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Jul. 5, 2020 | Sunday
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Town's CAO, two councillors forced to self-isolate
Interim CAO Sheldon Randall is in self-isolation after returning from a personal trip. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/File)

The Town of NOTL’s top civil servant and two members of council are in self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interim chief administrator Sheldon Randall and Couns. Stuart McCormack and Clare Cameron are all in self-isolation.

Randall started his isolation on Sunday, March 15, after returning from vacation and will continue for two weeks. He is working from home.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said McCormack also was away and was to be in self-isolation until March 20. 

Cameron had contact with someone who came from “an area where there’s an issue” and is in isolation until March 30, Disero said.

“We’re trying to be as consistent as every other municipality within the Niagara region,” Randall said in an interview. “We’re trying to provide the best information we can to the public to ensure that we’re doing everything we can from a municipal perspective to provide safety to our residents.”

Randall said anyone who is concerned about their own need to self-isolate should check public health websites to “gain clarity on what they should and shouldn’t be doing.”

“I’m not a health expert so any recommendations I would be providing would be directly related to or from any of the public health websites — the regional website, or provincial or federal sites.”

Disero said the town is following provincial strategy to try to isolate and stop the spread.

“If people have been away or in an area or contacted somebody that was in an area, they should just stay home and take the time. So that way we can help each other not spread, or potentially spread, any contamination,” she said.

“If you can work from home, work from home.”

“The town has a very strict rule as of Friday when the provincial notice was sent out about, you know, don’t go anywhere where there is 250 (people) or potential for public gatherings. We’re following that guideline,” Disero said.

Because Randall is a leader in the community and the town’s senior public servant, he is leading by example, Disero said. 

“He was away and he’s staying home for the 14 days that the province recommends. And the advice would be to look at the provincial guidelines and rules and follow them if you can.”

Randall added, “Even if you haven’t been travelling and you can limit your contact or access to other people, I think it’s just a smart thing to do right now. Especial ly with people that are more vulnerable in our community.”

He commended NOTL businesses that are taking initiatives to try to help out during the pandemic.

“I think it’s fantastic that everybody’s doing what they can to step up and help out. I think the important thing now is how do we get that message out to everybody, that they are trying to help out. We can push it out through social media and our avenues, but there’s a lot of people in this community that don’t have access to social media, so I think we have to put a bit more thought into how we reach out a bit further.”

Disero said people need to put others first.

 “We are a community, we have to think of the community. You may feel fine but you may be a carrier. Do not think of yourself, think of the public and the community at large. If you’ve been away, you may feel great but you may be carrying something that you shouldn’t be, so just think about others.”

Randall said he’s all set up at his kitchen table. “With the technology that we have in place these days, a lot of our staff can work from home. And similar to me, I’m functioning like I’m sitting in my office right now. So it’s great.”

Randall said he’s proud of the way the town’s Emergency Operations Control is performing.

“Thanks to all the hard work we’ve done in the past couple of years preparing for something like this, we’re seeing the benefits of that today.”

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