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COVID-19 Resource Page

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COVID-19 Resource Page

Information on COVID-19 and Travel in Sunset Country • Credit: FDA.gov

Keeping You Safer While Travelling in the Region

This article is intended as a resource page for people travelling through Northwestern Ontario's Sunset Country Region



Introduction

COVID-19 is an unprecedented event that is affecting the health of individuals across the globe. While Canada has done relatively well containing the spread of the disease, we need to remain vigilant and follow recommended practices from Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health. This article has been written as a resource for people who are travelling to or considering travel to Northwestern Ontario. 

Regional Situation

Sunset Country is located in the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) area. The number of positive cases in the area has been and remains low during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August 17, 2020, all businesses and organizations in the Northwestern Health Unit area must adopt a policy that requires all members of the public and employees who enter or remain in an enclosed public space to wear a mask or face covering. Please see this link for more info on mask requirements.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 in the region, feel free to contact the NWHU COVID-19 Hotline at 1-866-468- 2240 from Monday to Friday 8:30 am-4:30 pm CST. You can also visit the Northwestern Health Unit’s website here.

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Sunset Country

As of August 24, 2020, there were 41,507 confirmed cases in Ontario and only 45 in the NWHU area. While the Provincial rate is 279.2 per 100,000 people, the rate is 49 per 100,000 in Northwest Ontario. The remote, sparsely populated area of Sunset Country is a factor in these numbers.

Travel Information Centres

There are a number of Travel Information Centres in Ontario's Sunset Country and most are operating this summer. Here's where they are located:

Atikokan: The Centre located on Highway 11 is currently open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Washrooms are available on site. A mask is required and social distancing protocols are in place (maximum 3 people in the centre at one time). Visit Tourism Atikokan or call them at (807) 597-4492

Tourism Dryden: The travel info centre is located right next to Max the Moose on Highway 17. The hours of operation are 9 am - 4 pm. Washrooms are available on-site and masks are required for all persons entering the building. For more info visit Tourism Dryden or call (807) 223-2622. 

Sioux Lookout: The Sioux Lookout Chamber operates the tourist info centre located on Highway 72 across from the Sunset Inn & Suites. Hours are 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 9 am - 3 pm on weekends. No washrooms are currently available on site. Masks are mandatory when inside the info centre. Visit their website or call (807) 223-2622.

Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls: The tourist information centre for the communities - both located right on Highway 71 - is located in the Northern Ontario Sportsfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows. Hours of operation are 8 am - 4 pm Monday to Friday and washrooms are available on-site. Masks are mandatory and there is a limit of 10 people in the centre at a time. For more information visit their website or call (807) 226-5293.

Kenora: Located at 931 Lakeview Drive, the Wilderness Discovery Centre is open Sunday - Thursdays  9 am - 4 pm and on Friday and Saturday 9 am - 6 pm. Washrooms are available on site. There is a capacity limit of 10 people in the centre at any one time and visitors are asked to sanitize their hands and wear a mask when entering the building. Visit Tourism Kenora or call (807) 467-4637. 

Red Lake: As a result of a severe weather event in 2019, the Red Lake Heritage centre which normally serves as the municipality's tourism info centre is closed for 2020. An alternative contact is the Municipality of Red Lake or (807) 735-2096.

Ignace: The tourist info centre is located at 34 Main St (Hwy 17) and is open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 4:30 pm (closed weekends). Washrooms are available in a separate building and are open 7 days a week. There is a maximum of 2 people allowed at a time in the building and visitors are required to wear maks and hand sanitize. For more information visit the Ignace website or call (807) 934-2202.

Ear Falls: Tourism Information can be found inside the Township Office located at 2 Willow Crescent. Washrooms are available and the office hours are Monday to Friday 9 am - 4 pm (closed on weekends). Masks are mandatory when entering the building and visitors are asked to sanitize their hands. For more information visit the Ear Falls website or call (807) 222-3624.

Emo: Open until Labour Day, the Emo Museum operated by the Rainy River District Women's Institute is also the town's tourist information centre. Open daily 9 am - 3 pm. It is located at 21 Tyrell St just behind the OPP station.  No washrooms are available.

Rainy River: Due to COVID-19, the travel info centre and museum in Rainy River are closed this season.

Fort Frances: The tourist information centre is closed due to COVID-19.

The good news is that you can travel safely across the region and enjoy the great outdoors this Summer and Fall. 

Mask Requirements

Effective August 17th, 2020, a mandatory mask order for enclosed public spaces was introduced by the NWHU. There are a number of exceptions and the NWHU has posted an information page for the public. Anyone entering a public space that is enclosed is required to wear a mask. Need a mask, here is a good article on made in Northern Ontario masks.

Returning Home

Your chances of getting COVID-19 while visiting Northwestern Ontario are low, however, if you do have any symptoms upon returning home, ensure you do the following to protect yourself and others:

  • Self Isolate
  • Call your doctor or telehealth number
  • Arrange to get tested. 
  • Continue to self-isolate until your test results come back

Here is a good resource page for everything COVID-19

COVID-19 Alert App

The Government of Canada has developed an app for mobile phones that can alert you to possible exposures to COVID-19. The app does not track you, it is designed with features that protect your personal privacy. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Learn more here.

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In Sunset Country, you'll find the best fishing in the world.

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