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Town of Marathon wants exemption from extended COVID-19 lockdown

Mayor Rick Dumas says the community is far away from Thunder Bay's COVID outbreak.
The town of Marathon is 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay by road (YouTube)

MARATHON, Ont. — Town council in Marathon believes the Grey Zone lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak in the City of Thunder Bay is unnecessarily hurting communities hundreds of kilometres away.

Council passed a resolution Monday night asking that Marathon be returned to the less-restrictive Red Zone if the province extends the Grey Zone declaration for the District of Thunder Bay beyond March 15.

The overwhelming majority of the 374 active COVID-19 cases in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit's service area are located in Thunder Bay. 

Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas says there are no active cases in his community.

"The reality is the lockdown is driven by what's happening in the city of Thunder Bay," Dumas said. "We don't think we should be tied in with Thunder Bay in this situation because we're 300 kilometres away."

Dumas added "We know that the people in our community will do the right thing and not travel to and from the city unless it's an absolute emergency for medical purposes only."

He said council wants to see local recreation facilities reopened, but is also concerned about the ongoing impact on small businesses.

"Over the last year our business community has really suffered. We don't want to see any further suffering for their economic stability... It's a frustrating time now."

Dumas said he's aware that mayors in other outlying towns share that concern.

"I know a lot of my fellow mayors out there are saying the same thing. If our communities are not impacted, why are we going into a greater lockdown again? "

Monday's resolution was addressed to the TBDHU and to Premier Doug Ford.




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