Blind River Mayor Sally Hagman spoke out about the town’s ongoing beautification efforts and pandemic concerns in her public message to council and residents watching the virtual council meeting Tuesday evening.
She also warned of the recent provincewide rise in pandemic variants and the provincial government’s lockdown restrictions now in place.
“Variants of COVID-19 are more contagious than the original virus and it’s hitting people harder.
“There is hope. More vaccines will be arriving in the weeks to come and as we are able to vaccinate more individuals, this hope will grow. When you are eligible, please do not delay. If you can help other people get vaccinated, please do it. Help them book an appointment. Help them get to an appointment.”
“The third wave is here, and it is being driven by variants of concerns (VOCs). These variants are circulating in our communities right now and they can spread rapidly. All public health measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission continue to apply to the new variants. We cannot let our guard down. We have to follow measures due to the higher risk of transmission in the VOC’s. VOC’s have made COVID-19 not only a more transmissible disease, but also a more dangerous one. Younger Ontarians are ending up in the hospital and our health system’s ability to deal with new cases is being affected,” she said.
“We have to protect our community to stop the surge from overwhelming our local hospital and frontline health care workers. This starts by continuing to follow public health measures carefully. Stay two metres apart from anyone you do not live with. And if someone in your household develops symptoms they should get tested straight away, and until the results are received, they and everyone else in that household must stay home. Avoid non-essential travel or receiving visitors, especially from other communities.
If you have a student who is returning home from college or university, plan ahead. Ask them to avoid risky or close contact exposures 14 days before travel. Postpone travel if they become sick. In case of a need to quarantine or isolate because of exposure or illness, have a plan and arrange a safe space to do so, ideally with a separate bedroom and bathroom,” the mayor stated.
“I’ve mentioned that spring is in the air, but so is the garbage along the sides of our highways and throughout the community. I would encourage everyone to take a bag on your evening walks and help in making Blind River beautiful. It’s actually a good feeling knowing that you are contributing to a cleaner Blind River,” the mayor said.
The residents in each of the communities have done incredibly well to respond to the Community Safety & Well-being Plan Survey so far, according to Mayor Hagman.
“The more results received, the more data the working group and partnering organizations have to develop a plan to serve our residents.”
“I would like to propose a friendly wager for ‘bragging rights’, the working group has an aggressive goal of 40 per cent resident participation. That would be roughly 900 completed surveys from Blind River,” she said. “I encourage our Blind River residents to complete the survey, a link to the survey can be found on the Blind River home page at blindriver.ca or from the poster in the weekly newsletter.