THUNDER BAY — The City of Thunder Bay has submitted an urgent request to the Ontario government for additional support for health and social services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support the request, Mayor Bill Mauro has declared a state of emergency.
The first time he did so was shortly after the onset of the pandemic, on April 23, 2020.
The city is looking specifically for support for isolating vulnerable populations such as the homeless and those who use community shelters.
"We are requesting assistance from the province because we need more support, both financially and staffing, to be able to expand the capacity of the isolation centre for those who are COVID-19 positive or are considered high risk contacts and have nowhere else to go," Mauro said in a statement.
The mayor is expected to provide more information later Tuesday.
The request for government help was made in consultation with the city's Emergency Response Team, with advice from the Medical Officer of Health and the Municipal Emergency Control Group.
Cynthia Olsen, chair of the Vulnerable Populations COVID-19 Planning Table, said "Numerous community partners have been collaborating tirelessly over the last 10 months to address gaps and mitigate risk of COVID among vulnerable populations."
Olsen added "This has been a tremendous effort, and their resources are stretched to the maximum."