are the second and third confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in our Health Unit district.

On March 25, the Federal Minister of Health, announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

“It is expected that there will be more individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within the Health Unit’s district. The public plays an important role in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing (two meters) will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health.

Protect yourself and those around you by regularly washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when sick. Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to remember that four out of five people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

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. This will help keep the emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your travel history and 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.

Click here to view the full News Release on myhealthunit.ca 


March 27, 2020
News Release from the West Nipissing General Hospital: COVID-19 Assessment Centre 

On March 30, 2020, the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) will open a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in the Marcel Noel Hall at 219 O’Hara Street in Sturgeon Falls, 1.6 kilometres from the West Nipissing General Hospital.

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Monday, March 30, 2020: 12:00-4:00 pm

Wednesday, April 1, 2020: 12:00-4:00 pm

Friday, April 3, 2020: 12:00-4:00 pm

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is an out-of-hospital clinic where a healthcare provider will assess, and ONLY IF NEEDED, swab people who may be infected with COVID-19, with an overall goal of reducing the number of patients presenting themselves to the Emergency Department.

For health and safety reasons, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre is by appointment only, and “WALK-INS” are prohibited.

Please note: 
Not everyone who attends the assessment centre will be swabbed.

To make an appointment, patients must meet the below criteria and call the Public Health Unit at 1-800-563-2108, instead of presenting themselves to the Emergency Department. The patient will give their basic intake information and will receive a call back from a clinician for next steps.

The following criteria must be met for an appointment at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre:

  1. Symptoms:
  2. Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and/or
  3. Cough (new or worsening)
    AND
  4. Exposure History within the last 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms:
  5. Travel outside of Canada
  6. Had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  7. Had close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 who recently travelled outside of Canada.

There are two steps to be followed to receive an appointment at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre:

Patients need to complete an assessment by telephone and will be triaged by a nurse from the North Bay Parry Sound Districts Health Unit (NBPSDHU)

Patients triaged by NBPSDHU will be scheduled an appointment at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre as required.

West Nipissing’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is funded and approved by the Ministry of Health. It’s the result of proactive and collaborative planning by WNGH, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, the Municipality of West Nipissing, West Nipissing Community Health Centre, West Nipissing Family Health Team, and Ontario Health.

Individuals looking for general information regarding COVID-19 are asked to call the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808, and not the West Nipissing General Hospital.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

Click here to view the full News Release on wngh.ca 


 March 26, 2020
News Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: Person Confirmed Positive for COVID-19 in Health Unit District

NORTH BAY, ON - The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) has their first person confirmed positive for COVID-19. The individual is a woman in her 60s who had travelled internationally. The individual followed self-isolation recommendations upon returning home and called the Health Unit, who referred her to the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre, where she was assessed and tested. The individual was not admitted to hospital, she was sent home to continue self-isolation and the Health Unit is monitoring herThe Assessment Centre took all necessary precautions including infection control, assessment and testing processes.

“The individual followed public health COVID-19 recommendations and was assessed and tested using our district’s coordinated health care system response, which includes public health, primary care and acute care services,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “We need to continue to work together as a community to keep one another healthy. The measures we are asking people to do now will save lives. Stay home if you are sick or in self-isolation and physically distance yourself from others.”

It is expected that there will be more individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within the Health Unit’s district. The public plays an important role in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing (two meters) will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Protect yourself and those around you by regularly washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when sick.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to remember that four out of five people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

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. This will help keep the emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your travel history and 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

 


March 25, 2020
News Release: West Nipissing Emergency Planning Update 


The West Nipissing Emergency Control Group (Emergency Group) met by conference call this morning, to provide updates on measures being carried out in response to COVID-19. The Emergency Group will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and reassess safety measures accordingly.

As per the latest News Release (March 25, 2020) from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, the Health Unit is following up with close contacts of a positive COVID-19 individual who resides and was tested outside of our district. The Health Unit will notify the public when an individual who resides in our district tests positive for the virus. 

