Air quality advisories issued this weekend for two Vancouver Island communities remain in place as of Tuesday morning.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Island Health issued the advisories for Port Alberni and the Cowichan Valley on Sunday, Nov. 20, warning those with chronic conditions to take extra care and stay indoors.
Though the air quality is improving in Cowichan, the advisory has not yet been lifted.
It notes that high concentrations of fine particulate matter are likely to remain until the weather changes.
The media release notes that “exposure is particularly a concern for individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, and diabetes; respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women, infants, and older adults.”
The release also suggests people with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections abstain from or reduce their levels of exertion until the advisory is lifted.
“Anyone experiencing symptoms such as continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheezing, should follow the advice of their health care provider,” said the release. “Staying indoors helps to reduce particulate matter exposure.”
The provincial air quality objective for particulate matter is 25 micrograms per cubic metre. At the time the advisories were first issued, Duncan registered 28.9 and Alberni 33.1. Nanaimo was at 11.6, Courtenay at 22, Campbell River at 15.8 and Victoria at 20.1.
Real-time air quality information can be accessed at: https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html