Letter of Instruction: All owners, operators, and persons responsible for sports and recreational fitness facilities
March 7, 2021
Letter of Instruction
To: All owners, operators, and persons responsible for sports and recreational fitness facilities1 within the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area
RE: Public Health Sudbury & Districts Letter of Instruction regarding sports and recreational fitness facilities
On March 8, 2021, the geographic area served by Public Health Sudbury & Districts will move into the Red—Control zone of the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.2 This is in response to an unprecedented surge of local cases and outbreaks of COVID-19. Furthermore, an increasing percentage of local COVID-19 cases to-date have either screened positive or have been confirmed for the more transmissible virus mutation, called variants of concern (VOCs). Therefore, there is a heightened risk of increased cases and associated serious outcomes from COVID-19 for the residents of the City of Greater Sudbury and the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin.
The key risk factors associated with the potential transmission of COVID-19 include:3
- close contact
- closed spaces
- crowded places
- forceful exhalation
To minimize VOC spread in Ontario communities, the lockdown evidence and experiences from other jurisdictions demonstrate that any currently implemented public health measures should be intensified.4 Physical distancing plays a key role in reducing the risks associated with crowded places and has been proven to limit COVID-19 transmission. O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, Schedule one, Section 3.1 (4) states:
Every member of the public in a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.
To assist with the implementation of this requirement, I am issuing this Letter of Instruction to all sports and recreational fitness facilities that are open to the public within the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area. These instructions are being provided pursuant to Schedule 1, Section 2 (2) of O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 20202, c. 17.
Effective March 10, 2021, 12:01 a.m., I am instructing all persons responsible for a sports and recreational fitness facilities open to the public located within the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area to implement the following additional measures:
- Team sports must not be practiced or played including for training purposes (including no games, scrimmages, practices, or training).
- Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 3 metres of each other are not permitted.
These instructions will further prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing close contact between individuals. This Letter of Instruction will be enforced by Public Health Inspectors and other Provincial Offences Officers responsible for the enforcement of the Reopening Ontario Act. Failure to comply is an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act for which you may be charged.
Thank you in advance for your compliance and cooperation. Public Health Sudbury & Districts Public Health Inspectors are available to support sports and recreational fitness facilities with implementation of these instructions. If you have questions or concerns related to implementation, please contact our office at 705.522.9200, ext. 748. In addition to this Letter of Instruction to sports and recreational fitness facilities, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will be communicating with the broader community and promote awareness these additional protective measures.
Please note that the Letter of Instruction will be posted on our website.
Original signed by:
Penny Sutcliffe, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
1 Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7. Accessed February 25, 2021 at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h07.
2 Province of Ontario. COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open. February 19, 20201. Accessed February 25, 2021 at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#prevent.
4 Public Health Ontario. Evidence on Public Health Measures Required for Rapid Control of Variants of Concern. February 16, 2021. Accessed February 25, 2021 at https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/phm/2021/02/eb-public-health- measures-for-voc.pdf.
This item was last modified on March 7, 2021