We all play an important role to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing will help to reduce the spread of the virus and protect yourself and those around you. We continue to remind residents that are returning from travel abroad, to self-isolate for 14 days, as directed by the Government of Canada. If you need supplies for your household, try reaching out to a family member, friend or neighbour.

While it is important for the community to be informed and stay connected, we urge residents to use social media responsibly and be mindful of the increasing amount of misinformation circulating online. It is important to receive and share information from reputable sources from Health Officials.

 


March 25, 2020
Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: Health Unit Following up with Close Contacts of a Positive COVID-19 Individual who Resides and was Tested Outside of the Health Unit District

NORTH BAY, ON - The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) was officially notified late yesterday morning of an individual who resides and tested positive for COVID-19 outside our district. The Health Unit is actively following up with this individual’s close contacts that reside in our district, as per the Public Health Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario protocol. The close contacts have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days and the Health Unit is awaiting test results. Due to privacy legislation, the Health Unit is unable to share details about these individuals. The Health Unit will notify the public when an individual who resides in our district tests positive for COVID-19.

All public health units across Ontario work together as a system with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and other partners to investigate and respond to cases of COVID-19. Our response is evidence-based and is in accordance with Ministry of Health direction and guidance.

It is expected that there will be individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within the Health Unit’s district at some point. The public plays an important role in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Protect yourself and those around you by regularly washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when sick.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to remember that four out of five people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

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.

Click here to view the Media Release on myhealthunit.ca

 


March 24, 2020
Town Hall Closed to all Walk-In Visits Until Further Notice

Effective at noon on March 24, 2020, the Municipality of West Nipissing will close its Municipal Office to all walk-in visits until further notice. In-person essential services will be conducted by appointment only. For inquiries and appointments, residents may contact the Municipality by telephone at 705.753.2250 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A reminder to residents that tax dues dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22, 2020, as a result of COVID-19.  Residents are encouraged to use alternatives for making payments such as paying online through their financial institution, at banking machines or by dropping a cheque into the drop-box located at the front of the Municipal Office.

The Municipality is reminding everyone to wash their hands frequently, maintain social distancing, stay home if you can, and self-isolate if you are returning from travel abroad if you come into contact with anyone who has COVID-19, or you are showing symptoms.

If you need supplies for your household, try reaching out to a family member, friend or a neighbour. Lastly, be kind and support each other.  We all have to work together to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

The West Nipissing Emergency Control Group will continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19 and follow the guidance of health authorities.

 


March 20, 2020
Building Services Operational Policy (COVID-19) 

The Municipality has already taken steps to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 and we are taking further precautions to help address the situation. The Building Department will be taking further precautions for our staff, to ensure that building services and inspections can continue within the area. Click here to view service changes to Inspections, Permit Issuance, Code related inquiries, etc.  

 


March 20, 2020
Risk of blockages and sewer backups 

The Municipality is urging residents to refrain from disposing of baby wipes, tissues, and paper towels in your toilets to the sanitary sewer systems. Those products do not break down and clog up sewer pipes and the sanitary system equipment. You are putting yourself and your neighbours at risk for blockages and sewer backups. Even if the package specifies “flushable”, DO NOT flush any household product other than toilet paper. 

 


March 20, 2020
News Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: COVID-19 ASSESSMENT AND TESTING

NORTH BAY, ON – The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) is working with local hospitals and other primary health care providers to help assess and test, if necessary, for COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to call their health care provider or the Health Unit if they believe they may have or been exposed to COVID-19.

An assessment for COVID-19 will be done by a primary health care provider, they will then decide if a test for COVID-19 is required. Considerations include an individual with a fever – over 38 degrees Celsius – and/or a cough and any of the following exposures within 14 days prior to the onset of illness:

  • Travelled outside of Canada or
  • Was in close contact with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19 (determined by a health care professional) or
  • Was in close contact with a person who has been to an impacted area and has breathing issues (acute respiratory illness)

Of the test results received to date by the Health Unit, there have been zero confirmed cases. All individuals who are tested are asked to self-isolate.

