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Coronovirus Update March 12th

Hello Ward 2! Many of you have been asking about the city response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s Ward 2 Town Hall with special guest Police Chief Cobey at the Evergreen Centre, we have an update on the City’s response to the Novel Coronavirus, brought to us care of Guelph’s CAO, Scott Stewart.

The Ward 2 Town Hall will now take place via an online event – we’re working out the details and will have more on this next week.

Now, for the update from our CAO. Thanks Scott! He Writes:

“With more headlines and global statistics being reported every day, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the potential spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The right information from the right sources can help address those feelings.

We’re preparing, not panicking.

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guelph Wellington, Guelph is preparing for potential disruptions like we would as part of any emergency preparedness plan.

We have not declared an emergency, but we are using the City’s emergency response procedures. Guelph’s Emergency Management Team is working closely with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital, and Guelph’s Family Health Team, and we are prepared to activate the Emergency Operations Centre if it is needed.

“Pandemic” means worldwide, not deadly.

Read the March 11 media briefing from the World Health Organization

Prevent the spread 

In addition to preventing the spread of colds, flus and diseases, we need your help to prevent the spread of rumours, fear and misinformation.

A message from the Public Health Agency of Canada

“At this time, Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

·       aged 65 and over

·       with compromised immune systems

·       with underlying medical conditions

While a COVID-19 outbreak is not unexpected in Canada, our public health system is prepared to respond.. PHAC, along with provincial, territorial and community partners, continues to reassess the public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.”

Get the latest facts from Health Canada

Screening at City facilities

All City facilities remain open, though we are asking people not to enter if they have symptoms or are likely to have been exposed to COVID-19. Signs issued by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health will be posted at all City facilities. 

Public meetings, events and cancellations

At this time, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has not suggested cancelling public meetings or events. Event organizers renting or using city facilities may choose to cancel their events. The City is reviewing options and may waive cancellation fees.

People invited or attending public events are asked to follow Health Canada’s recommendations to protect their health and prevent the spread of colds and diseases. 

Cleaning protocols and personal protective equipment

The City’s Emergency Management Team is working to provide hand sanitizer stations for the main entrances of any facilities that don’t already have them.

The City’s standard cleaning practices help prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other diseases. Because COVID-19 is now characterized as a pandemic, the City is enhancing cleaning practices in high-touch areas like public computers, public phones, elevator buttons, washrooms, public facing counters, door handles, and buses.

Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, ears and face.

Could that meeting be a phone call?

To minimize possible transmission of colds, flus and other diseases including COVID-19, please consider whether your next face-to-face meeting is necessary to accomplish your work.

Health officials have provided the following instructions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and other colds and diseases:

·       wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

·       avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;

·       avoid close contact with people who are sick;

·       cough or sneeze into a tissue, discard it immediately and wash your hands. Otherwise, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.

·       stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

Flu screening centre at 65 Delhi Street

The Ontario Ministry of Health has directed hospitals to plan for advanced screening centres, and the City is supporting their efforts by providing the space at 65 Dehli Street. The building will allow health professionals to screen for cases of COVID-19 before sending patients to the hospital for treatment.

The centre will not open unless there is a need in the community, we’re simply working to be prepared in the event of local cases.”

Hope that helps. Feel free to contact us at james.gordon@guelph.ca / 519-827-6481 and rodrigo.goller@guelph.ca / 226-821-1146

James & Rodrigo

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