A message from Wellesley Township Mayor Joe Nowak

[File Photo]

As your Mayor, I would like to thank all residents and businesses and our neighbours and friends throughout the Township of Wellesley for your co-operation and for coming together to support each other, all while practicing physical distancing during these unprecedented times as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

A heartfelt thank you and acknowledgment goes out to our frontline workers, many of whom reside in Wellesley Township, who are risking their lives every day to save others, and to essential services like grocery and hardware stores and all others who are providing important amenities. Let’s say a personal “thank you” to our grocery clerks the next time that we are purchasing.

Our township fire departments certainly boosted morale with their up-lifting parades throughout the township communities on April 6 – thank you!

I meet, virtually, twice a week with the Waterloo Region COVID-19 Control Group, where we are provided with updates to current conditions and  discuss ways and means to address the social and economic needs of residents in our communities. We monitor federal and provincial announcements to bring you the most up-to-date information. I want to assure you that all members of this committee are working diligently to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the Region of Waterloo.

We need to recognize that this is a serious virus that causes major health complications and many deaths around the world. It is imperative that we follow the directives established by Public Health in order to shorten and flatten the curve:

Stay home unless absolutely necessary (grocery shopping, medical appointments);

Practice physical distancing of at least six feet/two metres from others if you leave your home.

Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least two minutes.

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.

Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.

Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

If you are feeling unwell, physically isolate yourself from others and complete the online Ministry of Health COVID-19 self-assessment to determine how to seek further care.

If you have returned from travel outside of Canada, follow the government of Canada’s emergency order under the Quarantine Act to self-isolate in your home for 14 days.

The longer we ignore the directives, the stricter they will become and the longer they will be in place. The sooner we diligently follow the rules, the sooner we will get through this and be reunited with our family, friends and neighbours.

As mentioned, the Township of Wellesley and all Region of Waterloo municipalities have been meeting regularly as part of the Regional Pandemic Control Group to implement effective and coordinated measures to keep us all safe and healthy. A number of steps have been taken to protect the public and decrease the spread of the virus, including:

Closing all municipal facilities including municipal offices, arenas, community centers libraries, farmers’ markets and all communal or shared, public and private outdoor recreational amenities including, but not limited to, playgrounds, sports fields, dog parks, skate parks, community gardens and park shelters;

Bylaw enforcement staff are monitoring these public spaces and are authorized to issue fines under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to those not respecting and following physical distancing rules. The first level of these fines begins at $750.

Whether you are a business allowing your employees to continue working from home, a resident displaying encouraging messages to others in your window or driveway, a kind neighbour offering to grocery shop or pick-up medication, or sewing masks and gowns, thank you for doing your part of rising to this unimaginable challenge that we are experiencing.

During other times in our history, Canadians have been called upon to do extraordinary things, to step up and contribute to the well-being of their fellow citizens. The discipline that we show and the steps that we take will make a difference in the length of time that it will take to return to a sense of “normality.” Continue to stay in touch and encourage one another by phone, email, text, social media and teleconferencing software. We are all in this together and together we will come out of this stronger than ever!

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