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North Cowichan Implements Precautionary Measures in Response to COVID-19
March 13, 2020
(North Cowichan, BC) – The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) has established a Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) to assess and respond to the public safety risk posed by COVID-19.
“As a member municipality, North Cowichan is working closely with the CVRD, other member municipalities, First Nations, local school districts, and Island Health to fully understand the situation across the region. Staff are taking steps to ensure provision of critical services should the situation worsen,” said Mayor, Al Siebring. “We recognize we are in a state of flux, things are changing quickly, and we are committed to updating the public as things change on our end,” he concluded.
Since the BC Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, 11 more cases have been confirmed in the Greater Vancouver area. As a result, the Federal and Provincial governments, along with the provincial health officer have put forward some strong recommendations to limit the potential impacts of COVID-19, such as:
- Cancelling non-essential travel outside of Canada
- Practicing social distancing
- Tightening security at airports and border entry points, as the outbreak in Washington continues
- Eliminating the wait period to apply for Medical EI
- Requiring 14-day self-isolation after travelling outside of Canada
North Cowichan will be following the Province of BC and Island Health’s direction and taking further protective measures. Out of an abundance of caution for public safety, and the safety of our staff, all programs, including swim lessons, fitness, day camps, and childminding at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre will be cancelled effective immediately. However, the Aquatic Centre will remain open for drop-in use. North Cowichan has increased the frequency of cleaning at all Municipal facilities, with an alcohol-based cleaner.
In addition, all public hearings will be cancelled until further notice and Council has decided to cancel all travel for conferences. Regular Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings will continue, and the public will still be able to participate. Council meetings will be live-streamed, and in an effort to encourage social distancing, we encourage residents to view Council Meetings from home. Questions about any agenda item can be submitted to the Manager, Legislative Services, in advance of the meeting. While staff are continuing to provide regular services to the public at this time, to protect our staff and members of the public, it is encouraged that residents interact with Municipal staff remotely where possible.
For general inquiries please call 250.746.3100, or send us an email.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to the virus, please contact HealthLink at 8-1-1.
It is anticipated the REOC will convene daily for the foreseeable future to assess the evolving situation with representatives from partner governments and agencies, and continue to share information with the public.
For more information, please contact:
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan