Municipality of Sioux Lookout lifts remaining COVID-19 restrictions in municipal buildings
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout Municipal Council has voted to remove the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in municipal buildings.
At their June 15 Regular Council Meeting, by a vote of four votes to three, Council voted to authorize the passing of By-law No. 43-22 Being a By-law to Amend By-law No. 54-20, Being a By-law to Establish A Health and Safety Policy Manual for The Corporation of The Municipality of Sioux Lookout and to Adopt Certain Health and Safety Policies, as amended, by deleting the following Policies:
- Policy No. 4.12 Covid-19 Preparedness and Response
- Policy No. 4.13-1 Pandemic Re-opening Municipal Construction Site Safety
- Policy No. 4.13-2 Hand Washing Policy
- Policy No. 4.13-3 Physical Distancing Policy
- Policy No. 4.13-4 Fleet use during COVID-19
- Policy No. 4.13-5 Active Screening Measures
- Policy No. 4.13-6 Cleaning and Disinfecting during COVID-19
- Policy No. 4.13.7 Deep Cleaning response to positive for COVID-19
- Policy No. 4.13-8 Donning and Doffing Non-medical Glove Procedure
- Policy No. 4.13-9 Donning and Doffing Non-medical Facemask Procedure
- Policy No. 4.13-11 Respiratory Etiquette
- Policy No. 4.13-12 Reopening Ontario Recreation Facilities
- COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
Council also voted that the mayor shall rescind the Declaration of an Emergency, originally declared on March 30, 2020, in recognition that the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration is no longer required.
Council voted that Council Meetings will return to the “in-person” format and will be held in Council Chambers, effective July 1, 2022. The Municipality shared that meeting would continue to be live streamed but will be on the municipal website (www.siouxlookout.ca), instead of the municipal Facebook page.
In discussion, Councillor Joyce Timpson stated, “I honestly think that we’re premature in trying to rescind these.”
Citing concerns of another COVID-19 surge in the fall, Timpson added, “We’re very close to the northern communities where there are current surges… the northern communities are still exercising extreme precaution… I believe strongly that we should remain in sync with what the northern communities are doing because of the high level of travel back and forth.”
Councillor Joe Cassidy stated he was in favour to rescind. “Every other organization, business, every other place you go in Sioux Lookout there’s no mask mandate, there’s no COVID protocols. Things have, from what I can tell, seem to have returned to normal with the exception of the municipal buildings and hospitals where there’s obviously precautions because of the circumstances. I don’t understand the hesitation. I think everyone else has rescinded or pulled back. It’s not like we’re deleting these policies off the server, and we have to start from scratch if we wanted to bring them back. They’re there if things come back… I think we need to return to some normalcy in our offices. I think it’s up to the individual on whether or not they want to take the precautions they want to.”
In a separate motion, council voted to direct staff to have the Municipal Office adjust its hours of service, and to be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The Municipality shared on its Facebook page that masks will no longer be required when visiting municipal buildings, “although we still welcome those who choose to continue wearing them.”