Friday, March 5, 2021

Walpole Island officials issue update following provincial shutdown announcement

Officials at the Walpole Island Health Centre have issued an update following Monday’s announcement of a province-wide shutdown coming into effect on Boxing Day.

“Walpole Island has adopted the color-coded alert system introduced by the province and will be issuing community bulletins to announce current alert levels,” Walpole Island Health Centre said in a letter posted on social media.

“Although the lockdown begins on Boxing Day, health officials recommend that attendance at celebrations be limited to those who reside in the same household. Unfortunately, this affects the plans many people have for holiday dinners and gatherings, but we need to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the strain on the health care system that we depend upon.”

Walpole Island Health Centre officials pointed out the recent information released by Lambton Public Health, which identified that formal and informal gatherings resulted in multiple positive COVID cases throughout Lambton County.

“If we choose to ignore these requests for compliance, the mortality rate will rise,” Walpole Island Health Centre officials say.

“Historically, we have lived with restrictions imposed upon us, but now we must choose to comply to protect our elders, our children and our lives. The COVID-19 virus comes to the island with our own members. Please limit travel to essential needs only and strictly follow public health guidelines of hand sanitizing, social distancing and wearing a mask while completing necessary tasks.”

Walpole Island Health Centre officials say at this time, the bridge will not be closed.

“We implore retailers to be extra vigilant with COVID-19 protocol,” Walpole Island Health Centre officials say.

“Bridge traffic will be monitored to determine if access to Walpole Island will be restricted, not because others bring COVID-I9 to the island, but because an increase in unnecessary traffic puts a strain on our already limited resources.”

Walpole Island Health Centre officials added: “Presently, Walpole Island programs are closed for the annual holiday break, but essential staff will be asked to return when required. The lockdown will affect us all. Please watch for regular updates via flyer, social media and radio, as changes arise. Please, stay home, stay safe, be careful, save the hospital spaces for those who need them.”

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