Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said March 13 the city is monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and has a pandemic plan in place in case COVID-19 comes to Vernon. (file)

‘We are in this together,’ Vernon mayor says amid coronavirus concerns

City of Vernon has pandmeic plan in place in case COVID-19 reaches town

The City of Vernon is equipped with a Pandemic Plan in case COVID-19 makes its way to town.

Mayor Victor Cumming said the city is monitoring the situation and will continue to work diligently to address the potential coronavirus situation locally.

“The City of Vernon has a Pandemic Plan and is continuing its planning efforts as information about COVID-19 evolves,” the mayor said. “We are following the direction of provincial and federal health authorities, tracking the issue and adjusting response plans as necessary.”

The city is also maintaining close contact with the Interior Health Authority and Emergency Management BC.

“The safety and well-being of our residents, businesses, staff members and visitors is our top priority,” Mayor Cumming said.

Several community events were cancelled or postponed after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry directed organizers to cancel gatherings expecting more than 250 attendees on March 12.

“This is unfortunate news,” the mayor said. “However, we must recognize that difficult decisions must be made during this time.”

The mayor urges residents to use reliable information regarding the COVID-19 situation, including IHA, the B.C. Ministry of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Practising sound personal hygiene, hand washing, keeping immediate environments clean and staying home while sick is the advice given by health authorities and the City of Vernon echos that advice.

The City of Vernon will be posting links on its website so residents can access up-to-date information on the situation and “how together, we can reduce the potential impact and spread of infection,” the mayor said.

”Thank you for your interest in protecting your health, your family and your neighbours,” Mayor Cumming said on behalf of the city.

“We are in this together.”

As of March 12, there were 53 confirmed cases including four individuals who have recovered and one death.

To date, there have been two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Interior Health region, the first was announced Feb. 14, the second presumptive case was identified Saturday, March 14.

Interior Health doesn’t release personal details, including location, for privacy reasons.

READ MORE: B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada in coronavirus pandemic

READ MORE: BCHL suspends 2020 playoffs until further notice


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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