It is expected that there will be positive cases within the Health Unit district at some point. It is not known when that will happen. Social distancing measures are in place for you to follow to help slow the spread so people do not get sick all at the same time.

Keep in mind that there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and, at this time, there is no vaccine. However, a vaccine is being developed. It is important to remember that four out of five people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

The community should continue to exercise emergency department etiquette, by calling the Health Unit before presenting to the emergency department if you suspect you have COVID-19. If you have severe symptoms and need immediate medical attention call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

Please visit the Ministry of Health’s website for COVID-19 case definition or the Health Unit’s website for more information.

Be informed. Be prepared. Be protected.

 


March 19, 2020
Printable notice for businesses (returning travellers)

The Municipality is urging residents that are returning from travel abroad, to follow the directive from the Government of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all Canadians that are returning from travel anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States of America. If you were out of the country when the latest travel guidelines went into effect and need to acquire supplies for your household, try reaching out to a family member, friend or neighbour.

We all have to do our part and work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

To help communicate this message, the Municipality has made a Public Notice available for businesses to post in their establishments. Printed posters are available at the temporary entrance of the Municipal Office (WNFS entrance) north side of the building, during regular office hours.

Click here for a printable copy.

 


March 18, 2020
West Nipissing Emergency Control Group Planning

As part of a continued close monitoring of COVID-19, the West Nipissing Emergency Control Group met this morning to implement an emergency plan. The Emergency Control Group is a multidisciplinary team comprised of officials who are responsible for coordinating the provision of essential services and the necessary planning, to respond to an emergency in our community.

While the Health Unit continues to advise that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in our district is low, the Control Group is focused on preventative measures to protect the community from exposure to COVID-19. In response, preparations are in place for the implementation of an Assessment Centre to provide screening, assessment, and testing to residents, when necessary. The Control Group is actively monitoring the situation and will be meeting regularly to reassess.

The Municipality is urging residents that are returning from travel abroad, to follow the directive from the Government of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all Canadians that are returning from travel anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States of America. If you were out of the country when the latest travel guidelines went into effect and need to acquire supplies for your household, try reaching out to a family member, friend, or neighbour. We all have to do our part and work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please practice social distancing, wash your hands, and support your neighbours! 

For ongoing COVID-19 updates and ways to protect you and your family, visit myhealthunit.ca/en/health-topics/coronavirus.asp.

The Municipality and the Emergency Control Group will continue to follow the guidance of health authorities and will provide updates should new information become available. 


March 18, 2020
Municipal Office Temporarily Redirected to Limit Non-essential Visits

The entrance to the Municipal Office has been temporarily redirected to the West Nipissing Fire Services entrance, located at the north side of the building. Residents may use this entrance for bill payments or necessary assistance. In an effort to limit non-essential visits and to ensure the safety of our staff and community, residents are asked to avoid in-person business at Town Hall. When possible, we ask that residents pay bills online, at banking machines or by dropping a cheque into the drop box located at the front of the building. Additionally, tax due dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22, 2020

We will continue to provide services to our residents; however, the Municipality will not be conducting any in-person appointments or meetings with the public, until further notice.

Inquiries should be directed by telephone to 705.753.2250 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We thank you for helping us in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of our staff and community.

 


March 17, 2020 
Notice to residents returning from travel outside of Canada

Returning to West Nipissing after travelling out of the country?

The Government of Canada has instructed all Canadians returning from travel anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States) to self-isolate for 14 days

If you were out of the country when the latest travel guidelines went into effect and need to get supplies for your household, try arranging to have supplies such as groceries dropped off at your door by a friend or family member.

When absolutely necessary, go during off-peak hours and do your best to remain 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) away from others.

Click here for Self-Isolation Guidelines

Remember, these measures are needed to protect the health of our community and to prevent the spread of the virus.

Let's all do our part to protect the health of our community. 

 


March 16, 2020
COVID-19 Update - Municipal Services

The Municipality continues to monitor COVID-19 developments and work with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to prepare and respond appropriately. 

