Comox Mayor Russ Arnott is urging calm amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’s also blasting the social media rumour mill, saying it isn’t a trusted news source.

“One of the things that I get concerned about is, you go onto Facebook or social media and somebody’s friend’s sister’s brother is a doctor and they said this, and somebody else’s uncle’s aunt is a doctor and they said that,” he said. 

“I think it’s really important that we follow what the public health doctor in our area, Dr. Charmaine Enns, is saying. She’s the expert; she’s the one who has got the pulse of the community and I think if we follow that, we should be okay.”

He said we should let the true professionals guide us through this crisis.

“We’re all grasping for information right now, but as we’ve seen over the years information is so erratic,” Arnott added.

Arnott is one of those practising social distancing as much as possible.

“Like many people, I too have another job and so I have to maintain that work. I’m working out of the house for that but I still go into my office. It’s reduced staffing, I’m the only one who goes in there. We still have a life to live and if we do it responsibly then I think we’ll get through this okay.”

He’s reminding people to take care of our elders.

“We can’t forget them. When I go into the grocery store, there are a lot of younger people. I’ve reached out to my neighbours who are seniors and they know how to get a hold of me. If we all do that, if we all just reach out to our neighbours, see if there is something that we can do to help them, keep them from having to go to the grocery store. This is the time when they need our help.”

The town is taking precautionary measures to help stop the spread of the virus.

The Comox Community Centre is closed and all spring break camps organized at the centre have been cancelled.

While the Comox Fire Hall will remain open for service, the building is closed to the public.

You won’t have access to the Town Hall or the Finance and the Public Works buildings, either.

“The health and wellness of our residents and staff are our top priority, and by taking these precautionary measures based on science, we are doing our part to manage the spread of COVID-19,” Arnott said. “We understand the impact this will have on families and our citizens during spring break. We will continue to closely monitor this evolving situation to ensure the communication of any new information as it becomes available.”