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Spike in cases delays outdoor recreation decision

The reopening of skating rinks, tobogganing hills and snowmobile trails in the region will be reevaluated next week. 

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health delivered the news during a media conference Tuesday evening. 

It comes as an outbreak has been declared Lancelot Apartment buildings, which, as of 3 pm on Tuesday, has infected 19 residents and two visitors. The Health Unit is still awaiting test results for some residents.

Dr. Chirico said three of the cases have been confirmed to be a variant of the COVID-19 virus, with it being “highly likely” that more will follow. 

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Due to the presence of a variant of concern, the Health Unit elected to close Sunset Park Public School out of “an abundance of caution” after one member of the school’s community tested positive Monday. 

The Ontario government announced Monday that it has extended its stay-at-home order until February 16 for most of the province.

Dr. Chirico says he advocated for that move given the spike in cases. He says the priority is to stop the spread of the virus, and the reopening of outdoor recreation will be reevaluated closer to February 16. 

“I understand how tired, fed up and frustrated everyone is,” Dr. Chirico stated. “We are pleading with you more than ever before, please stay home.”

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