Preventative measures have been implemented to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in our facilities, and to protect our community and staff. As per our previous update, as of noon on March 16, 2020, the Municipality has closed municipal facilities where non-essential services are offered, including the Recreation Centre, Arenas, Pool and Museum. Note that memberships at the Recreation Centre will be extended once the facility re-opens. 

Additionally, the West Nipissing Public Library has suspended all services and programs at all locations.

All appointments at the Municipal Office with residents will be cancelled where possible and communication will be done electronically or by phone. Visits to the Municipal Office should be limited to ensure the safety of staff and residents. When possible, we ask that residents pay bills online, at banking machines or by dropping a cheque into the drop box located at the front of the building. Tax due dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22, 2020.

All enquiries should be directed to 705.753.2250 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will continue to share regular updates to keep residents informed on any changes to municipal services and as new information becomes available. 

We encourage residents to stay informed by regularly visiting myhealthunit.ca/en/health-topics/coronavirus.asp

See below for details on Municipal Services and closures: 

Municipal Office
All appointments at the Municipal Office with residents will be cancelled where possible and communication will be done electronically or by phone.

When possible, please pay bills online, at banking machines, or by dropping a cheque into the drop-box located at the front of the building. Tax due dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22. 

All enquiries should be directed to 705.753.2250 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Recreation Facilities
The following facilities are closed until April 6, 2020: 

  • Community and Recreation Centre
  • Sturgeon River House Museum
  • Sturgeon Falls and Verner Arenas

Swimming lessons, aqua fitness and gym memberships will be put on hold for the duration of the closure. Private rentals, such as birthday parties, arena bookings, and CANO performances are also cancelled. Rental holders will be contacted to reschedule or refund. 

West Nipissing Public Library
As of 4 p.m. on March 16, 2020, all services and programs are suspended in all branches. During this time, all late fees will be forgiven.

Environmental Services
Waste and Recycling pickup will continue to operate as per usual. Landfills are open as per regular business hours.

Building Services
All Building Service inquiries (permit applications, inspection requests, etc.) will only be received by telephone at 705.753.2250 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Council Meetings
Council Meetings have been postponed until further notice.

 


March 16, 2020 
West Nipissing Postpones Tax Due Dates

In an effort to ensure the safety of all residents and staff, the Municipality of West Nipissing is taking additional measures to reduce the risk of exposure of COVID-19. 

Please be advised that tax due dates have been postponed to April 24 and May 22, 2020, to reduce non-essential visits to the Municipal Office. No penalties will be applied. Note that no change will apply to residents that are registered for preauthorized payments.

As a precaution, the Municipal Office is limiting all in-person appointments for non-essential matters. Residents are encouraged to communicate with the Municipal Office by telephone at 705.753.2250 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For any tax-related inquiries or concerns, residents may contact the Tax Department by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or by calling the Municipal Office.

 


March 16, 2020
Recreation Centre and Museum Closed 

Effective at noon today, the Community and Recreation Centre and the Sturgeon River House Museum will be closed to the public until April 6, 2020. This includes all municipal arenas, pool and the fitness centres. The Municipality will release a full update shortly on Municipal services and ways the Municipality is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support our community. 

The best way to protect yourself is by regular handwashing or the use of alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze, and staying home when sick. We thank you for your patience and understanding. 

 


March 13, 2020
West Nipissing Update on COVID-19

The Municipality of West Nipissing is actively monitoring COVID-19 and is working closely with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and community partners to take preventative measures and respond appropriately.

The risk to individuals for COVID-19 in our district remains low, but we are taking proper precautions to help protect the health of our community and have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization of our public facilities. 

Municipal facilities, including the Community and Recreation Centre, Arenas, and the Municipal Office remain open and operational as per regular business hours. Municipal programming and services continue to run as scheduled.

The best way to protect yourself is by taking preventative measures and by following proper hygiene practices such as:

  • regular handwashing or the use of alcohol-based sanitizers;
  • not touching your face;
  • covering your cough or sneeze; and
  • staying home when sick

The Municipality will continue to follow the guidance of health authorities and will provide updates should new information become available, or the situation evolves.


