Is Cornwall’s COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic Drill Coming to a Close? LTE 030320

Is Cornwall’s COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic Drill Coming to a Close?  LTE 030320

Dear Editor,

From shortly after midnight, and into the early hours of March 6, 2020, the Diamond Princess evacuees hope to leave the Cornwall Nav Centre quarantine facility and take back their lives.

And if we’ve dodged a bullet, it’s chiefly because nobody was infected to start with, and it was “in spite of” mismanaged responses by government at both ends of this international cockup.

First Japan bumbled its response to a COVID-19 outbreak by creating a floating virus incubator, then Canada stumbled about with a woefully slow rescue of its citizens from that disease ridden ship, and finally, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit fumbled its credibility by playing political hide and seek with information about the Cornwall  COVID-19 quarantine operation.

– The EOHU downplayed the notion of the virus travelling with evacuees, contrary to Public Health’s assertion that travellers coming from similarly infected areas continue to be at an increased risk for COVID-19.

– The EOHU was also insistent  that the virus was not transferred through the air, this time at odds with World Health Organization concerns over aerosol transmission prompting their advice for medical workers to use respirators.

– The EOHU even resisted the notion that it could be transmitted between individuals without apparent symptoms, contrary to Chinese officials well aware of the situation on the ground, in the most heavily infected area in the world..

Hopefully, as this (for a time) winds down, there will be and have been,  lessons learned. Maybe this has all been a trial run, and the Cornwall Nav Centre will be Ontario’s go to quarantine facility, a fixture in the community similar in scope to the old St. Lawrence Sanitarium just minutes down the road.

If that is to be, one trusts that unsuitable elements of the facility be reviewed; the proximity to a heavily populated work and recreation place; incompatible furnishings and floor coverings; passages above and below ground that should be air pressure negative; collection, storage, and disposal of infectious materials; and whether the hurried renovations (e.g. underground tunnel and barriers) inside and out are up to fire, building, and safety codes.

Good luck to all.

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