Statement from Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell on Town Response to COVID-19

Posted on Friday March 13, 2020

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus) as a pandemic.

In follow-up to the statement issued earlier today by Whitby Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Matt Gaskell related to Town of Whitby facility closures, Mayor Don Mitchell shared the following:

“Council understands that the temporary facility closures announced today will cause inconvenience and upset for many Whitby residents. We appreciate the patience of all residents during this unprecedented and very difficult situation.

What we know right now is that there are only two identified cases of COVID-19 in Durham Region – and none in Whitby. We also know that there is no current evidence of community transmission of the virus. That, however, does not negate our responsibility to do everything we can to help keep our people safe, now and in the future.

We all have a role to play in protecting our collective health and well-being. That is why the Town is taking swift action to prevent the spread of illness through social distancing. Health officials have recognized this as the best way to contain transmission of the virus. That is also why I am urging all Whitby residents to be smart in the decisions they are making that could impact their health and that of those around them, particularly as it relates to non-essential air travel. From what we are seeing around the world, we know that there is much we don’t yet know about the virus. We need to consider the human cost of each action we take as we move through this time of uncertainty together.

In closing, I want to applaud all of our local organizations who have suspended operations during this uncertain time. I also want to thank our Members of Council and CAO Matt Gaskell for their leadership and for putting the safety and well-being of our residents first.”