Building on success: Stage 3 COVID-19 reopening

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 (12:01 a.m.), even more businesses, organizations, and public spaces will be permitted to reopen in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is one of the areas permitted to proceed to Stage 3 of the Framework for Reopening our Province, announced by the Ontario Government on Monday.

“It is reassuring and truly remarkable how so many people in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts have rallied together to gradually and safely reopen throughout this area. The sacrifices, investments, and commitment of businesses and community members alike have allowed us to transition to Stage 3,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “You have stayed home, kept your two-metres distance, created your safe social circle, washed your hands, and put on a face covering . . . all these individual actions have added up to great success in keeping COVID-19 at bay. Area businesses have stepped up to reopen safely—often at significant financial cost. So, thumbs up to all for putting the brakes on the virus and the accelerator on local reopening!” added Dr. Sutcliffe.

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Public Health has issued revised instructions under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). These update the Stage 2 instructions, and now, all businesses and organizations must require face coverings for members of the public and employees to enter and remain in enclosed public spaces. Distancing, masking, and other requirements continue to be in place for indoor spaces that are only accessed by employees.

“Exemptions to face covering requirements, such as those based on health conditions or age, continue to be in force and businesses are not to require any proof of exemption,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Businesses are expected to act in “good faith” with public education being an important goal. They also must have policies, signage, verbal reminders, and hand sanitizer in place,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.

The Stage 3 changes in effect on Friday allow for nearly all businesses and public spaces to gradually reopen provided they implement additional public health and health and safety protocols.

With Stage 3, gathering limits will increase:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people.
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people.
  • Participants at all gatherings, unless in the same social circle (up to 10 people), must maintain two-metres distance apart.

Public Health continues to work closely with area businesses and organizations to provide support and answer questions. A number of new workplace resources are available at, including a toolkit that offers sample policies and signage, as well as frequently asked questions and answers.

Members of the public are reminded to continue to follow public health recommendations. Continue to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering when distancing is not possible or when in enclosed public spaces, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, and cover your cough or sneeze. Continue to be patient, kind and respectful as we all do our part and safely navigate this next stage together.

If you have a COVID-19 symptom, get tested. People who are asymptomatic, who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19, or those who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment are also encouraged to contact an assessment centre and get tested.

For more information or if you have questions or concerns, please visit or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on July 16, 2020