The mayor of Campbell River is disappointed with what he calls “rumours and innuendo” being spread about the COVID-19 virus and its presence – or lack thereof – in Campbell River.
“I understand that people are worried,” Adams says, “but spreading rumours doesn’t do anyone any good.”
Adams was responding to Facebook comments on a Campbell River Mirror post regarding the closure of city and regional district facilities where a reader claimed the mayor knew about there being cases of COVID-19 in Campbell River when he made a statement to the contrary last Friday.
“We’re getting our information from the province’s Medical Health Officer and the health authority, and only when they tell us there are cases confirmed will we say that, too,” Adams says. “Just because someone says, ‘I heard from so and so that there are three cases,’ doesn’t make it fact, and it doesn’t do anyone any good to speculate like that, so I certainly won’t.”
He also wonders what having more information about the number of cases would change anything.
“Whether there’s no cases or three cases or 100 cases, I would ask the question, ‘How would that change what you’re doing?’” Adams says. “If you’re not taking measures to protect yourself now, why not? What good would it do to know your neighbour has it? Just wash your hands frequently and stay away from people, no matter how many cases there are.”
But he does understand the public’s desire to know, which is why, he says, he gets updates twice a day and will be issuing a statement daily with any new information available, as well as any changes the city is making in terms of service levels or facility access.
As of now, all city facilities are closed and as many staff as possible are working from home, Adams says.
“Obviously, we’ve got people out there working on sewer lines and city upkeep work, that kind of thing, but they’re generally working alone or in very small groups and taking all the necessary precautions, and anyone we don’t need out there is working from home,” Adams says, and staff is setting up conference calls and using other technological means to be in constant communication about how things are going, “including discussions surrounding what we’re doing about Monday’s council meeting.”
One thing Adams is sure of, however, is that there is going to be a significant impact on the local economy due to concerns about the virus. If people are taking proper precautions – one of which is staying home if possible – business is going to take a hit.
“Most of that impact is going to need to be figured out and dealt with at the provincial and federal level,” Adams says. “There are limited things we can do as a city, but I think what we can do as a community to help out small business is things like purchasing gift cards or pre-paying for services to sort of keep the flow of money happening, because it’s going to be a struggle for them.”
He also encourages all businesses in the community to think outside the proverbial box and find ways they can continue to serve the community and generate income.
But most importantly, he says, people need to take care of themselves and follow the recommendations of the health authorities.
“Get out and enjoy the Seawalk, but stay a couple of metres away from the person you’re walking by,” he says. “Do your social distancing, wash your hands and use your common sense.”