March 12, 2020
Public Notice from the Au Château: Long-Term Care Homes Closed to Visitors

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, Dr Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health/Executive Officer has directed that all Long-Term Care Homes be closed to visitors until further notice. Keeping in mind the well-being and interest of our residents, exceptional circumstances will be considered. In such instances, the  Home will ensure full compliance with infection control requirements. We will continue to monitor this situation closely. We thank you for your cooperation and attention to this matter.

 


March 12, 2020
Public Service Announcement from the NBPSD Health Unit; Restricted Visitor Access to Long-Term Care Homes

NORTH BAY, ON - People of all ages can be affected by COVID-19, however, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are more likely to become severely ill.

As a precaution, the Health Unit has asked all long-term care homes in our district to restrict visitor access to only compassionate care visitors. The Health Unit also recommends that individuals monitor their own health before visiting older family members, and do not visit if they are feeling unwell.

The Health Unit encourages family members to help their older relatives stock up on essentials, such as medications, canned and frozen food, etc., and to make a plan should anyone become ill.

For information on how to make an emergency preparedness kit, visit myhealthunit.ca/emergencykits.

Click here to view the Public Service Announcement on myhealthunit.ca 

 


March 11, 2020
Media Release from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (COVID-19)

NORTH BAY, ON - The risk to individuals for COVID-19 in the Health Unit’s district remains low. For individuals who attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference (PDAC), held between March 1 and 4, 2020, it is recommended that you monitor your health. If you do not have symptoms you do not need to separate yourself from others. Should you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, you need to separate yourself immediately and call the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5229 to speak with a public health nurse, or call your health care provider. This will help keep the emergency room resources available for trauma and emergent care patients. If you do need immediate medical attention, such as severe difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your travel history, your presence at PDAC and symptoms.

The recommendations are the same for individuals who in the last 14 days have been to a COVID-19 infected area, been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or been in close contact with a person with difficulty breathing, cough and/or fever, who has been to a COVID-19 infected area.

The best way for the public to protect themselves is through simple hygiene practices such as regular handwashing or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when sick.

Employers are encouraged to use the World Health Organization’s guidance for getting your workplace ready for COVID-19, encourage and support employees who attended PDAC to work from home and to visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19 for more information. 


March 11, 2020
Media Release from the NBPSD Health Unit: Preparing for COVID-19

NORTH BAY, ON – As of March 5, 2020, 45 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada, 22 in Ontario, with zero cases in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit's (Health Unit) catchment area. The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada.

The increasing number of cases across the country suggests that there will be more COVID-19 cases confirmed throughout Canada. As a result, local preparedness planning is important in order to minimize the impact on hospitals, to make sure that critical infrastructure continues to work and that day-to-day functions are able to be maintained.

"The Health Unit is working with community stakeholders, such as hospitals, health care providers and municipalities, to ensure that preparations are made in case the risk assessment changes," explains Dr. Chirico, Medical Officer of Health.

Simple hygiene practices can help you stay healthy:

  • regular hand washing or using an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • not touching your face
  • covering your cough or sneeze
  • staying home when sick – or making plans with your employer to work from home when sick
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick

It is not recommended that individuals use masks to prevent COVID-19, as moisture can build up in the mask, which makes them not effective.

Risk in our community is low, but it is good practice for households to be prepared for any emergency, such as a power outage or an infectious disease. Having supplies on hand for shorter (under 72 hours) and longer (above 72 hours) periods of time is a good practice all the time. Examples of ways to prepare would include:

  • Have a supply of easy to prepare food.
  • Check your regular prescription drugs to ensure you have enough supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, hygiene products and vitamins.
  • For pets, ensure you have enough food and supplies on hand.

Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

For more information on what to include in your preparedness kit visit myhealthunit.ca/emergencykits.

To view the full News Release visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.


 

 

 

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