For the first time in our municipal history, the RMOW made the difficult decision to close all of our non-essential facilities and cancel all of our programs and events.
Delivering civic services is a huge part of what a municipality does and this decision was made in response to the Prime Minister recommending all Canadians, as much as possible, stay home. We want to ensure we are doing our part in looking after the health and safety of our community. We are truly facing unprecedented times as daily, sometimes hourly, developments alter our decisions and behaviours.
While COVID-19 is having a significant impact and we do not know what the coming days and weeks will look like, our community is well-equipped to work through these challenges as a community. The RMOW will continue to provide essential services and our Emergency Operations Centre Committee has been activated.
We are in good hands. The RMOW is taking direction from experienced and skilled public health officials. I encourage us all to trust our public health officials. They are some of the very best in the world and have trained their whole lives for a day like this. Please take their good advice and pass it on to others (www.vch.ca and http://www.bccdc.ca).
Today was a hard day but we have faced hard times before and have come out stronger and better. I ask you to look after yourselves and look after each other. Get fresh air. Get rest. Practice social distancing and stay home when possible. This is a marathon and we will need your strength and energy to move forward when the time comes. Check in on your friends and neighbours. Take only what you need our grocery stores and help make sure food and supplies are available for all community members. Donate money (not goods) to Whistler Community Services and the Food Bank.
Most importantly, look after our local healthcare system. Do not go to the Whistler Medical Centre for non-urgent concerns or if you are concerned about symptoms of illness related to COVID-19. Instead, call the special information and assessment line the province has set up at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or visit their website at www.bccdc.ca.
Each of you brings to our community your commitment, your wisdom, insight and love. I am so proud to be the mayor of Whistler as I hear stories of residents looking out for one another and sharing their resolve to continue to meet the needs of the community.
Stay calm and stay strong. We will need your strength and energy when we welcome the world back to Whistler.