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Local leaders communicating from home

Local leaders communicating from home

With health authorities urging that public interactions be avoided during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers and SCRD Chair Lori Pratt are delivering regular YouTube and Facebook updates to the community. Both started this practice over the past week. They have continued with postings streamed from their homes, as both are in self-isolation due to recent exposure to international travellers. Each has stated that it is essential that they restrict going out in public at this time but feel it is important to remain engaged with area residents.
“Community members need to continue to hear from their leaders, even if it is to say that nothing has changed. The information we provide day to day lets our community know that we are responding to the COVID-19 situation collaboratively,” said Siegers.
Both local government leaders have been highlighting information from the daily community bulletin of the SCRD Level 2 Emergency Operations Centre. As of March 23, its bulletin indicated that there are no confirmed cases of community transmission of the disease on the Sunshine Coast.
The importance of social distancing has been a continuing focus of the updates. These measures are detailed as avoiding close contact with people outside of those that you live with, vigilant hand washing, avoiding touching your face and covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Recognizing the challenges that avoiding being within two metres of other people brings, on March 22, Siegers said “if you are not being inconvenienced, then you are not taking it serious enough”.
Pratt’s message of March 23 stressed the importance of keeping young people safe by ensuring they also restrict visiting with others from outside their residences. She also reiterated messaging from Sunshine Coast Tourism, asking those that do not reside in the area to delay visits to the Coast for non-emergency purposes until further notice.

SCRD Chair Lori Pratt, who is self-isolating, delivers COVID-19 information from her kitchen. YouTube frame grab

In her postings, Siegers has let the public know that VCH representatives are updating Coast local government leaders on the situation locally and within its region three times per week. These briefings have included the news that a local assessment clinic for those with moderate respiratory symptoms has opened. This clinic will be staffed seven days a week by local physicians. Appointments will be required and can be requested by telephone at 604-740-1252.
Connie Jordison

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