Campbell’s Bay, April 3, 2020— Message from Jane Toller, Warden of the MRC Pontiac – COVID-19
We learned yesterday, April 2nd, that we now have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Pontiac. This is a reminder that this highly contagious virus can be anywhere and that we must adjust our behaviour accordingly to stop it from spreading.
This new development makes it necessary to enforce even stricter prevention measures in our region, and remind everyone again that the safest place to be is in our homes. Every time we leave the house for non-essential reasons, we are putting ourselves and our neighbours at risk. We must also remain in the Pontiac. I, for one, will not leave the Pontiac until this crisis is over and I encourage everyone to do the same.
I can assure you that with every case of COVID-19 infection so far, including those in the Pontiac, the CISSS has identified the source and contacted every person who has come into contact with the infected person. Those infected are immediately placed in quarantine. When hospitalisation is necessary, patients are transferred to city hospitals that have the resources to contain the virus. They are not treated at the Shawville Hospital. We need to prevent contamination of our community hospital at all cost so that we can continue to take care of our regular patients.
As for restricted access between regions announced this week, we are fortunate to have been chosen as one of 13 territories in Québec to have stricter protection measures put in place. I’m grateful to the Premier for understanding the importance of protecting the Outaouais territory, and for including the Pontiac in that decision. Now, we have a chance to fight this battle, slow the spread of the virus, and eliminate it as soon as possible.
The Premier has also ordered the police to be less tolerant of anyone that does not comply with these measures and apply fines of up to $6000 for non compliance. It has come to my attention through social media that some people in the Pontiac are not taking these measures seriously, and are even bragging about successfully making non-essential trips to Ontario. These non-essential trips have to stop and we need to pull together! This is exactly what we don’t want happening. These people are not only putting their lives at risk, but they are also potentially bringing the virus back to the Pontiac. As the Premier has stressed, it is time to wake up and not only think of ourselves, but think of our neighbours and our community as a whole.
Lastly, I would like to mention that there are daily updates on ottawariver.ca about water levels. I encourage everyone to visit this website. Levels are looking good so far, and we can be reassured to know that the reservoirs are ready to take in the spring melt.