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COVID update info for Thunder Bay region
There has been an increase in COVID cases in the Thunder Bay region and that includes many communities along the north shore of Lake Superior. During the initial outbreak lockdowns and preventative measures had been taken to ensure safety among people living in the region and it seemed to be working.
Thunder Bay region had relatively few cases in comparison to larger centres but that all that started to change in recent weeks. The initial spikes in cases centred around mostly construction sites and outside workers but were quickly contained. The city of Thunder Bay has had occasional cases with most resolved fairly quickly.
With the area now teetering on new lockdowns and news of the imminent release of vaccines to our area, Kim Krause from the Schreiber Media Centre contacted Adam Brown, the CAO of the North of Superior Healthcare Group (NOSH), for an update on how things were going and what we could expect with the vaccine rollout. The largest outbreak so far had been at the Valard construction site near Marathon and the odd case in some surrounding municipalities. Adam brought up the fact that safety and protocols were our biggest defences and that when we drop our defences even for a second we run the risk of spreading any viruses around.
When SMC first spoke to Adam Brown back in April, he brought up the idea that there might be possible interprovincial bans place on travel. That would eventually come to pass and even our international border with the United States has remained in a semi closed state for months now. Imposing restrictions can certainly lead to what has become known as COVID fatigue and some might even argue that our basic rights to freedom have been infringed upon, but during a time of medical emergency it is important that people remain vigilant and practice good health tips to avoid both becoming infected and possibly spreading infection to others. It’s a good neighbour approach that means we all work toward a shared goal and most people will tend to agree and comply. Of course there are the odd few that pay no heed to restrictions and this of course leads to the risk of contracting and spreading the virus amongst the population.
As far as roll out of vaccines is concerned, NOSH is very involved in the organizing and scheduling of the vaccine rollout. One of the problems with delivery to remote areas is the extreme conditions required for transporting of the vaccine. The Moderna brand seems to be favoured for this area as it does not have as strict a storage implication of the Pfizer version. As is becoming the norm for distribution, seniors in long term care will be first on the list followed closely by workers in the health industry. Once vaccine rollouts become more common it is hoped that restrictions can be lifted slowly and more businesses can reopen. As Adam says, “ we can’t lock ourselves up in a room for the rest of our lives” and went on to state that he publicly endorses the use of vaccines in the fight to beat back the COVID pandemic.
Schreiber Community Media is a non profit organization established with the aim of providing media production services and training for the residents of Schreiber and surrounding areas. Schreiber is located on the north shore of Lake Superior approximately two hours east of Thunder Bay.
The Schreiber Media Centre is locating in the Schreiber Public Library and includes tools for recording, live streaming and post production of audio and video.