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Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association calls halt to annual conference

Precautions over coronavirus will see event rescheduled for fall
Fort Frances mill 2
(File photo)

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) has cancelled its 2020 conference in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Slated to be held April 29 to May 1 in Fort Frances, the annual conference is an opportunity for municipal leaders in northwestern Ontario to gather and discuss issues of commonality across the region.

In a March 16 news release, NOMA said its board decided to cancel the conference in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus by minimizing social contact.

“Over the past few days, more information has come to light that we need to do more to flatten the curve,” said Wendy Landry, president of the NOMA.

“By cancelling events that bring more than 250 people together, we are doing our part to keep our municipalities and region safe.”

The cancellation comes following the news of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident of Fort Frances.

According to Dr. Ian Gemmill, the acting medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit, the person affected is an adult who recently returned from international travel.

“The individual was seen, assessed and tested in Winnipeg,” Gemmill said in a March 14 news release.

“This person is now recovering back at home in Fort Frances and is in self-isolation.

“To protect the health of the public and to prevent community spread, NWHU immediately began to identify potential sites of exposure and has ensured that the limited number of persons who have come in close contact with the person are in self-quarantine.”

Landry said NOMA plans to reschedule the conference for the fall, but noted those plans could change if strict protocols need to continue.