Mayor Ken Popove, chairing the March 17, 2020 council meeting, where he stated there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this point in Chilliwack. (City of Chilliwack)

No confirmed COVID-19 cases in Chilliwack at this point: Mayor

But Mayor Popove ‘disheartened’ by hoarding in Chilliwack, urges residents to be ‘good neighbours’

Mayor Ken Popove concluded the afternoon council meeting Tuesday with the statement that there are no “confirmed cases” of COVID-19 in Chilliwack.

“Just to confirm we do not have any confirmed cases here in Chilliwack at this point – let’s try to keep it that way,” Popove said.

A written statement from the mayor on the COVID-19 crisis was issued Tuesday morning from city hall, calling for calm, and urging everyone to follow the provincial and federal health guidelines about hand-washing and social distancing.

“With the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are receiving new information at a rapid pace and I know that in the upcoming days and weeks we will be faced with many new experiences and challenges,” Popove said in his statement.

“I also know that as a community, we can rise up and meet those challenges head on. By taking precautions and exercising common sense, we will move forward together. “

Mayor noted that City of Chilliwack has been taking an aggressive, pro-active approach to the “continually evolving” situation with cancellations, closures and deep cleaning.

“We continue to carefully evaluate all city-run events and programs under this lens, which is why we decided to close our recreation centres until further notice. In addition to helping limit person-to-person contact, our facilities will undergo enhanced cleaning during the closures.

Public hearing and information meetings at City Hall have been cancelled until mid-April, at which point they will re-evaluate.

READ MORE: What’s closed and cancelled in Chilliwack?

Mayor Popove urged folks to stay home, check in on their neighbours with compassion, and avoid hoarding.

”I also encourage you to be good neighbours during this difficult time. Check in on your elderly neighbours and see if they need groceries. Connect with your loved ones to make sure they are staying healthy. Reach out to your friends and family if you need assistance.

“I have been very disheartened by the acts of hoarding that have happened in Chilliwack and across Canada. We are all in this together and hoarding supplies does not benefit us as a community.

“Please only purchase what you need and do what you can to support your local businesses during this difficult time.

Making health and wellness a priority right now is what matters, Popove said.

“In Chilliwack, we are fortunate to have over 100 parks and trails to explore. If you are well, take a walk on the Vedder Rotary Trail or check out the Chilliwack Community Forest. There is enough room to maintain good social distance while still taking the opportunity to exercise in a safe manner in many of our outdoor spaces.

“If you don’t feel well, please stay home for the 14-day self-quarantine period. Together we can make a positive difference.”

He ended his report by saying he originally envisioned doing a weekly COVID update, but now thinks an hourly one might make more sense since things keep evolving.

“It’s a different time,” he concluded. “But we will get through this.”

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