Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells says you have no reason to panic over COVID-19.

He says the city is taking all the necessary steps it can to reduce the chances that people will catch the virus.

Courtenay, along with the Comox Valley Regional District, recently closed all recreation and other facilities as a precautionary measure.

“If we take more severe action now we obviously know that is going to lessen the curve, fewer people will become infected and so that social distancing, that isolation is absolutely critical right now to make sure that people are not potentially infecting other people,” says Wells.

Wells added that because this is something the valley has not experienced before, it’s important to take all the precautions.

“We’re in uncharted territory, we have an illness that’s out there and new to us. We have conditions that most people in the Comox Valley never had to deal with. Other parts of the world have gone through this. If we look through the lessons learned, when there are larger lockdowns and people are isolating themselves, it does result in fewer people being infected. Obviously that results in fewer deaths and that’s really the goal here right now.”

He says while COVID-19 is a scary thing for those in the Comox Valley, it’s important to stay calm and be ready to self-isolate.

“This is something that has been expected- the cases would arrive in the Comox Valley- and so it’s not a surprise, but it’s something we don’t want people going out, hoarding, buying stuff that they don’t need out of fear.”

“At the end of the day, let’s stay calm, I think we have a great community here, lots of people offering to help but lets really stay in except for those essential trips that you have to do. Let’s flatten that curve and let’s look at fun ways to be able to enjoy the time we have right now, which otherwise is somewhat stressful,” says Wells.

Since the last announcement from the Provincial Health Officer on Monday, 103 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the province, with eight of those confirmed in the Vancouver Island Health region.