From the Mayor's Desk:
Doug Lawrance, Mayor, Sioux Lookout
Sioux Lookout Goes Into Red-Control Zone
An increase in COVID-19 cases in Sioux Lookout and across the Northwestern Health Unit has resulted in Sioux Lookout going into the Red – Control Zone with associated restrictions and protections. The Public Health Unit is working hard both on case and contact tracing management as well as implementing the roll out of the vaccine across the region. Recognizing the need for heightened local coordination, on Saturday March 13th local agencies met under the umbrella of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, Municipal COVID Coordination Committee (MCCC).
The MCCC meeting included representatives from about fifteen agencies, among them: the Municipality, Northwestern Health Unit, Kenora District Services Board, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, Meno Ya Win Health Centre, Tribal Councils, OPP, Out of the Cold Shelter, First Step Women’s Shelter, Community Living, Friendship Centre, Red Cross. The topics discussed included vaccination roll out, volunteers, isolation capacity, staffing resources, communications, and frequency of MCCC meetings. There was a high level of cooperation at the meeting with a common goal of doing all we can to help protect our Community from the spread of the coronavirus.
The roll out of vaccinations will be stepped up in the coming weeks in Sioux Lookout. As well as the Provincially set priority groups, the MCCC group is working with NWHU to identify sectors that may not fit into the Provincial model but should be local priority groups if we want to limit the spread in Sioux Lookout. It is very clear that vaccinations are key and that as soon as your turn for vaccination comes around, we strongly encourage you to take it and get vaccinated. Even if you don’t feel threatened by coronavirus you may be a threat to others if you do not get it.
As cases are identified there is also a need for isolation. Not all community members live in settings that allow for isolation. Several agencies are coordinating their efforts through the MCCC to ensure that all community members will have a place to safely isolate, if required.
We are proactively exploring additional resources to support the community and to facilitate the best possible local response to the pandemic. Residents should rest assured that we are able to handle the caseload at the present time.
The MCCC will be leaving public health communication to the Northwestern Health Unit and directing inquiries related to public health to the NWHU. The MCCC will coordinate communications from the MCCC partners to the community. The MCCC hopes that its’ communications will be able to provide the community with assurance that there is a coordinated effort among many agencies to optimize protection of all our community members.
Perhaps the best protection that each and every one of us can provide to others is through kindness, understanding, and empathy. We will get through this pandemic by abiding by Public Health guidelines and directions, by treating each other with respect, and by getting vaccinated when our turn comes.