One of Burlington’s best qualities is the generosity of our people. I have had countless offers in the past few days from people who want to know how best to help others — to deliver supplies, to connect helpers with those in need. I expect nothing less from Canada’s best community and it fills me with pride.
These are challenging and unusual times we are facing. COVID-19 is a real threat to the health and well-being of people around the world, and we need to come together to minimize our risk, prevent overwhelming our healthcare system, and support our friends and neighbours.
Most importantly, we need to also be smart and safe in how we do it.
- Stay informed. There is an infinite amount of information out there, I know. It’s hard to absorb it all and separate fact from misinformation. Turn to trusted resources with advice from the experts. The World Health Organization. The Canadian Federal Government. The Ministry of Health of Ontario. Halton Region Public Health Department. These sites are updated multiple times daily and contain accurate and timely information and advice.
- New focused City webpage. The City of Burlington has also launched our own focused webpage to keep you informed on local updates including closures, essential services, how we are dealing with upcoming public meetings, and how to get help. Visit www.burlington.ca/coronavirus often as information is constantly changing, or follow our social media feeds at @cityburlington on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/cityburlington.
- Support social distancing. For now, the plain reality is that the more we stay home, the more we stay healthy. Avoid large crowds or events where you cannot maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others. If you’re an employer, encourage your employees to work from home if they can and take preventive and precautionary measures if they can’t. If you are feeling unwell, this becomes even more essential, not just for your own health, but to protect the health of others – especially those who are vulnerable. Remember that some people with this virus don’t show symptoms and can still be contagious.
- Follow expert healthcare advice. Wash your hands with soap and water, or alcohol sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Don’t shake hands with others. Rest. Eat well. Exercise. Avoid too much media if it causes you anxiety.
- Know who to contact. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, call 311 for proper instructions on how to self-isolate and get tested. That’s 311, not 911. Testing centres are being set up by the Ministry of Health and the Province announced more centres are set to be established across the province in the next few weeks.
- Don’t hoard supplies. Clearing out your local grocery store of all its frozen and canned foods, and tissues is neither necessary nor helpful to others. Take what you need and remember that restocking will happen. If you own or manage a store of this kind, please consider setting per-person limits on essential items to help mitigate hoarding.
- Check in on your circle of family, friends and neighbours. You can do this safely by picking up the phone, sending an email, or connecting on social media. If you need to drop off supplies, use social distancing guidelines when doing so and continue to employ handwashing/hand-sanitizer. The World Health Organization has indicated in its Q-and-A that this virus can live on surfaces, so if you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus.
Most importantly, I want to remind everyone to be kind. I know this is a time of anxiety and worry, but we must rise to the occasion and be our best selves. I saw a great hashtag from the City of Vancouver team that sums things up well: #coolheadscleanhandsopenhearts.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
PLEASE NOTE: To read the Mayor’s statement on what the city is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated page bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates that will be updated as new information becomes available.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-335-7738
- Government of Ontario: ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Canada: canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist