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Coronavirus: Barrie mayor self-isolating after recent trip to U.S., not experiencing symptoms

"I do not have any symptoms and I have no particular cause for concern," Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said on Twitter. "Like so many others, I will be working from home for a while.". The Canadian Press Images/Cogeco Data Services

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman says he’s self-isolating after he spent a short time in the U.S. last week.

“I do not have any symptoms and I have no particular cause for concern,” Lehman said on Twitter Monday afternoon.

“Like so many others, I will be working from home for a while.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: COVID-19 assessment centre opens in Barrie

Lehman said he’s working to set up task forces to further support Barrie residents amid concerns over COVID-19, especially the community’s most vulnerable and the business sector.

Lehman said it’s important to follow the advice of public health.

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Health officials are advising travellers who have returned from anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States, to self-isolate for 14 days.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will be closing its borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Exceptions will be made for U.S. citizens, air crews, diplomats and immediate family members.

That same day, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, David Williams, recommended that all restaurants and bars close or maintain take-out operations only.

Click to play video: 'Airline, hospitality workers face job losses, cut backs amid COVID-19 outbreak' Airline, hospitality workers face job losses, cut backs amid COVID-19 outbreak
Airline, hospitality workers face job losses, cut backs amid COVID-19 outbreak – Mar 16, 2020

“Now is not the time to ignore warnings or for gatherings of any kind,” the Barrie mayor said on Twitter. ” We all need to act now.”

As of Monday afternoon, there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit’s jurisdiction. As of March 16, there have been 177 total cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

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Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk for Canadians is low.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

–With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson, Ryan Rocca and Jessica Patton

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