“All residents” need to take measures to prevent spread of COVID-19, health unit says

Social Distancing Concept

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is urging all area residents to take “social distancing” measures seriously to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement late Friday, the health unit says that while there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county as of 6:30 pm Friday, “all residents” need to take “the necessary precautions to not only protect themselves, but to protect their family, friends, colleagues and community members that may not be able to fight the virus.”

“In times like these, it is more important than ever that we all do our part to keep our community safe.”

The health unit says that “social distancing” involves taking steps to “limit the number of people that you come into close contact with,” such as:

  • Whenever possible, spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 2 metre distance from each other.
  • Avoiding non-essential trips in the community.
  • If you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • Avoiding visits to Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Supportive Housing, hospitals, Hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home.
  • If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
    Avoid sending children to daycare.
  • Limit or consider cancelling group gatherings of greater than 10 people.

“Please note that this is not meant to say you must stay confined in your homes. You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog.

“If you need groceries, go to the store, just be sure to follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette if you do so, and when you are outdoors, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 2 metres from those around you.”

The health unit also reminds residents that according to government of Canada orders, all international travellers must:

  • Self isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada
  • Self isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms like fever or new cough, regardless of travel.
  • Isolate and shelter in place if you are 70 years or older.

“You must not be at work if you fall under the above criteria.

“Businesses and individuals who do not follow orders issued by the province or their local public health unit can be fined or closed.”

The health unit says that “while you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others.”

“We are all in this together.”

For more information, visit the health unit website at www.rcdhu.com