coronavirus

If you have a choice – stay home

Stay home during Covid-19

 

During the COVID-19 situation, the First Nation has developed a procedure of dashboard passes to limit access on the reserve road to our members. But they are concerned about their safety and that of their community due to a sudden influx of cottagers. The First Nation, as well as public health officials, are requesting that anyone who has a choice stays at home and does not visit their lake property.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada made this appeal recently:

“Urban dwellers/Cottagers should RESIST THE URGE to head to the cottage and rural properties as these communities have less capacity to manage COVID19.”

FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottager’s Associations) has explained on their website:

Our rural communities have reduced capacity to accommodate sudden changes in supply demands. Many of us wouldn’t ordinarily open the cottage until nearer to the May long weekend. As we already know from our local grocery experiences, parts of the supply chain are under strain. Additionally, rural hospitals have limited capacity and resources, and you should consider where your health needs can best be met, in an emergency situation.

Furthermore, Dr. Sean Moore, chief of emergency services at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital advises:

“It’s not essential to go into a camp if you have another home in Winnipeg. Please, I would plead with people to try and respect the fact that we’re all trying to do our best to muck through this time of COVID.”

The local hospital only has 4 ICU beds, and presently five of the hospital’s physicians are in quarantine with flu-like symptoms.

“Stay where your doctor is, because we can’t provide that care that’s going to be necessary,” he said. “If, for some reason, you need to get to the emergency department, it’s going to be a mess.”

FOCA also has issued the following guidelines for those already self – isolating at the cottage:

  • Provision yourself (with food, drink, gas, hardware supplies, prescriptions) before leaving your off-season community, so that you will not need to make stops along the way. This is not the time for our usual credo to “buy local” in cottage country.
  • Continue to follow all the principles of social distancing at the cottage! Although cottage country is usually the place for relaxed rules, that cannot be the case anywhere for the foreseeable future. Cottages are often the gathering places for multiple households in an extended family; for now, and possibly for some time to come, that could put everyone at risk.
  • Develop an exit plan with immediate family, in case you develop any indications of illness while at your waterfront property.

Summer Residents Requested to Delay Their Return

Summer Residents Requested to Delay Their Return

Mayor Daniel Reynard joins Premier Doug Ford, Member of Provincial Parliament, Greg Rickford and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Doctor Theresa Tam asking our summer residents to stay in their permanent home and not come to their cottages and summer residences.

Health experts advise that if we want to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 everyone needs to stop moving. Stay put and do not put any more exposure to anyone anywhere. The most reliable way to do this is to simply stay home.

“This is a difficult request to make to our valued summer residents and visitors. They are vital to our business community and as spring starts to appear, become a valued part of our community. Asking visitors and summer residents not to come to Kenora is everything opposite that Kenora has been working for, but we really need everyone to just stay home. It is key to making the difference in the spread of this virus by what we have seen in other countries. We simply need everyone to follow the direction of the health experts. The bottom line is our local health care providers will not have the resources or capacity to meet the demands of a growing summer population” states Mayor Reynard.

While everyone wants to resume their regular activities and enjoy the things we have always done, we all need to be unified during this time and accept the critical advice the health experts are telling us. If we do this now, the sooner life can resume to activities we all enjoy. Now is the time to act, but we must act together. Please summer residents and visitors, stay home, and members of our community, please do the same and refrain from any travel outside of our community that is non-urgent.

“Public health officials at the federal, provincial and local level, across the country have strongly stressed that all Canadians must do their part to keep the surge of novel coronavirus as low as possible by staying at home, unless absolutely necessary”, said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Northwestern Ontario. “In that way, the transmission of the virus to others will be slowed, and lives can be saved. This measure applies as well to people who own recreational properties in the northwest, no matter where their primary residence may be: stay at home, and keep the virus at bay. If all Canadians comply with this measure, including seasonal residents of Northwestern Ontario, we will have a chance to reduce the surge that will affect all health services, including public health and would have such a devastating effect on resources for the critically ill, which some of us may need over the next several months. Even more important, our communities in the northwest do not have the resources to deal with illness in seasonal residents.”

“This is a serious issue for Northwestern communities. We don’t have hospital capacity and the public health risk is too high for people to make leisure visits or open their camps early,” said Minister Greg Rickford. “I am working closely with my provincial colleagues to review all options necessary to protect Kenora-Rainy River’s health care and supply networks.”

This urgent request also pertains to our citizens travelling to other areas of Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba. Please stop moving for all non-urgent travel, you are putting everyone at risk by continuing this non-essential movement.

Mayor Reynard notes that when we beat this virus together by practicing all of the direction of our health care experts, which staying home is the biggest factor, we will welcome everyone back to Kenora with open arms.

Stay well.  Stay home.

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