Friday March 13, 2020 ~ LANGFORD
by Mary Brooke ~ West Shore Voice News
As community spread of COVID-19 ramps up in BC, Langford Mayor Stew Young has made public comments that appear in many cases to be ahead of the curve.
Last week under Langford’s leadership, the Westshore Chamber of Commerce issued a letter on March 3 to Premier John Horgan expressing concerns that not enough is being done. A written response to the Chamber (with cc to Mayor Young) was issued March 11 outlining the various steps that BC is taking, many of which clearly take time to be organized and rolled out.
The Premier’s letter says the Province’s COVID-19 response is focussed in four key areas: protecting the population; protecting our most vulnerable citizens; protecting health workers; and supporting our health care system capacity.
Today March 13 as the rapidly evolving COVID-19 scenario unfolds — including Canada’s prime minister in 14-day isolation at home in Ottawa given that his wife has tested positive for COVID-19 — Mayor Stew Young has shared his views on what should be happening next to protect communities. He says that as drastic and difficult as they may be, these steps “are only way to slow down the spread of the virus and not overwhelm our health care system”
- “We must take control of this deadly COVID-19 virus and immediately shut down all schools, including colleges and universities, as has been done in Ontario and Quebec.”
- “This virus spreads too fast. We can’t wait for it to affect our students and all of our communities. We must take all available measures to slow it down.”
- “BC Ferries must confine people to their cars and have cleaners cleaning all high-touch parts of the ferries constantly. The “don’t stay on bottom deck“ rule should be abandoned. We have a serious world threat and it’s safer for everyone to stay in their cars than mingle on a deck or eating in a cafeteria. People should be allowed to isolate and stay in their cars on the lower deck.”
- “Stopping cruise ships was a start, but now the Clipper and COHO and Washington State ferries must be stopped. In addition, it would be prudent to stop bus tours as well or they risk infecting our workers.”
- Agreeing with federal and BC advisories, now: “Everyone who is sick or who have just returned from travel should stay home for 14 days.”
Langford has distributed a flyer in some locations around town with the five key World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for helping to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our west shore communities. That information and other Langford upates about managing viral spread in Langford are posted online: www.langford.ca/stayinformed
Event cancellations for Westhills Stadium include the Canada Soccer match that was set for March 27 & 31.
The CPL professional soccer league season does not start until April 11, with the first Pacific FC home game also scheduled for that date. “The CPL has established a working committee that has been monitoring the most recent developments and communicating with our Clubs regarding the appropriate measures to take as the situation continues to evolve.” No statement yet on whether the April 11 opening game date will be impacted by the COVID-19 scenario. Updates.
However, on March 9, the City posted: “With regards to the status of upcoming events being held in Langford, the City is liaising directly with Island Health, the Provincial Government and the appropriate sporting organizations. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates accordingly.” Since then, the Provincial Health Officer has advised, so far, to limit all events to 250 people.