Sudbury groups prepare for Stage 3 reopening
Province hasn’t given a date on when Stage 3 will be rolled out
As people in Ontario wait for more details on when the province may move into Stage 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan, some businesses and groups are still working to figure out how their businesses will operate.
Premier Doug Ford is expected to release more details of when the province may move into Stage 3 and what exactly that will look like.
Previously, the province has said Stage 3 reopening could include the return of indoor dining, as well as the reopening of gyms, cinemas and playgrounds.
Currently in northeastern Ontario, there are five active COVID-19 cases. None of those active cases are in the Sudbury-area. Public Health Sudbury & Districts chief medical officer of health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe says when it comes to local numbers, she's feeling "cautiously optimistic."
"We've seen other locations … where cases have been similar to ours, certainly in Kingston and suddenly there were outbreaks associated with certain settings," she said.
"I think that what we've seen is even though things look very positive and encouraging, at a certain point in time it doesn't take long for the virus to crop up again and for outbreaks to happen."
Sutcliffe says as the economy reopens, it's important for people to continue physical distancing and washing their hands.
She says that also includes wearing a mask or face cover when out in public.
"So this is reminder that yes, it it necessary," she said. "We will only successfully move forward from Stage 2 into Stage 3 if we do adhere to what are really simple behavior changes."
Looking at 'all options'
Grant Graham, the owner of Power Yoga Canada Studio in Sudbury, says he hasn't been given a set list of rules to follow when he does reopen. He says he's anticipating upwards of a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of people allowed inside.
"We've gone through and taped off our studio space to allow proper distancing," he said.
"We've changed the way that people have to book their classes. We're going to push people to use their app and online experience."
He says while he understands it's important to reduce the number of people in his space for safety reasons, it can be difficult on the bottom line.
"It's not ideal," he said. "But you have to do something to keep things going."
At the Sudbury Indie Cinema, board member France Huot says surveys have gone out to members to gauge how and when they want to return.
"We're looking at all the options," she said. "It might have to mean that we're going to have to have seating that's spaced out. Maybe it means people will have to come watch movies with masks on."
Huot says they are also working with volunteers to make sure they feel safe.
"Right now, there's still a lot of unknowns," she said. "We're all actively thinking about it. We need to kind of figure that out."
With files from Sarah MacMillan