A joint statement from Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Greater Sudbury Police Services, and the Ontario Provincial PoliceIssued: Monday, May 3, 2021
As we find ourselves in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are dealing with new realities of the virus. This is not the same virus we weathered through in the first and second waves. The variants of concern have made the virus stronger and more transmissible. As a result, we are seeing COVID-19 infections in more people, including younger and healthy individuals, resulting in more serious disease, hospitalizations and even loss of life.
Following public health measures—not looking for ways to bend, break, or ignore the law—is critical if we are to build on the progress we have made so far in the pandemic. Keeping numbers down means less chance the virus can mutate and gives the vaccines a chance to work. The consequences of not doing so have very real impacts. Impacts that go beyond being charged. The reality of people choosing to violate the law and ignore public health measures will prolong the pandemic and continue to increase cases and illnesses in our community. These decisions can jeopardize people’s lives and livelihoods, and they put an already-stretched health care system at further risk.
As public health and as law enforcement officials in partnership with municipal by-law enforcement, we continue to see the very real consequences of individual actions and choices. There are huge ripple effects and individual actions lead to the spread of COVID-19 and outbreaks in many settings. There are a number of local examples for which the choice to attend a gathering—whether indoors or outdoors—has impacted not only those who directly attended, but also their households, friends and other close contacts. Choosing to host or attend a gathering does not just affect you, it affects your entire community.
One action, one decision, from you, can help stop this. The law applies to everyone, without exception. The consequences of COVID-19 and potential charges for non-compliance can be avoided. Recommit to being COVID-safe. Finding safe ways to connect with family and friends can help us weather these challenging times. For now, however, we must remember that we are stronger together, but safer apart.
Tremendous progress has been made in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine with more vaccine is on its way. Within the next few weeks, every adult will be eligible to receive the vaccine. While this is great news, we must also remember that we are not out of the woods and even with the vaccine, the important public health measures are needed to end the pandemic.
Please, continue to do your part. Stay home. Follow the law. Save lives.
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Sudbury & Districts
Chief Paul Pedersen, Greater Sudbury Police Service
Chief Superintendent Carson Pardy, Ontario Provincial Police — North East Region