Nightclubs and bars are ‘a recipe for disaster’ says top doc

­(BlackburnNews.com file photo by Matt Weverink)

The public health unit in Chatham-Kent is reviewing its COVID-19 response and getting ready for a second wave, if it arrives.

Director of Public Health Teresa Bendo said everything from best practices, physical barriers, personal protective equipment inventory, and policies are all being reviewed to better inform officials in case another wave of novel-coronavirus hits the area.

Bendo said it’s part of the health unit’s process to constantly improve operations and emergency response and the evaluation should be done in about six weeks.

“[We plan to] finish our evaluation come the end of August in order for us to implement some of our lessons learned, inform our wave two, and our emergency and business continuity plan,” she said.

Bendo’s report to the Board of Directors on Wednesday comes on the heels of CK Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby expressing concern about the rising cases in the U.S.

Dr. Colby said the health unit’s goal is to ensure the local health care system does not become overloaded and residents are not denied care.

Colby said nightclubs and bars could be very problematic when it comes to spreading the virus and Ontario must be careful not to fall into that trap during Phase 3 of the economic reopening.

“If that doesn’t happen here then that will be considered a success,” Colby said. “Large numbers of people congregating indoors without social distancing, that’s the recipe for disaster because this virus is not gone, it’s around,” he said.

There are currently nine active cases of COVID-19 within the municipality after one person recovered from the virus on Tuesday. There are currently no COVID-19 patients being cared for in local hospitals, which has been the case for several weeks.