Coronavirus COVID-19

Province of BC Website for all up to date information.  

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the best source for COVID-19 health information.

Get COVID-19 health information

Feeling unwell? Check your symptoms online or download the self-assessment app.

UPDATES

November 23, 2020

Provincial Restrictions Revised 

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.

Gatherings

  • All individuals, places of work, and businesses must significantly reduce social interactions.
  • No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your immediate household or core bubble are permitted at this time. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Masks

  • Masks are required in all public indoor settings and workplaces (except for those who cannot wear a mask, or who cannot put on or remove masks on their own.
  • Customers can be refused entry or service if they are not wearing a mask.
  • Employers are required to enforce the mask requirements with employees and customers.

Group Physical Activities

  • All high risk, indoor group physical activities are suspended including spin class, hot yoga, and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
  • All associated travel for athletic activities including games, competitions, training, and practices is prohibited. 
  • No spectators are permitted at any sporting activities.

Travel

  • All non-essential travel, business and personal, should be avoided including travel into and out of BC, and between regions.

Workplaces

  • Daily screening of on-site workers, in accordance with established COVID-19 Safety Plans, are required.
  • Masks must be worn in all shared spaces and work areas, and whenever safe physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

Accessing Municipal Services

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)

Please do Your Part 

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:

  • Staying home if unwell
  • Maintaining physical distance from others of at least 2 metres
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Wearing a mask in public spaces as directed
  • Complying with the Orders of the Provincial Health Officer.

COVID-19 Resources

April 25, 2020 

Province secures safe shelter, supports for people living in major encampments

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 

April 23, 2020 

B.C. takes steps to support people, businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

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 

Applications for BC Emergency Benefit for Workers to open May 1

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 

April 20, 2020

Provincial Support Available:  Link here

April 8, 2020

All BC (Provincial) Parks closing....

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 

Province provides emergency fund for children with special needs

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 

Families throughout B.C. to benefit from enhanced digital library services

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 

April 2, 2020

Provincial Update - New Emergency Supports for Province’s Most Vulnerable

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

April 1, 2020

Province helps essential service workers find child care

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:
www.gov.bc.ca/essential-service-child-care

Read the full story here:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0017-000599 

March 27, 2020

Effective Immediately: Open Burning Restrictions Due to COVID-19

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

Social Distancing in Parks and on Paths

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.

March 26, 2020

Seniors Helpline: Call 2-1-1

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.

Provincial Update – Ministerial Orders Under the Emergency Program Act

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:

  • Supply chain: Establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution; taking a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail; and suspending any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day.
  • Protecting consumers: Banning the secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies; and restricting quantities of items purchased at point of sale.
  • Enforcement: Enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act.
  • Travel: Ensuring all passenger and car-ferry services provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, and essential goods and workers.
  • Protecting B.C.’s most vulnerable: Making it easier to support critical services for vulnerable people, like food banks and shelters.
  • Coordination: Suspending local states of emergency specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, except for the City of Vancouver; giving municipal councils the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions; and coordinating potential use of local publicly owned facilities, like community centres, for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.

COVID-19 enforcement

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:

  • some of the messages we’re hearing from the Province, including keeping two meters apart as part of social distancing, are not in a formal order and therefore are not enforceable from a bylaw perspective.
  • all advice from the Provincial Health Officer should be followed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • please remember to practice social distancing and keep 2 metres away from those you encounter, including when outdoors enjoying the many trails and open spaces.

You can read the Province’s full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568

March 25, 2020

CRD Asks Parks Visitors to Maintain Social Distancing..

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.

BC Parks Response to COVID-19

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.

Federal Update – Emergency Order Under the Quarantine Act

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

March 22, 2020

The District of Highlands is closing playground structures at Twinflower Park to protect public health and limit the spread of COVID-19.

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.

March 19, 2020 - 3 PM

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 

March 18, 2020 - 5 PM

Province Declares State of Emergency to Support COVID-19 Response

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 

March 17, 2020 - 3 PM

Provincial Update 

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:

  • Effective immediately, businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close, as they are unable to adequately meet the requirements of social distancing. Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two meters between patrons will need to move to take-out and delivery models.
  • Public gatherings of more than 50 people – indoors or outdoors – must be cancelled.

You can read their full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0089-000505

March 17, 2020 - 1 PM

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 info@highlands.ca.  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:

  • Wash your hands frequently - Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.  Hand Washing Poster
  • Maintain social distancing - Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth - Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene - Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early - Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

What the District is doing:

  • Recommending to staff to adhere to the above key reminders in addition to ensuring they remain at home if they are sick, caring for someone who is ill or, if they have been exposed to a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • regularly cleaning high touch surfaces and personal work spaces in our facilities.
  • monitoring updates of the Provincial Health Officer and other levels or government and taking appropriate actions.
  • Being proactive and planning for operational impacts.
  • Sharing information with other local governments.

The District will continue to monitor the situation and will take direction from the Province and Island Health as required. 

Trusted sources of information

For up-to-date information and answers to your questions about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), consult trusted, evidence-based sources, including:

BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)

Government of British Columbia 

Government of Canada

World Health Organization

Coronavirus information lines

  • Novel coronavirus information: 1-833-784-4397   
  • Health information 8-1-1
  • B.C.’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool can be found online here.