COVID-19 UPDATES

LATEST NEWS AND NOTICES

Apr. 1 - Municipality of West Nipissing: Leaf and Yard Waste Pick Up Cancelled

Mar. 31 - Office of the Premier:Ontario Extends School and Child Care Closures to May 4, 2020

Mar. 30 - Office of the Premier: All Outdoor Recreational Amenities across Province Now Closed

Mar. 30 - Health Unit: First Individual to Test Positive For COVID-19 From Community Transmission

Mar.30 - Municipality of West Nipissing: Financial Relief for Residents and Businesses

Mar.30  - Municipality of West Nipissing: Sturgeon Falls Landfill Closed to the Public 

Mar.28 -  Office of the Premier: Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than 5 People 

See more News and Notices 

 

Stay up-to-date on the latest information and local status of COVID-19 by visiting: myhealthunit.ca

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.

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 (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.

Click here for the Building Services COVID-19 Operational Policy 

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
All municipal facilities are closed 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 
All outdoor recreational amenities in the province are closed until further notice.

This includes the closure of all West Nipissing playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, beaches, skateboard parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, and other outdoor recreational amenities.

Click here to view the Order from the Government of Ontario 

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. 

LEAF AND YARD WASTE  COLLECTION
Curbside leaf and yard waste pick-up is cancelled until further notice.

LANDFILLS
The following landfills are open as per regular business hours:

  • Verner
  • Field
  • Lavigne
  • Kipling
  • River Valley
  • Muskasong

The Sturgeon Falls landfill is closed to the general public until further notice.This includes to cancellation of the Free Saturday. The Landfill remains accessible to contractor, commercial and industrial waste only. 

COUNCIL MEETINGS 
Council Meetings have been postponed until further notice.

 


NEWS AND NOTICES

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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