98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Public Health Says Stop Social Media Posting About Local Cases

Grey Bruce | by Claire McCormack  

The Health Unit says people should not be posting rumours about COVID-19 cases.

Public Health Grey Bruce is asking people to reconsider what they're posting on social media about people with COVID-19.

Media Relations Coordinator Drew Ferguson says people have been posting and chatting on social media, trying to figure out where Grey Bruce's positive cases are.

People are also posting illegitimate stories about individuals being tested that cannot be verified, that have adverse effects on those individuals, or people in a workplace or particular service.

"I think it's unfortunate that people are preying on the anxiety in the community. and that's what they're doing is preying on that anxiety and ratcheting it up. I would ask people to respect pother people's privacy and got to reasonable and reliable sources for your information," says Ferguson.

He says the location of the cases isn't relevant to the public if they're isolating, "Really, regardless of their location, the fact that they've gone into self-isolation virtually ensures there's no risk to the community."

Ferguson says the Province has a website that identifies the cases on a daily basis. They are posted on the Province's COVID-19 website and listed according to regional health unit. Updates are put online at 10:30a.m. and 5:30p.m. daily.

"Those are the cases, not what somebody said on Facebook or what somebody said on a blog somewhere," says Ferguson.  

He says to people on social media, "Please respect individual confidentiality and the propriety of this and ratchet down the outrage that seems to be out there."

Ferguson says the two current known cases in Grey Bruce are travel related (cruise ship). When cases begin to spread through close contact, that would be the next level in the community that would be worth mentioning.   

Ferguson says if the numbers climb, "Eventually there are going to be cases that are not tested but are out there in the community."

People who have symptoms will be told to self isolate.

"The greater risk lies with those individuals who are disregarding social distancing and personal hygiene and disregarding the best practices that will curb the transmission of this virus."  

Meanwhile, the federal and provincial governments say people who have travelled outside the country should isolate for at least 14 days:

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