No Salt Spring COVID-19 cases but preventative measures urged

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Salt Spring health practitioners have confirmed that as of Thursday, March 12, Salt Spring Island has no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and consider the island to be at low risk.

However, they note in a message to the community that 65 per cent of the island’s population is vulnerable so now is the time to take preventive measures.

In a public statement they stress:

We want to be as proactive as possible to protect everyone, and to that end, strongly recommend the following:

1. Gatherings/meetings and community events

– Consider cancelling all regular gatherings/meetings and postpone any planned major community events for the next two months (until mid-May).
– Wherever possible, replace gatherings/meetings with teleconferences and on-line meetings or other options that don’t involve groups of people confined in small spaces.

2. Older members of our community and those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions

– Avoid attending any community gatherings.
– Don’t fly or take any cruises for the next two months.

3. Businesses and Community Venues on Salt Spring

– As many of you are already doing, provide your staff and customers/clients with access to sanitizers.
– To protect your staff and customers, increase the frequency of protocols for disinfecting your premises.

4. Everyone on Salt Spring

– Our recommendations are guided by caution, preparedness and the need to avoid panic.
– Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds several times a day.
– Avoid touching your face.
– Keep a social distance from everyone else: an arm and a half’s length away.

Refer to recognized trusted agencies for facts. Several sites are posted below.

If you have questions, call 811 or the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) hotline number: 1.833.784.4397.

Credible internet links include (copy and paste from the list below):

BCCDC on Covid19: http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus

Island Medical Staff Website: https://medicalstaff.islandhealth.ca/news-events/coronavirus-updates

British Columbia Pandemic Preparedness: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/pandemic-influenza

World Health Organization Covid19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult the Canadian Travel Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Island Health MHO Newsletters: https://www.islandhealth.ca/about-us/medical-health-officers/mho-newsletters

Public Health Ontario Literature Review: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/articles

Update on new and existing COVID-19 cases in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0074-000470

Salt Spring Island Health Center COVID-19 information: https://ssihealth.ca/covid-19/

And finally…
We realize some of the measures we’re recommending may be inconvenient, but we believe they are in the best interests of the health and wellness of our community and everyone in it.
While regular social interactions are suspended, it’s important that we stay connected and support each other even if it’s just through a quick phone call, email or one-on-one visit between neighbours.
We will monitor the situation and adjust our recommendations as indicated.
In the meantime, please maintain good hygiene practices, support your friends and neighbours and refer to credible sources for current information.

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