Thunder Bay

City of Thunder Bay declares health and social services state of emergency

The City of Thunder Bay is declaring a health and social services state of emergency, calling for immediate support from the province.
The City of Thunder Bay announced on Tuesday it was declaring a state of emergency for health and social services in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

The City of Thunder Bay is declaring a health and social services state of emergency in relation to COVID-19, calling for immediate support from the province.

City officials announced the declaration early Tuesday afternoon, which urges the provincial government to provide additional funding, support for staffing and social services for the city's homeless and precariously housed population.

The declaration is specific to health and social services for COVID-19, particularly for isolation supports required for vulnerable populations, such as people who are homeless or use the community's shelters.

The city's municipal emergency control group has held multiple meetings over the last few days.

"Declaring a state of emergency is the recommended next step to let the Province know we need additional resources for this concerning and emerging situation," Thunder Bay mayor Bill Mauro said in a statement. 

"Our community needs to open back up – for our businesses and our residents – for everyone's safety we need the Province to help now with the specific needs of the vulnerable populations."

The city has seen significant spikes in two correctional facilities — the Thunder Bay District Jail and the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre — since outbreaks were first declared in those settings early last month.

The city's first state of emergency declaration related to COVID-19 was made last April.

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