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

COVID-19: Old Massett Emergency Operations Centre erects three checkpoints

Old Massett Village Council letter says checkpoint locations are New Town, Yakan Point, Old Massett

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Haida Gwaii farmers hope to have market online by mid-April

Physical markets will continue to operate as an essential service

Northern Health says it’s ready for possibility of COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read