The District of Highlands is monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and continues to take directions from the Province and Island Health. The health and well-being of our community remains a key focus for the District and we appreciate the diligence and commitment of residents as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Last week Dr. Henry announced a number of new restrictions in response to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in our region. Residents are asked to continue to keep themselves informed and to comply with all of the Public Health Officer’s (PHO) Orders to help bend the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19.
The latest restrictions are summarized below and additional information can be viewed from the Province’s dedicated COVID-19 website.
While access to the District Office remains by appointment only, Highlands staff continue to be available to provide services Monday through Friday between 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (except statutory holidays)
The risk remains high for contracting this disease. Please continue to keep yourself informed with the latest information regarding COVID-19 and to comply with all of the issued Orders.
You can help slow the transmission of COVID-19 by:
The Province is working with the cities of Vancouver and Victoria to transition people living in encampments in Oppenheimer Park, Topaz Park and on Pandora Avenue into safe, temporary accommodations with wraparound supports to protect their health and safety in the overlapping COVID-19 and overdose crises.
Read full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0020-000759
A great update on all available services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-takes-steps-to-support-people-businesses-during-covid-19-pandemic
Temporary relief is on the way for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19, with applications for the $1,000 B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW) opening on May 1, 2020.
Read the full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0023-000743
BC Parks is immediately closing all provincial parks in response to the widespread call for increased action to address COVID-19.
Read the full story here : https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020ENV0019-000645
The B.C. government is providing a new Emergency Relief Support Fund and has added service flexibility for parents of children with special needs to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0043-000650
Book lovers of all ages will soon have greater access to online learning and reading resources, thanks to a one-time $3-million government investment in public libraries.
Read the full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0019-000652
The Government of British Columbia announced a series of temporary supports and supplements in order to ensure B.C.’s most vulnerable – including people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors – do not encounter additional barriers during the COVID-19 crisis.
You can read the Province’s statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020SDPR0012-000620
To support parents who are essential service workers during the response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Province is launching a new process.
This process will match parents, who are working on the front lines of B.C.’s COVID-19 response and have children up to five years of age, with child care in their communities.
Starting today, essential workers can fill out a new “parent” form to identify their need for urgent child care. Forms can be accessed by calling 1 888 338-6622 and selecting Option 4, or online:
Read the full story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0017-000599
To fall inline with a recent Province of BC open fire ban all backyard/ hand-pile/ machine pile burning permits in Highlands are cancelled until at least April 15th - All current OAB permits are revoked
Read more information here from the Province: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/DisplayBan.asp?ID=589#OpenFireBans
**Recreational Campfires burning clean, dry fire wood are still permitted in Highlands - you must fill out a permit using: hvfd.burnpermits.com
As we start another weekend, we’d like to remind everyone that certain parks & trails remain open, but please remember to practice social distancing and keep 2 metres away from those you encounter.
Through the United Way, you can call 2-1-1 or visit www.bc211.ca if you are a senior in need, or would like to volunteer with a senior in your community to check in on them or to help pick-up groceries/prescriptions. The helpline will take calls 7 days/week to help keep seniors safe in their homes.
Using the powers under the Emergency Program Act, the Provincial Minister of Public Safety issued a series of ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency. These include:
We are working out the details of what the province’s changes in enforcement powers will look like for our bylaw officers in the weeks and months to come. We note the following:
You can read the Province’s full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568
To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is asking visitors to Regional Parks and community parks in electoral areas to adhere to the orders and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).
Read the full article here.
For the health and safety of BC Parks visitors, employees, park contractors, volunteers and partners, effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending services and closing facilities in most provincial parks.
Read more information on BC Park closures here.
On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada’s Minister of Health announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.
This federal Emergency Order reinforces an existing British Columbia Provincial Health Order in place since March 17, 2020 which orders every person in British Columbia who has traveled outside Canada and returned on or after March 12 to self-isolate for 14 days.
All individuals permitted to enter Canada are subject to this Order, with the exception of certain persons who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services. Individuals exempt from the Order will still need to practice social distancing and self-monitoring and contact their local public health authority if they feel sick.
You can read the full statement at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2020/03/new-order-makes-self-isolation-mandatory-for-individuals-entering-canada.html
Playground structures and picnic tables cannot be effectively cleaned after each use, and are therefore being closed to the public at this time.
Please continue to enjoy Highlands parks and natural areas while being diligent about maintaining appropriate social distance.
The Provincial Government has a dedicated website for COVID-19 here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
BC Transit has informed that due to a significant reduction in ridership that there will be daily trip cancellations. More information can be found here: https://www.bctransit.com/victoria/home
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, made the declaration based on the recommendation from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials, after Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
“Declaring a state of emergency is an important measure to support our provincial health officer and minister of health in swift and powerful response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Farnworth said. “We are working with partners across government and industry to co-ordinate emergency response efforts, and we won’t hesitate to use the tools available to us to keep people safe.”
Read the full report here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0017-000511
British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer has declared a public health emergency. This declaration allows the provincial health officer to facilitate an even faster response to the rapidly changing situation and enact further measures to protect British Columbians. The provincial health officer has issued the following orders:
You can read their full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0089-000505
The District of Highlands is prepared to handle potential impacts and service disruptions from COVID-19.
As of March 15, we took the proactive approach to activate our Emergency Operations Centre at a Level I to help us with planning efforts and sharing information in what is a rapidly changing situation.
As the situation unfolds, we will continue to monitor credible sources and will work with our provincial and regional partners. It’s important to note that Highlands is not the lead agency on COVID-19; we will take direction from the Province and the Medical Health Office. There are no known cases of COVID-19 in the District of Highlands.
Starting in April, Council meetings will be held only on the first Monday of each month until further notice. Council meetings that do occur will be held at the Highlands Community Hall. The District is currently implementing policy so that Council members may attend meetings electronically as permitted by legislation. More information about the way the District will conduct business during this pandemic may be found here.
Starting March 18, public access to the District Office will be by appointment only to limit the spread of infection. Please call the office at 250-474-1773 or email us at email@example.com. More information on this can be found here on our website.
We will communicate changes to the public as quickly as possible.
What you can do:
Here are some key reminders from The World Health Organization:
What the District is doing:
For up-to-date information and answers to your questions about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), consult trusted, evidence-based sources, including: