Effective Monday, February 22nd, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. District 11 snowmobile trails located in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) will be reopening. The Health Unit is lifting closures of outdoor skating rinks, tobogganing hills, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) snowmobile trails and snowmobile trails on Crown Land. Trails were closed following a January 2021 public health order.
This decision was made through consultation with the OFSC, who have outlined a comprehensive COVID-19 Flex Trails plan. If there is evidence that public health measures are not being followed, the Health Unit will re-evaluate the situation, potentially reclosing these trails.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the NNTA has taken every measure to ensure the safety of its staff, volunteers, and ridership, along with the local communities in which we operate. We have segregated our boundary trails from adjoining health units by closing the trail wherever there is an intersection to discourage travel between units. We have reduced the number of groomer operators and increased our daily cleaning protocols. We have met virtually and created patrol bubbles to limit contact of our club members. Our organization has continually used its online presence to educate the public and encourage following all health precautions to stop the spread including wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing, and riding locally.
Outdoor physical activity is important for physical and mental health and still recommended by the Health Unit. However, all activities outside the house need to be done with extreme caution, following the COVID-19 public health measures, and should be done close to home.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care. If you need further assistance call your health care provider or the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your symptoms.
For more information, please visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.