Margo Wagner. (100 Mile Free Press photo)

Does COVID-19 have you feeling like escaping to the cottage? Don’t do it, says CRD Chair

This will help avoid potentially overtaxing local healthcare services

The Cariboo Regional District chair Margo Wagner is strongly advising residents of all CRD districts to avoid self-isolating at recreational properties like summer cottages or cabins.

With COVID-19 shutting down large parts of the cities many of us call home, it can be tempting to want to get away from everyone and spend some time in nature. However, Wagner said that currently self-isolating or quarantining anywhere outside of your primary permanent residence is a bad idea.

“All of the public health ministers are now saying, and I know Dr. Bonnie Henry is saying it for sure, that if you own recreational property and it’s in a small community please stay at your permanent residence,” Wagner said.

As most people know, Wagner herself lives in Canim Lake a small community with many summer residences in the area. Lately, she herself has noticed there are a lot more lights around the lake than normal and while some are from people who winter in the south, she suspects others are from the Lower Mainland or Alberta. While usually, she welcomes everyone to the lake with open arms, now is not the time to be coming to communities like Camin Lake.

This is because generally local hospitals, such as the 100 Mile House District General Hospital, have a far lower capacity for patients then ones in bigger cities do. Wagner said that while 100 Mile has an emergency department and a tent set up to screen potential COVID-19 cases but said that anyone who tests positive will have to be transferred to Kamloops. This will involve an ambulance trip followed by totally sanitizing the interior of the vehicle, which is not a quick job, Wagner said adding that while that ambulance is on the road and being cleaned it’s not in service for local calls.

“I want to encourage people to just to give a little bit of forethought on the stress you could potentially put on the healthcare system in a small community like 100 Mile,” Wagner said.

She’d also like to reiterate that if you are returning from the US especially or anywhere abroad, you have to go straight home upon arriving in the country. Wagner said this does not include stopping at the liquor store or the grocery store as she knows they are those in the Cariboo more than willing to go to the store for you. Besides, there are fines that have been put in place federally for those who do not quarantine for two weeks.

Wagner said that we’re entering a critical stage of virus prevention in these next two weeks as it will be then if we’ll know the drastic social distancing measures have been effective. As such, she encourages everyone to continue to avoid all non-essential travel and outings until this situation is resolved.

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