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Timiskaming District moving to yellow zone

The Timiskaming downgrade comes on the heels of an outbreak at Teck Pioneer Residence in Kirkland Lake
covid colour code levels
COVID colour code levels

A news release from the Ontario government says Timiskaming District has been moved down from a green to a yellow zone, while Sudbury is moving up from yellow to green.

The Timiskaming downgrade comes on the heels of an outbreak at Teck Pioneer Residence in Kirkland Lake. Ministry direction requires an outbreak to be declared when a single case is confirmed in a resident or staff member. In this case, one staff member has tested positive.

There are five new positive cases of COVID-19 in that district today, one in the northern part and four in the southern part of Timiskaming.

“We are concerned by the trend of increased cases of COVID-19 throughout our district,” said Dr. Glenn Corneil, Acting Medical Officer of Health and CEO for the Timiskaming Health Unit. “There is strong evidence that the second wave is hitting Timiskaming.

“Based on local case data, we are hearing and seeing evidence of too many social gatherings and Christmas staff parties,” said Dr. Corneil. “We are strongly recommending that everyone limit close contact to their household.”

“Our neighbours and community members are working hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our region, but today’s announcement that we’ll become a Yellow-Protect zone shows that we need more investment in public health protections," says Timiskaming NDP MPP John Vanthof . "The vaccine is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re all looking forward to it, but we still have a very long way to go before this is over.

"We need the Ford government to stop withholding COVID funding, and start investing in protections, including investing in more testing and contact tracing, bringing testing into schools and workplaces, and especially putting staff and infections prevention and control experts into long-term care homes to protect our precious parents and grandparents.
"Simply waiting for a vaccine is not a safe plan. We need action from the Ford government now.”

The changes were made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health. In total six public health regions are moving to new levels per the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.

Nipissing remains green,  while Muskoka recently went to red. Témiscamingue,  Que., about 45 minutes northeast of North Bay, became orange today.

See: Four new cases of COVID in the district. North Bay not on latest expanded list to get COVID vaccine

"With public health indicators continuing to worsen in Toronto and Peel, we are making the difficult but necessary decision to extend public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect our hospital capacity and safeguard the key services we rely on," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"The government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health are actively consulting with local medical officers of health and local communities in these regions to determine what additional measures are required," says a news release. "In addition, earlier today Premier Doug Ford and Minister Elliott convened an emergency meeting with Dr. Williams and Ontario's hospital leaders to discuss the next steps to address the concerning trends in cases and hospital capacity in our province."

Based on the latest data, the following public health regions will move from their current level in the framework to the following levels effective Monday, December 21, at 12:01 a.m.

  • Grey-Lockdown
    • City of Hamilton Public Health Services.
  • Red-Control
    • Brant County Health Unit.
    • Niagara Region Public Health.
  • Orange-Restrict
    • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health.
  • Yellow-Protect
    • Timiskaming Health Unit.
  • Green-Prevent
    • Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

All other public health regions will remain at their current level. Visit for the full list of public health region classifications.

The province will continue to monitor local trends of key public health indicators across the province to determine if public health units should stay where they are or be moved to a different level. Public health units will stay in their level for a minimum of 28 days, or two COVID-19 incubation periods, at which time, the government will assess the impact of public health measures to determine if the public health unit should stay where they are or be moved to a different level. 

Find out what level and which regional public measures are in place for your area.