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Seniors Advocate asks for extra public care for elderly during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C.'s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is asking residents to take extra care for the elderly amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
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Seniors Advocate Isobel MacKenzie.

B.C.'s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is asking residents to take extra care for the elderly amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Mackenzie says that while most who will contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, it can more seriously affect the elderly.

"We need to ensure that people who are not feeling well refrain from close contact with seniors and those who have underlying health conditions," Mackenzie said.

"We also need to support seniors to ensure they are properly washing their hands, cleaning surfaces they come into contact with, limiting their exposure to others in the community who may be ill and practicing social distancing for the time being."

The North Peace Housing Society in Fort St. John says its buildings are not on lockdown due to the virus, despite rumours.

The society is asking visitors to take proper hygiene precautions when entering and leaving the building, and will be making an extra effort to ensure public sanitizer dispensers remain filled. Residents and families will be notified directly if a lockdown is deemed necessary, the society said.

Mackenzie is also asking the public to contact their elderly friends, family, and neighbours who might need some extra help.

"It could be anything from helping a senior get some groceries, taking out their garbage, bringing over a cooked meal or bringing them up to speed on the latest COVID-19 recommendations from our provincial health officer," Mackenzie said.

"These are things we can all do to help and they are important measures to keep seniors who are living in the community healthy and to reduce anxiety both for seniors and for their family members." 

— with files from the Prince George Citizen

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.