Langford Mayor Stew Young says urgent measures need to be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)

Island mayor calls for urgent measures to prevent spread of COVID-19

Langford’s Stew Young says schools should close, ferries should stop

Langford Mayor Stew Young says he believes urgent additional precautionary measures need to be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.

An e-mail statement from the City of Langford says Young believes schools, including colleges and universities, must be shut down immediately as they have been in Ontario and Quebec.

“The virus spreads too fast, we can’t wait for it to affect our students and all of our communities,” the statement says. “We must take all available measures to slow it down.”

The statement continues to say that BC Ferries must confine people to their cars and ensure all high-touch parts of the ferries are cleaned constantly. In addition, the rule that doesn’t allow people the stay on the bottom deck should be “abandoned.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Province bans large gatherings in B.C.

“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,” the statement says. “Please get someone in federal government to wake up and let people isolate and stay in their cars on the lower deck.”

Young says the ferries between the Island and Washington State must be stopped and says “it would be prudent to stop bus tours as well” to avoid workers getting infected.

Those who are sick or who have just returned from travel should stay home for 14 days, the statement says.

As of March 12, the province confirmed seven more people in B.C. have been infected with the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 53 cases and one death.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a pandemic on Wednesday and since then, major sports organizations such as the NHL and NBA have postponed games until further notice. Larger events have also been cancelled.

READ ALSO: Canada will ban cruise ships with over 500 people from docking until July

Provincial health officials recommend people don’t travel outside of Canada.

In Victoria, large events, programs and gatherings are taking a hit after the province directed organizers to cancel events with more than 250 people in attendance.

Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau said no cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1.

The University of Victoria has also suspended international travel for students and staff and cancelled large gatherings including classes with more than 250 students.

While Young said the steps highlighted in the statement are “drastic and difficult,” he said. They “are the only way to slow down the spread of the virus and not overwhelm our health care system.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

37-year-old man missing from Cobble Hill area

He is described as a First Nations man, 5 foot 8 in height

Most Read