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Mayor concerned about entering 'most dangerous phase' of pandemic

CDSSAB CAO praises paramedics

With talks ongoing about how to re-open the economy, Timmins Mayor George Pirie is concerned we're going into a dangerous phase of COVID-19.

In the Porcupine Health Unit region, there have been 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 43 are resolved and four people have died.

The newest case was announced today and is a woman in her 40s who is a contact of a confirmed case. She is self-isolating.

“My concern is we’re quite possibly entering the most dangerous phase of this epidemic," said Pirie at today's daily health round table. "And by that I mean there’s calls and examples of opening up the economy so people are anxious to get at it and they’re getting antsy to get out there and we don’t want to do anything too prematurely at all. This is a disease that’s stealthy and it’s obviously existing within our community and make no mistake, it’s a killer."

For policing, he said it was another very quiet night for Timmins Police.

"The residents are doing exactly as they’ve been asked to do in relation to following all of the requests about social distancing and groups of five and such,” he said.

At Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB), CAO Brian Marks praised the emergency medical services.

Yesterday, he said there were 30 calls across the district. Of those, 20 were in Timmins and 16 failed the COVID-19 screening. 

“At this point I’d like to commend the paramedic personnel who are maintaining their professionalism and continue to serve 24/7 with this heightened call volume, in addition to maintaining service at the various assessment centres across the Cochrane district,” he said.

There has been a slight drop in the homeless numbers.

Marks said permanent housing has been found for five people. Last night, there were 46 people at the three locations — Living Space, McIntyre Curling Club, and Northern College residence.

The eligibility for emergency childcare services has been expanded. 

While other areas have put a call out for additional staff for the daycares, the CDSSAB isn't there yet.

Marks said there is enough staff to accommodate the current demand for spots.

“As it stands we don’t have enough childcare workers to accommodate the available spots, but that’s a little different from the fact that we do have enough staff to be able to accommodate the current demand,” he said.

You can apply for one of the spots, and view the full criteria, online here.

There are COVID-19 Assessment centres in Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Hearst and Hornepayne. They are by appointment only and you must be referred by your primary healthcare provider or the health unit.

The PHU COVID-19 hotline is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It can be reached at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.

The health unit is doing expanded testing on people with milder symptoms for a limited time.

The expanded list of symptoms includes cough, fever, and difficulty breathing as well as sore throat/hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting.

Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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