UPDATE: The Nav Centre held a press conference on Monday, Feb. 17 at which Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Health Unit said there was no risk to the public. Read more here.
UPDATE: Mayor Bernadette Clement posted a video on her social media last night explaining that she was aware of the situation and was working to get more inforemation.
“I have been spending the last several hours reaching out getting as much information as possible,” Clement said. “I’ve been in touch with the federal representatives and the MP mostly to get assistance in terms of getting more information. Most significantly, I have had a conversation with Dr. Paul this evening as well and he informed me that he has a schedule site visit at Nav Centre tomorrow and I have indicated to him that I will be attending that visit as well.”
Mayor Clement expressed her frustration at not having more information from the federal government.
“I have taken note of your questions and concerns and quite frankly, I share those concerns,” she said. “There are questions about the suitability of the Nav Centre and of Cornwall to receive people who will be spending a quarantine period. We need answers to those questions and it is frustrating that I don’t have more information from the federal government that I can share with residents.”
CORNWALL, Ontario – On Saturday evening, Global Affairs Canada announced that they would be quarantining COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) patients at the Nav Centre in Cornwall.
The patients will be coming from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship currently docked in Yokohama, Japan.
There are at least 285 cases of COVID-19 aboard the Diamond Princess, including at least two Canadians in their 70s, with 67 new positive COVID-19 cases diagnosed on Saturday.
Global Affairs Canada has announced that the Canadian government has chartered a plane to carry Canadian passengers who are aboard the Diamond Princess to Canada.
Upon arrival, they will be taken to the Trenton Air Force base for assessment before being transported to the Nav Centre where they will be held under quarantine for 14 days.
“Before boarding in Japan, passengers will be screened for symptoms. Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board and will instead be transferred to the Japanese health system to receive appropriate care,” reads a statement from Global Affairs.
Canadian Global Affairs Minister François-Phillippe Champagne said that the government was committed to limiting the spread of COVID-19.
“The Government of Canada takes the health and safety of Canadians, both at home and abroad, very seriously. In light of the extraordinary circumstances facing our citizens on the Diamond Princess, we are taking action to return Canadians home from Japan, while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Champagne said.
Seaway News reached out to Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defense, and the Nav Centre for a statement, but did not receive one at time of publication.
It is as of yet unclear when the patients will be arriving or what specific precautions the government will be taking to ensure the safety of the quarantine patients, the staff at the Nav Centre, and the public.