Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in many parts of the country and the Thunder Bay District Health unit is recommending people avoid non-essential travel.

THUNDER BAY – Following the Northwestern Health Unit advising against non-essential travel to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has also revised its travel recommendations and is urging people to stay in the region.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit revised its travel recommendations on Friday, advising residents in the district to avoid non-essential travel outside of the region.

“These are challenging times. While we are doing well with COVID-19 currently in our area, we are seeing cases significantly increase in other areas. We need to take the measures necessary to prevent that happening here,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, medical officer of health in a media release.

“When people travel and return to this area, they can unintentionally bring COVID-19 back here. Our updated travel guidance provides recommendation on what people can do to reduce their risk and the risk that that could pose for our communities.”

COVID-19 cases are increasing in many parts of the country, including Manitoba and Ontario, which saw a new record high since the pandemic began of 739 cases on Friday. 

“In watching that and watching the trends, there was some modeling done in Ontario that shows our numbers will continue to go up until mid-October, when I see that we need to take all appropriate measures to reduce COVID being here and that starts with how it’s going to get here,” DeMille said. “I know we have low rates at the present time and we want to keep them that way as long as we can.”

The health unit is also advising anyone who have existing travel plans to reassess the need and timing of travel and consider making alternate arrangements.

Anyone who is required to travel for essential reasons should remain vigilant to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and should avoid social gatherings and limit interaction with others.

“In the first wave, we did have that when people returned to Northwestern Ontario they needed to self-isolate for 14 days,” DeMille said. “We haven’t put that in place at the present time, but it is something we might consider.”

For more information visit the TBDHU website or contact TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or toll-free: 1-888-294-6630.