Every weekday at noon for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, a group led by Mayor George Pirie called the Timmins Health Table will issue an update.

Here are some of the messages coming out of the call on Friday, March 27.


Let’s start with the latest numbers on the COVID-19 situation from Porcupine Health Unit medical officer of health, DR. Lianne Catton.

“At the end of the day yesterday, we had 217 tested across the region with six positives, 130 negatives and 81 pending.”

The health unit serves the vast territory from Matheson to Hearst and Hornepayne, and Timmins north to the James Bay coast.


The phrase “social distancing” has been replaced by “physical distancing”. Health officials say they don’t want anyone to be socially distant from family and friends while we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patients at Timmins and District Hospital aren’t allowed visitors.  But communications specialist Kaileigh Russell notes that there are free phones in every patient room, and staff have i-pads to help them Facetime.

You can also give them a device.

“Phones or tablets can be dropped off at the front entrance,” Russell instructs, “and must be submitted in a sealed plastic bag with the Patient’s name and room number clearly indicated on it.”

Don’t forget the charger.


You’re bound to worry about the senior citizens in your life who live in apartments operated by the district social services board. Chief administrative officer Brian Marks says not to visit them, and to call them to reinforce the importance of not letting anyone into the building.

“To our seniors, we say please stay in your unit and do not visit your neighbours,” Marks states.  “We have closed the common rooms for a reason, and if you need something, call housing services and we will help you get it.”


Timmins Police Chief John Gauthier is dispelling a myth that his force is understaffed during the coronavirus crisis.

“We’re adequately staffed, more than adequately staffed at this point,” he told today’s Health Table update.  “We continue to provide policing services to our community.  Community safety and everyone’s well-being is paramount here, so we have a good handle on it at this point.”


The chief administrative officer at city hall has clarified Timmins Transit bus service during the pandemic situation.

Dave Landers was asked what hours “Sunday service” runs.

*Landers bus clarified “Eight-thirty start and a 6:30 last bus.  And we thanks our transit drivers for staying in place, providing a critical service to help a lot of people get around this community and help businesses continue to operate.”

Here is the raw audio from today’s update: