Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health anticipates the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit will remain in the red-control zone of the province’s colour-coded framework. 

“We need to be mindful of increasing numbers around the province, particularly a sharp increase in cases of variants of concern,” explained Dr. Chirico during a Thursday morning media conference. 

The region has seen four new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, with Dr. Chirico saying cases are “under control”. He adds the third wave of COVID-19 has not yet reached the region. 

“I’m hopeful we will continue to do well and see a slow return to normal. But we’re not there yet,” he said. 

As of Wednesday, Public Health Sudbury and Districts has 242 active cases of COVID-19. To the south, the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting 386 active cases. 

Dr. Chirico says that there isn’t a magic number that will lead the region out of the red zone. 

“My advice is we move as a region,” he said. “That we move slowly. Because we do know the quickest path to a sustained, long-term opening is not opening too early. There are too many indicators right now suggesting that we’re trending upwards, not trending downwards. We have to be very, very cautious.”

Dr. Chirico says what he doesn’t want to happen, is the district re-opening and closing repeatedly.

“That’s not healthy for the economy or anyone’s mental health. If we can persist the next few weeks, or month, doing exactly what we’ve been doing, not leaving our homes unless for essential reasons, not travelling outside of our district, using the public health measures that we have… until we have everyone immunized. […] If we do that, we’ll be able to have a much more predictable and sustained re-opening.”