Langford Mayor Stew Young avoided shaking hands with Maryam Monsef, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality at a federal announcment in Langford Monday. He’s taking it as a preventative meausre against the spread of Coronavirus. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

B.C. mayor avoids shaking hands with federal minister amid COVID-19 fears

It’s reasonable to think about not shaking hands, says B.C.’s provincial health officer

Langford Mayor Stew Young took extra precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during a recent encounter with a federal minister Monday.

Young and city staff avoided shaking hands with Maryam Monsef, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, during a rental housing announcement in Langford.

“If we don’t shake hands, it’s not meant to say that I don’t like you,” Young said. “As politicians we shake a lot of hands. The idea that it’s rude has gotta stop. It’s okay and it’s not an insult. You don’t have to touch everyone you greet.”

Young said that the City has given recommendations to their staff on how to deal first-hand with the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

A new page on their city website outlines key reminders from the World Health Organization (WHO), which includes washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face and staying at least a metre away from someone who is coughing or sneezing.

READ MORE: Washington state coronavirus that killed 6 not yet showing up in B.C.

ALSO READ: Amid COVID-19 panic, B.C. psychologist urges shoppers to not clear out grocery stores

Black Press Media reached out to the West Shore municipalities to see how they are dealing with COVID-19 with city staff. Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin and Highlands say they are following WHO suggestions, but aren’t taking any extra precautions.

“I think the risk right now of spreading the coronavirus in our communities right now is low … but it’s reasonable for us to think about [not shaking hands],” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “Let’s keep our germs to ourselves right now.”

The ninth case of coronavirus was confirmed in B.C., as announced by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on Tuesday. The patient is a man in his 50s who recently returned to Canada from Iran.

Currently, he’s in isolation at home with support from public health teams. His case is unrelated to previous cases.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusLangford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Hydro opens applications for COVID-19 Relief Fund to residential customers

Small business owners will be able to apply to the fund next week.

Northern B.C. charity rolling out COVID-19 relief funds soon

United Way of Northern BC say funding requests are outweighing the amount of donations received.

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

People needing addictions services feel ‘abandoned’ during pandemic, B.C.’s ex-top doctor says

Widespread job losses and more homelessness due to physical distancing at shelters have added hurdles

Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%: StatCan

Unemployment rate hits levels not seen since 2010

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Most Read