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COVID-19: Telephone alert #7

The following message was sent by phone to subscribers of the CSL emergency alert system on Sunday, May 10, 2020, at 3:30pm.

This is Mayor Mitchel Brownstein with an update on the situation in Côte Saint-Luc. On March 17th when Côte Saint-Luc imposed a state of emergency, we knew even before we had one case of COVID 19 that our population would be hit hard. We took a bold decision and we saved lives.

However, as of Thursday the department of health website indicates that 19 people have died from the virus in Côte Saint-Luc.  Each one was a parent, sibling, relative or friend to so many.   Our deepest condolences for their loss, too soon, of the love, friendship and guidance that each one provided. And then on Friday my cousin Mark Shapiro, aged 62 died of the virus as well. Mark was a bright light to all who knew him, always smiling and asking how each member of my family was doing. Taken too soon and always to be remembered dearly.

Elementary schools  and some businesses are re-opening shortly. I have  concerns about the province’s plan. I don’t want you to be afraid. I’m not.  I’m determined that together we can make this transition a successful one, but I need your continued support.  

As the province rolls out its plans to relax the rules of confinement, the City also has to act responsibly and we will need to implement a comprehensive set of measures to slow down transmission and save lives. Tomorrow at our Public Council meeting we will be giving a notice of motion to do just that..

The government’s decision to re-open some sectors does not mean that things are going back to normal.

You still can’t visit other people’s homes. Your kids still can’t play outside with other kids. Our playgrounds are still closed. You still need to maintain a distance of 6 feet, or 2 meters, from others. Walk in the direction of traffic, especially when entering an underpass where you cannot maintain social distancing rules.You should still work from home, whenever possible. The recommendations for those 60 years old and over or immunocompromised have not changed. Wearing masks shows your respect and concern to protect others from you—in case you have the virus but don’t know it yet. 

Our city buildings are being retrofitted with plexiglas at service counters, hand sanitizer dispensers and state-of-the-art hand washing stations in common areas. 

If Quebec won’t legislate to provide the necessary precautionary rules needed to open safely, we will. Our notice of motion at tomorrow’s Public Council meeting will start the process for city legislation. In the meantime I am counting on you. Always have hand sanitizer available and remember to use it and do not touch your face.  Wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Nearly half of our population lives in residential apartments or condos. Condo associations, building owners and commerce need to think about how you will adapt to re-opening.  Don’t wait for your governments. Act now. Business can only succeed if residents are comfortable to come shop.   Stores can use forehead thermometers to check the temperature of patrons, and staff should ask security questions to each customer before allowing entry.  Appropriate signage should be posted at entrances with all rules.  Condos and apartments should install hand sanitizer dispensers on every floor next to elevators and at the front door. Masks should be required to be worn, especially in elevators and common areas. I am calling on you to retrofit your buildings now. 

I know that life is changing. I know it’s hard to take. But do realize that all your actions have helped keep us safe. I’ve spoken directly with emergency physicians at the Jewish General Hospital. They have told me that at the start of the pandemic, our residents took up a large percentage of emergency beds. Today, our residents represent a small minority. Whatever we have been doing is working. I am absolutely certain that we will look back on these days and be thankful for all we did to help save each other.

On behalf of our city council and staff, be well and stay safe.