Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health ‘pleading’ with snowbirds to self-isolate as COVID-19 cases mount in province

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Listen to the doctor’s concerns, above, about the hundreds of thousands of returning snowbirds and the concern they may not comply with the 14-day self-isolation rule.

CORNWALL — The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to remind residents returning from international travel to self-isolate for a period of 14 days as soon as they enter the country. More than that, the region’s medical officer of health is “pleading” with them to comply.

This includes snowbirds returning to Canada over land, by vehicle.

“I am pleading residents returning from international travel to go straight home upon their return to Canada,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. “It is imperative for all travellers to not make any stops on their way home. Self-isolating is the only measure that will help prevent the further spread of the disease and protect the community from COVID-19.”

Returning travellers are asked to avoid going shopping upon their return, even for the essentials like groceries and medication. Instead, “they should ask a friend, family member or neighbour to get the essentials and drop them off in front of their door,” says the EOHU.  Only after the people handling the delivery have dropped off the items should the self-isolating returnees open their door to retrieve it.

But the EOHU also reminds the general public that everyone must adopt infection prevention measures, despite not having travelled recently or been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally within the last 14 days.

“While I acknowledge that social distancing takes a toll on the public, I am still recommending that people stay home when possible and avoid non-essential outings,” says Dr. Roumeliotis. “Besides protecting your family, you’ll be doing your part to keep the most vulnerable members of your community safe.”

Seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions are at an especially high risk of suffering from complications due to COVID-19.

Bobby Bedard, owner of The Pizza Castle in Morrisburg, created an amazing and very popular video discussing his concerns about recent travellers not self-isolating. He decided to speak out after a local female customer walked into to his store after just returning from Florida. The pizza joint has also taken extra precautions towards their staff and customers by sanitizing the money.



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