The latest from Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the RDN regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation:
The Town of Qualicum Beach has taken further precautions against the spread of COVID-19, by closing town related facilities, until further notice:
• Town Hall (closed to the public but still conducting business)
• Civic Centre
• Community Hall
• Veterans’ Way Washrooms
• Digital Media Studio
• Oceanside Hospice (Valhalla)
Other town-related facilities have also decided to close:
• Qualicum Beach Museum
• Oceanside Community Safety Office
• Memorial Golf Course
In a release put out on March. 18, the town also reminded residents of information about a new COVID-19 screening clinic:
“A new referral-only COVID-19 screening clinic has opened in Nanaimo, as of today. Health officials are asking residents not to attend or call the screening clinic unless referred there by a primary care provider or an 811 HealthLink BC nurse,” read the release.
Council and Committee of the Whole meetings will continue, with an attendance cap being set at 50 people. Residents are encouraged to view meetings via live stream. Open house and committee and commission meetings are cancelled until further notice.
“We encourage you to continue to exercise good hygiene habits, practice adequate social distancing, and continue to be a community that supports one another,” said mayor Brian Wiese in a press release.
Town municipal services will continue as normal, and facilities will be cleaned more frequently. Staff are also encouraged to stay home when they feel ill, and to take extra hygiene measures while at work.
The City of Parksville announced Monday (March 16) that their offices would be closed to the public until further notice due to concern around COVID-19.
The decision was made by Mayor Ed Mayne, with an “abundance of caution.”
All essential services in Parksville including fire, bylaw enforcement and the city will continue to function. Last week the city cancelled all non-essential meetings and made council meetings closed to the public. Mayne said as well as being concerned about public health, he’s also worried about the affect COVID-19 will have on local businesses.
“Local businesses are experiencing a dramatic drop in business so it crucially important for our residents to support local and small businesses whenever possible,” he said. “By supporting local businesses, you will help them to survive these challenging times and at the same time, will reduce unnecessary travel.”
He said personally, he has been washing his hands and cutting down on meetings.
“I personally have a number of those [factors] where I’m more susceptible to this virus than a lot of people,” he said. “I have to be cognizant of that, and so I’m watching it very carefully.”
Parksville released some additional information on March 17, that included the following on what they are doing:
– Emergency program coordinators from Parksville and Qualicum Beach are working together and a Level 1 emergency operations centre has been activated.
– The City has identified essential functions and the people who perform them and are poised to make changes to operations should it be necessary.
– Activation of pandemic policies and pandemic communications strategy.
– Internal updates for staff. Every effort is being made to keep employees healthy. Increased hygiene includes sanitization, deep cleaning of offices as well as other measures.
– Scheduled conference calls with Island Health chief medical officer three times each week.
They also put forward the following messages on what you can do personally:
– If you have symptoms and may have been exposed to COVID-19, you must call your local primary care provider, or 811. Non-medical info, 7:30 am to 8 pm may be obtained from 1 888-COVID19 (1 888-268-4319)
– Continue to refer to trusted sources for information. The City provides general information and links at https://letstalkparksville.ca/covid-19-information-and-resources.
– Continue to practice safe social distancing and avoid all group gatherings. Please continue to be vigilant in reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19 – when coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or the sleeve of a shirt or jacket to cover the spread of droplets and most importantly, wash your hands multiple times a day.
– Hoarding is hurting more than it is helping. The province has assured everyone there are sufficient supplies and the supply chain is healthy.
Regional District of Nanaimo
The Regional District of Nanaimo is opened for business but is closed to the public.
Recent updates on some steps the RDN has taken to support social distancing include:
• Effective at noon, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 all RDN Offices will be closed to the public. All RDN services will remain operational and staff will conduct business online, via conference calls,
virtually or, where necessary, by appointment only.
• We encourage residents to seek RDN service via phone, email or the new building and bylaw web
portal. Call the RDN at 250-390-4111 or 1-877-607-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with
questions or to schedule an appointment if needed.
• The RDN’s new web portal is a convenient means of making building permit applications 24/7
without having to travel to the RDN office.
— Inspection requests for portal applications can be made through the portal.
— Residents can access the RDN web portal from home, office or mobile devices.
— RDN staff are available for assistance by telephone or email.
• The RDN Board will hold a Special Meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Mar. 24 replacing their regular monthly Board Meeting. It will be held virtually. Members of the public are encouraged to listen to the meeting online. For those people in attendance, social distancing measures will be in place. This will be broadcast via audio only.
• RDN recreation facility closures include the Parksville Curling Club, Oceanside Place Arena, Ravensong Aquatic Centre, and all RDN recreation programs. Recreation programs and events are cancelled at the Cedar Heritage Centre, Gabriola Recreation Society, Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association (ACRA).
• For the health and safety of our RDN Transit operators and customers, you will now be asked to board and exit using the back doors only. Customers with accessibility needs may still use the front doors. Please do not approach the operator. Customers who normally pay with cash or tickets will not be required to pay. Daily sanitization, cleaning and monitoring the number of passengers on transit buses will continue.
Don’t forget our Regional and Community Parks are open. Visit our interactive Parks and Trails Finder or go to rdn.bc.ca/find-a-park for details on parks and trails in your area. The washrooms at these facilities are currently opened.
￼￼￼￼￼If RDN service levels change, the public will be notified through the RDN website, Facebook, twitter and local media.
— NEWS staff, submitted