Mayor compels public to help stop the spread of Coronavirus

(Gazette file photo)

SARAH WILLIAMS

STAFF WRITER

Mayor Steve Ferguson has made several statements in this past week regarding the Coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic. In these, Ferguson has urged those returning from international travel to self-isolate immediately and for everyone to consider those most vulnerable.

As Coronvirus spread amps up, so have Ferguson’s statements. On Tuesday, the Mayor issued a press release, with the support of County Council, asking all roofed accommodations- including hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and short-term accommodations- to cancel bookings effective immediately until the May long-weekend.

In the spirit of community, Ferguson also asked those accommodation owners to consider opening up their spaces to health-care workers.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

This falls on the heels of the provincial government ordering an issue that all non-essential businesses shut down at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24th.

As of Tuesday, Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health reported five lab confirmed cases of COVID-19, three being attributed to travel from outside of Canada and two coming from close contact with someone carrying the virus.

For up-to-date reports on COVID-19 in the Quinte area, visit hpepublichealth.ca/the-novel-coronavirus-2019ncov/

I implore all operators of roofed accommodations – hotels and motels, bed and breakfast establishments, and short-term accommodations – to cancel all bookings from today until the May long weekend, if you have not done so already. I encourage you to consider offering your vacant accommodations to doctors, nurses, and other front-line health-care workers who want to self-isolate to protect their families,” stated Ferguson.

Ferguson stressed that to “flatten the curve” requires cooperation from everybody and that it is our social responsibility to ensure the continued well-being of those demographics specifically susceptible to this virus.

“Now is the time to discourage all non-essential travel in our community,” said Ferguson. “Together we must take responsibility to do everything in our power to ‘flatten the curve’. Your cooperation is necessary and vital especially considering that Prince Edward County has a higher percentage of people over the age of 65.”

Everyone must do their part, said Ferguson. Not only did he stress the need for those having travelled internationally to self-isolate, but also those who may have passed through any one of the four domestic airports currently accepting International Flights.

In those cases, Ferguson said “you must self-isolate.”

And if you are living with someone or picked someone up from the airport who falls into the above category, please self-isolate for 14 days as well,” he added.

The message from Ferguson could perhaps best be summed up by his statement, “stay your distance; stay well.”

He urged everyone to practice social distancing, while hand washing regularly and using hand-sanitizer.

For provincial updates, please see the Ministry of Health website here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-health