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The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - 2020-03-25

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Port aux Basques mayor urges citizens to be diligent

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JOAN CHAISSON

PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. — Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer, like other municipal leaders around the province, is stressing to local citizens the need to take precautions to ensure the COVID-19 virus does not spread to local communities. “It is serious. Our dilemma as a community will be getting people to act in relation to the key components of handwashing and self-isolation,” Spencer told Saltwire Network. He said while self-isolation will bring its own stressors, in this community of older seniors the citizens of Port aux Basques have no choice. “We see what has happened elsewhere. We see what happened in Italy. Realistically, we are not prepared from a reactionary medical point of view. We have tremendous medical personnel however lack the resources to deal with a large outbreak.” Spencer asks citizens to be diligent and follow the advice of the province’s chief medical officer. Avoid large groups. Minimize vulnerability by keeping our distance. “Let’s hope we can weather this storm and, after it becomes a bad memory such as SARS or H1N1, we can honestly say we did our part to slow it down.” The town closed the Bruce II arena to public use, as of 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Potluck lunches that were planned for the local winter carnival have been cancelled. The Salvation Army and Wesley United Church in Port aux Basques have also discontinued services until further notice. “I would like to encourage everyone to be strong. It is time for us all to work together. A time to continue following guidelines outlined by Health Canada. A time to self-isolate,” said the mayor. “Your town, our churches, service clubs, and local business have taken leadership roles in the health and safety of our citizens. “This is not a time for panic but a time for common sense. We need to stop this virus from reaching our love ones.” For more updates on news about COVID-19 in Atlantic Canada, visit: www.saltwire.com

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