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Snowbirds must self-isolate, says chief medical officer with North Bay-area health unit

'They are asking them to self-isolate for 14 days. Will they all? Likely not, but I am hoping they have some social responsibility to do that'
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20200318 Jim Chirico
Dr. Jim Chirico speaking during Tuesday's local COVID-19 press conference. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

NORTH BAY — Colleen Point says she has never been happier to be on Canadian soil. 

The Chippewa Secondary School teacher got home in the early morning hours on Tuesday after a long drive home from Florida. 

She insists she will follow the 14-days of isolation set out by the government for anyone coming back into Canada from international countries.  

"Complete, thorough social isolation and social distancing with no short cuts must happen immediately and consistently if we are to avoid overload of our health care system and dampen the spread of this virus," Point said via social media. 

"We must change our mindset from me to the good of the collective we. As Snowbirds and spring breakers return to Ontario, our risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19 is going to explode. Please be vigilant, talk to your adult children about the risks/strategies and stay home! Our personal choices carry tremendous weight and will directly impact our future. We can get control of this through intentional strategies."

Dr. Jim Chirico, chief medical officer with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, addressed the issue during Tuesday's COVID-19 press conference at City Hall.  

He says forcing people to isolate cannot be policed but he hopes those who have or who are returning from international destinations will respect the new 14-day isolation protocol.   

"We really rely on people talking to each other respectfully and saying, 'you may be putting some of us at risk.,'" said Chirico. 

"They are asking people coming from international countries, they are asking them to self-isolate for 14 days. Will they all? Likely not, but I am hoping they have some social responsibility to do that."

Chirico says that includes frontline workers who are coming back from holidays too. 

"We need these people on the frontlines, we need to keep them healthy so I am really hoping - and we cannot police everybody."  




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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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