Mayor Richard Stewart is asking Coquitlam residents to stay home and isolate themselves as much as possible in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement posted to the city’s website Thursday, he said that for the most part, residents are doing a good job of following the directions from B.C.’s health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. But there are still some people who are not following the rules, he said.
“Let me be blunt,” he said. “We’ve all seen people out there ignoring the directives to keep our distance and avoid crowds.”
Concerns over large crowds gathering at parks prompted the city to shut down all sport courts, fields and skateparks on Monday after previously closing playgrounds. Off-leash dog parks were closed Tuesday.
“It’s more important than ever right now to be able to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise,” he said. “So this was a difficult but necessary decision because of those who weren’t doing it responsibly.”
• For up-to-date information on the city of Coquitlam’s COVID-19 response visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19, email email@example.com or call 604-927-4383.
See Mayor Stewart’s full statement below:
Dear Coquitlam residents,
Let me begin with heartfelt thanks to those who are doing their part during this health crisis -- the people avoiding crowds, the parents entertaining their kids at home, the stores enforcing social distancing, etc. And let me offer our thanks in particular to those who work in health care, retail, transportation or for other essential service providers; this also includes the City’s first responders and other staff who are supporting the City’s essential services. All of you are making a difference.
But now, let me be blunt. We’ve all seen some people out there ignoring the directives to keep our distance and avoid crowds. Because of this, the City was forced to close down our sport courts and fields, public washrooms, skateparks and dog parks this past weekend. It’s more important than ever right now to be able to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise, so this was a difficult but necessary decision because of those who weren’t doing it responsibly.
And now I am calling once again on all Coquitlam residents to do the right thing and follow the direction from the Provincial Health Officer: wash your hands, don’t touch your face and keep your distance.
As a city, Coquitlam has been in lock-step from the start with the advice of the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and other provincial officials. They’re the experts on public health and response to epidemics, and their advice is guiding every decision we make as we address each new change.
These are challenging times, but one silver lining has been the chance to see our community come together. To those who are reaching out to help others or are simply staying home, communicating with their neighbours, thank you on behalf of City Council and staff. And we should all feel grateful every day for those who are putting their health on the line to ensure access to health care, food, supplies and services we all rely on. The best way to thank them is to do whatever we can to avoid spreading the virus.
We can do this, Coquitlam. Thank you.