Mark Clairmont |

QUEEN’S PARK — The global pandemic “is no reason to panic,” says MPP Norm Miller.

“But everyone should be careful,” he said in a release Wednesday afternoon, while also lauding Ontario’s health system for doing “a great job of managing the risks of Coronavirus.”

The Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP says with concerns about international travel on the rise, he is reminding residents that there are lots of great activities and experiences here at home in the riding as residents re-consider out-of-country March break holiday plans.

He said it’s an opportunity for stay-cations by families who can help the local economy.

He noted that the federal government has recommended Canadians avoid travel on cruise ships and avoid non-essential travel to countries severely impacted by the COVID-19.

“If the travel warnings have impacted your March break plans, why not take this opportunity to explore our own area and support our local tourism and hospitality businesses.

“Take a break from your chores at home and spend a couple of nights at a local hotel or resort, get outside to enjoy all the winter activities our area has to offer, or treat your family to dinner out at some of our great restaurants.”

The former tourist operator, who owned of Patterson Kaye Lodge, said while your travel plans may have been disrupted, “some of our local tourism businesses are also impacted by fears of Coronavirus.”

“Tourism operators are very nervous about how the Coronavirus will impact their summer business, so I encourage residents of Parry Sound-Muskoka to spend their entertainment and vacation dollars here at home,” said Miller.

“Not only will you get to enjoy the great local attractions in our area, but you will also help your friends and neighbours who run tourism businesses.”

He added: “The Coronavirus can only be spread through close personal contact. Prevention is exactly the same as it is for the flu.

“There is no reason to panic, but everyone should be careful.

“So I encourage everyone to do their part to contain the virus by remaining vigilant – wash your hands, avoid touching your face, cough into your sleeve, and stay away from other people if you are sick.”

March break is an opportunity to rediscover Muskoka and Parry Sound, as travel plans abroad are in health upheaval, urges Norm Miller.

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