I have spoken with many residents over the past couple of weeks who are very concerned with the potential for COVID-19 to spread from Ottawa to our community through various means such as restaurant visits, sports and recreation facilities, etc. I want the community to know that I am listening, and I take your concerns very seriously.
Premier Ford has strongly advised people from high-transmission areas not to travel to low-transmission areas. Both Carleton Place Town Council and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) agree with this advice.
“People from high transmission areas could potentially bring COVID-19 with them - possibly without knowing it as one is infectious for up to two days before symptoms develop,” says Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for LGLDHU. “Any place where people gather with close contact, less than 6 feet, is risky.”
While we recognize that some local businesses are accepting clients/customers from out of town, the Town of Carleton Place and/or Public Health do not have the jurisdiction to impose restrictions as to who can enter their place of business. The Health Unit continues to encourage all of our businesses to ensure all the required public health precautions are in place which will mitigate the risk, if all people adhere to them.
With that being said, we would be remiss if we did not mention that many Carleton Place residents are still traveling into the city to work, shop, and visit with family and friends. Any unnecessary trip into Ottawa has the potential to bring the virus back to our community.
As I have said before, we all have a role to play in ensuring the health and safety of our community. We must continue to be vigilant about proper hand washing, wearing masks when out in public, and respecting social distancing measures.
I understand the anxiety with our community being so close to a current ‘hot spot’. Many local businesses continue to offer curbside pickup and take out options if you don’t feel comfortable venturing out at this time. I have personally spoken with many businesses who are more than happy to accommodate the needs of the community and who, frankly, could use the continued community support now more than ever.
Please continue to be patient and kind with one another and with our local businesses who are struggling during this difficult time.