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Community Safety a Top Priority in 2019-nCoV Repatriation Efforts

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/February 10, 2020 – On February 2, 2020, the Government of Canada announced plans to support the repatriation of Canadian citizens who had requested assistance in departing Wuhan, China, and surrounding regions, in the wake of the emergence of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As the result of these efforts, two groups of Canadians and their families were welcomed at CFB Trenton on February 7, 2020, and a third group will arrive on February 11.

These repatriation efforts are being led by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and supported by a Task Force of government and volunteer agencies including the Canadian Armed Forces, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, and the Canadian Red Cross. Members of the local Task Force are providing support with activities such as receiving passengers, directing passengers to appropriate accommodation, preparing meals, coordinating logistics, and ensuring appropriate infection control procedures are in place.

Extensive screening and precautionary procedures have been implemented to avoid potential exposure to 2019-nCoV for travellers, staff, and volunteers. These efforts include ensuring that Task Force members and travellers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with one another, monitoring the health of passengers when they arrive, monitoring travellers’ health on a daily basis throughout the 14-day quarantine period, and reinforcing  appropriate infection control practices.

“As 2019-nCoV is so new, comprehensive measures are being put in to place to protect the health and wellbeing of Canadians from the virus – both across the country and in our community,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “HPEPH staff are on site at CFB Trenton, and are working with other Task Force members to ensure infection control procedures are followed.”

“The well-being of our members and community are a priority for the Canadian Armed Forces,” says Colonel Ryan Deming, Commander, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton and Commander Task Force Paratus. “Every effort is being undertaken to ensure the care, dignity and respect of the repatriated Canadians, while maintaining the safety and security of those supporting the repatriation process.”

“The risk to Canadians, including those living or working in the communities in and around CFB Trenton, remains low,” says Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. “None of the returning Canadians or their family members have exhibited symptoms of 2019-nCoV to date.  Those providing care are taking all necessary infection control precautions, which prevents them from being exposed to any potential case of 2019-nCoV.”

“I commend the efforts of all those supporting repatriation efforts at CFB Trenton, as well as those working to respond to the emergence of 2019-nCoV,” says Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Ontario. “We are working proactively with health care professionals across the province to identify potential cases, in order to contain this new virus and protect the health of Ontarians.”

For more information, visit hpePublicHealth.ca.

Local Media Contacts:

Emily Tubbs
Communications Specialist
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
613-966-5500 x 464  or 613-848-2398
etubbs@hpeph.ca

Major Trevor Reid
8 Wing Trenton Public Affairs
613-403-7177

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