COVID-19 PANDEMIC NEWS AND INFORMATION

 

LATEST NEWS:

June 7, 2021

On June 7, 2021, the Province of Ontario gave an update on the Roadmap to reopen following the Stay at home order.

Step 1 will begin on Friday, June 11, 2021. They also announced some changes to the Roadmap that will allow more attendance at religious services. Please refer to the information below.

IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, the Porcupine Health Unit region will not move to Phase 1 as planned due to the rise in Covid cases recorded in the region. 

Please read the following important news release. Also included is the link in connection with this release regarding the Porcupine Health Unit region.

2021 06 7 Covid 19 Update on Roadmap to reopen

Breaking News : Porcupine Health Unit area NOT Reopening


May 20, 2021

With the new, more contagious variants continuing to pose significant risks, the Ontario government, has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021. All public health and workplace safety measures under the provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect.

NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

For detailed  information on the “Roadmap to Reopen” refer to the following article from the Office Of the Premier. 

https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1000159/roadmap-to-reopen


May 16, 2021

Premier Ford has announced that the restrictions and Stay-At-Home Order have been extended again. Please read the following important Newsletter. 

May 17, 2021 – Restrictions and Stay-At-Home Order Extended


April 16, 2021

Re: Province of Ontario – Enhanced Restrictions for Stay-at-home Order and extension

On April 16, 2021 the Province of Ontario announced it is enhancing Provincial Emergency and Stay-at- home order. It further restricts a number of activities including attendance at religious services. Also the Stay-at-home order has been extended an additional two weeks until May 20, 2021.

For more information regarding the “new” restrictions, please refer to the press release from Deacon Jean Beausoleil, Chancellor of the Hearst-Moosonee diocese:

April 16, 2021 – Covid-19 Extention and Enhanced restrictions – Ontario

 


April 1, 2021

All health units in the Province of Ontario move to Shut-down for COVID-19 restrictions starting at 12:01am on Saturday April 3. It will last at least 28 days.

Religious services will have a reduced limit of 15% of capacity (down from 30%). Meetings and other in-person gatherings are not allowed indoors.

More detailed information is provided in the .

April 1, 2021 News Release from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford.


March 22, 2021

Effective March 22, 2021 the Porcupine Health Unit district is now in the “YELLOW” zone. Your Public Health Unit may have additional restrictions. Find out on their website.


March 13, 2021:

COVID-19 public health measures and advice:

Find out about the latest public health measures, advice and restrictions in your area. Stay home, stay safe, save lives.

measures by region:

As of March 8, all regions will be back in the response framework.

Check which zone your region is in. Regions are based on public health unit boundaries. Find your public health unit.

Besides the provincial health measures listed, there may also be additional local restrictions or requirements. Find these restrictions on your local municipality or public health unit’s website, which is linked from the map and the table.


February 16, 2021

From news sources, beginning Tuesday, February 16, the Hearst-Moosonee Diocese is divided into the following colour categories:

  1. a) the Porcupine Health Unit is assigned the Orange (or “Restrict”) status;
  2. b) the Thunder Bay Health Unit is assigned the Red (or “Control”) status.

For these two zone, one is permitted up to 30% capacity for religious celebrations, marriages and funerals. More detailed information is provided in the following document:

Church and Parish Facilities in Ontario – February 16, 2021 – Chart of five levels


February 8, 2021

Message from Terrence Prendergast, Apostolic Administrator, Hearst -Moosonee Diocese

According to the latest Government of Ontario directives, the “stay home” orders and sanitary restrictions will remain in effect in our health districts until Shrove Tuesday, February 16.  We will need to wait until next week to learn what form our Ash Wednesday and other Lenten observances will take.

Thank you for continuing to adhere to all the precautions for keeping people safe.


January 14, 2021

SECOND DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY FOR ONTARIO –

In response to the alarming rise of covid 19 cases, a declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario. As of January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a “stay at home order” is in effect for all of Ontario. This order is in effect for 28 days and could  be extended if required.

This means you must stay at home. You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • getting food, beverages or medication
  • going to medical appointments
  • supporting vulnerable community members
  • child care
  • attending school or a post-secondary institution
  • going to a bank
  • accessing government services
  • getting exercise or walking pets
  • going to work, if you can’t do it remotely

Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.  Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.

Additional detailed information related to this “Second Declaration of Emergency” can be found on the Province of Ontario website.

Note that individuals and/or businesses who do not follow the orders can be fined. Maximum fines can be up to $100,000 for individuals and $10 million for a corporation. Failure to follow the rules could also result in prosecution or even a year in jail.


January 8, 2021

On Thursday, January 7, 2021, the Ontario government extended the shutdown in Northern Ontario for another 14 days to Saturday, January 23, 2021, aligning with the shutdown period in Southern Ontario. For additional information, please refer to the CBC News article of January 7, 2021.


December 22, 2020

Following is the Hearst-Moosonee Diocese Inter-Par of December 27th. This is an important message from Mgr Prendergast, S. J., Diocesan Apostolic Administrator, regarding provincial measures and our own personal arrangements at this time of isolation.

Inter-Par – December 27, 2020


December 21, 2020

Today Premier Doug Ford announced that all of Ontario will move into a lockdown on Boxing Day in a bid to curb climbing COVID-19 case numbers and spare hospitals and their intensive care units from being inundated in January.

The lockdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26 and remain in place until at least Jan. 23, 2021 in the 27 public health units that comprise southern Ontario, the government says.

In Ontario’s north, where daily case numbers have been significantly lower, the lockdown is set to expire on Jan. 9, 2021.

Please refer to the following CBC News article for more detailed information:

  Premier Doug Ford orders lockdown


July 16, 2020

Effective Thursday, July 23, 2020, in all communities in the Porcupine Health Unit area, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces. Please keep in mind that the use of a face covering does not replace the need for other public health measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand hygiene and staying home if unwell.

