WECHU chair calls for more kindness and support for health workers

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The chair of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Board of Directors is calling on the public to show more kindness and support for public health workers.

Gary McNamara is sending the message as the health unit is speaking out against a rising number of threats along with harassment and abusive language directed toward staff members.

McNamara says he understands after over 19 months of the COVID-19 pandemic that people are tired and fatigued, but he stresses that people have to understand that public health officials are doing everything they can to keep the community safe.

He calls the threats and comments "unconscionable".

"They've been working as hard as they can to make sure they can protect our citizens. It's uncalled for and I plead with the general public to show more kindness and support."

McNamara is asking the public to show more kindness and support for public health workers who are trying to keep the public safe.

"At the end of the day that's exactly what they're doing regardless of who they are, they're there to provide them with a service," he continued. "To be called out and threatened is uncalled for and unconscionable."

McNamara says people have to understand that whatever decisions are made, they're not made in malice.

"They're not done to put down certain individuals and so forth. The decisions are made for the greater good and protection of all of our citizens. That's what we do and that's what public health does," McNamara said.

CEO Nicole Dupuis said Wednesday that police have been called on some occasions and that the health unit is no longer allowing comments on its social media sites.

No physical injuries have been reported as a result of any of the threats.