Public Health in Wellington County about the Coronavirus/COVID-19

It probably doesn’t actually need to posted as I suspect that folk who understand Contra as Community are also folk who understand that when one is not feeling well – that it is best to stay home.

But just in case anybody needs to hear it from the Public Health in Wellington County (which overseas the public health in the region where the Drumlin Contra Dances happen) here it is in plain English.

The County of Wellington has implemented proactive measures as precaution to limit further transmission of the Coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The following information has been posted on all County buildings and facilities.

We are asking the public to remain vigilant and NOT ENTER any County buildings or facilities if you have:

1. TWO or more symptoms of

– fever
– cough
– difficulty breathing

2. Travelled to an affected area in the past 14 days:

– Mainland China
– Hong Kong
– Iran
– Italy
– Japan
– Singapore
– South Korea

3. If you have had close contact with either a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19

For more information on COVID-19, please contact Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 1.800.265.7293 x 7006.
Thank you for your cooperation.

So what does this mean for us as a dance community?

As of March 3, 2020 “There are no cases (of COVID-19) in our area (Wellington County), although there has been some testing based on travel history,” said Chuck Ferguson, manager of communications for Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health.

The first confirmed case in Waterloo Region was March 4, 2020 with a person who’d arrived home from travel in Italy. The local health department is stressing the risk to regional residents remains low.

But in vigilance and because one is contagious before symptoms show we ask that :
– Dancers who are not feeling well refrain from attending
– Dancers who live with a compromised immune system carefully weigh their options when deciding to attend
– Dancers to not attend any Contra Dances/public gatherings if they have been in Mainland China, Japan, Iran, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, or South Korean in the past 14 days
– Dancers to not attend who have had close contact with either a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
– and that EVERYONE who choices to attend to frequently throughout the evening wash their hands with soap and water.

Think of it this way: 2% of a 50 person dance event is 1 person. And, although the virus does affect the elderly more severely, it also is worse for people with weaker immune systems or co-morbidities (other diseases). Please note that some of our dancers are may have compromised immune systems.

This DOES NOT MEAN 1 person at a dance event will die – but it does give a scale of what that small number actually does look like. However, if at an event of 50 people 1 person gets infected, that people is likely to unknowingly infect 2 other people, and unfortunately, those two other people may not be the generally young, healthy dancers of the community.

At this point – because the local health department is stressing the risk to regional residents remains low we are moving forward knowing that together we can continue to dance and care for each other.

County of Wellington Covid-19 advice