Please see the following instructions from the Porcupine Health Unit.

Mask order July 2020

For more information,  please visit the link below or contact the health unit office.

https://www.porcupinehu.on.ca/en/your-health/infectious-diseases/novel-coronavirus/covid-masks/


June 18, 2020

Please note the following poster “Health and Safety Rules to Protect Against Covid-19 At The Entrance And In The Church”, as provided by the Catholic Church of Montreal . (Click on the poster to enlarge)

June 17, 2020

The following is further to the June 13, 2020 news item regarding “Ontario eases restrictions on Wedding and Funeral Ceremonies”.

Refer to the attached French document from the Ministry of Health concerning the restrictions regarding marriages and funeral ceremonies. This document can be confusing, but the difference is between the words “Ceremonies and “Receptions.

For a wedding or funeral ceremony held indoors: a maximum of 30% of the capacity of your church.

For a wedding ceremony or funeral held outside: a maximum of 50 people.

For all wedding or funeral receptions held outside or inside the number is 10 people.

Restrictions for wedding and funeral ceremonies and receptions_June 13, 2020 (French)


June 13, 2020

Ontario Eases Restrictions on Wedding and Funeral Ceremonies!

Refer to the original “News Ontario” bulletin and additional information regarding Stage 2 Reopening in Ontario, on the following link:

June 13, 2020 – Restrictions Eased on Wedding and Funeral Ceremonies

The Ontario government is providing more flexibility on the number of attendees permitted at indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies, in recognition of the importance of being with loved ones during the moments that matter most.

Based on positive public health trends the government is extending the number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding or funeral ceremony to a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue.

Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place outdoors will be limited to 50 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.

“With recent progress to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are able to ease restrictions on these special ceremonies,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We have taken deliberate steps to increase testing and increase our ability to track and contain this virus. As we loosen these measures, I strongly urge everyone to remain careful and cautious as we are all still at risk.”

The changes came into effect on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. The maximum number of people allowed to attend indoor or outdoor wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10 people. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves in Ontario, further direction will be provided on capacity restrictions for weddings and funerals going forward.


June 9, 2020

We have good news to share today!!

The Ontario government announced a regional approach to Stage 2 of Phase 2 of reopening the province amid the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

As of Friday at 12:01 a.m., Ontario residents will be allowed to gather in groups of 10 — up from the previous five. Also places of worship will be allowed to reopen, however with physical distancing measures in place and allowing no more than 30 per cent capacity.

Certain public health units will also see the reopening of services such as hairdressers and barbers, restaurant patios and more outdoor spaces.

More detailed information concerning “church operations during pandemic emergency situations” is available on 

Approved Copy – ACBO Worshipsafe Guidelines

Please refer to the link below for the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services’ resource entitled Guidance on Health and Safety for Places of Worship During COVID-19.

Guidance on Health and Safety for Places of Worship During COVID-19

This document includes resource links, tips and best practices to help employers and workers prevent the spread of COVID-19 and work together to reopen the province.

Please note that much of what is covered in this resource is also in the Worshipsafe manual.


May 27, 2020:

As you already know from the news Wednesday May 27th, the Government of Ontario has extended the emergency measures until June 9, which means that churches are not about to reopen. We will advise further once we hear otherwise.

The State of Emergency declared by the Government of Ontario forbidding the gathering of more than 5 people  invites us to do our part to fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus. 

All masses remain cancelled until we receive clearance from the Government of Ontario. 


 

March 19, 2020:

As you know, everything is changing rapidly and new clearer directives from the Porcupine Health Unit have been issued on March 17, 2020 concerning churches. Our diocese is therefore following these new directives concerning Masses and all gatherings.  As of today’s date ALL MASSES and CHURCH ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

For your information, please review the following most recent directives/communique of March 17, 2020 from the Porcupine Health Unit :

Porcupine Health Unit Covid-19 March 17, 2020 Update


 

  • March 17, 2020 Bishop R. Bourgon  Communique – Directive for Preventive Measures To Stem the Spread of the Covid -19 Virus
  • March 13, 2020 – CCCB (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops) statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)  A unique and special time for prayer, hope and careTogether with all Canadians, the Catholic Bishops of Canada are following with deep concern the current developments in Canada and throughout the world regarding the rapid global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) which can in certain cases be the cause of serious illness and even death.The pandemic is now also spreading across Canada. This new virus is understandably a source of anxiety and fear for many. Practical information on responding to the virus and mitigating its spread is available from local public health officials, as well as from the federal and provincial governments, and should be heeded. Catholic faithful are invited to consult their local diocesan/eparchial websites for the preventive measures to be followed for pastoral care and liturgies. Concern for each person and the common good must always be paramount.As Catholics, we see in every illness a reminder of our own mortality, as well as an invitation to share in Christ’s ministry of healing. In the face of suffering and sickness, Christians are to be credible witnesses to the Lord’s enduring love, providence and power in our midst. His mercy and care are always present and available.We will soon be celebrating Easter – Christ’s triumph over death as the Lord of life and the source of ever-lasting hope. The spread of the COVID-19 virus is a moment for Catholics to offer special prayers of intercession for the healing of those infected, for the protection of the elderly and infirm who are at greatest risk, for the prevention of the disease’s spread, and for the courage and strength of care providers who minister to the sick, their families and those most in need.In keeping with Our Lord’s teaching, and as part of the sacred tradition for Lent, it is appropriate whenever possible that our prayer be strengthened by fasting, by other expressions of Christian charity or works of spiritual and corporal mercy.We entrust our country and especially those affected, as well as their loved ones and caretakers, to the powerful and maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and ours.
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