COVID-19 Updates and Resources

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COVID-19 SUPPORT RESOURCES

We have provided a comprehensive list of resources as support for residents and businesses to help navigate the overwhelming amount of information about the COVID -19 pandemic. However, please note that Island Health should remain your primary source of information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City services continue to operate to support the community. Masks are mandatory when at City Hall and visitors will be asked to provide contact information for contact tracing purpose. To protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. physical distancing is strongly recommended.

COVID-19 SUPPORT RESOURCES

We have provided a comprehensive list of resources as support for residents and businesses to help navigate the overwhelming amount of information about the COVID -19 pandemic. However, please note that Island Health should remain your primary source of information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City services continue to operate to support the community. Masks are mandatory when at City Hall and visitors will be asked to provide contact information for contact tracing purpose. To protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. physical distancing is strongly recommended.

The finance department is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm to process homeowner grants, accept property tax, utility, tickets/licence fee payments and to purchase bus passes, dog licences and building permits. Please continue to access our services electronically. All other City business is by appointment only and walk-in services are not available. To book an appointment, call 250 248-6144 or refer to contact info on our website. Please continue to access our services electronically.

At this time, attendance by the public at in-person meetings is prohibited (Gatherings and Events order dated December 2). This order imposes more stringent prohibitions including in-person public attendance at council meetings, public hearings, committee meetings, open houses, and other in-person meetings. We will advise when this order changes to allow resumption of in-person meetings. Residents may view Council and committee meetings live through webstreaming, accessible from the City’s website. Meeting video is also archived for viewing at another time. Should residents wish to reach Council, please email council@parksville.ca.

The City is issuing special event permits provided the event hosts have appropriate COVID response and mitigation plans and there are no Provincial Health Officer orders in place. For information, please refer to this link.

Residents and visitors using City facilities must follow public health requirements. In accordance with provincial guidelines, signage is posted at City Hall and in our parks and open spaces to remind the public of rules in place. Information on City services and amenities, as well as updates on access, may be found on the City’s website.


  • COVID Relief Grant-in-Aid Program Offered by City of Parksville

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    February 24, 2021

    The City of Parksville has launched a new grant-in-aid program, a one-time COVID relief funding initiative to support non-profit groups providing social, cultural and community support services located in Parksville or serving Parksville residents. At the February 17 meeting, Council unanimously approved funding of $280,000 for the COVID Relief Grant-in-Aid program.

    Information about this new grant-in-aid program is available on the City’s website and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until such time as $280,000 has been allocated. According to the City’s grant-in-aid policy, a select committee will review each application and make recommendations to Council as to whether grants should be approved. Submission details are outlined in the grant-in-aid policy.

    This COVID Relief Grant-in-Aid program is for registered non-profit groups providing social, cultural and community support services. Non-profit groups may be eligible for reimbursement of COVID related expenses incurred since March 2020. Please note, wage and utility costs are not eligible, as these costs are offset by senior government programs. Examples of expenses include:

    • Costs to obtain personal protective equipment
    • Enhanced cleaning/ sanitization costs
    • Costs to adapt programming or services during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • COVID related losses in regular revenue due to the inability to hold annual and ongoing fundraising events
    • Barriers, installation or modifications to ensure physical distancing and COVID safety.


    QUOTE Mayor Ed Mayne:

    “Parksville Council values the contributions made by non-profit groups which serve our community and recognizes ongoing measures and restrictions because of the pandemic continue to cause unanticipated hardships for organizations serving our community. We are confident this grant opportunity will help sustain groups and benefit our community as we move to economic recovery.”

    For more information:

    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca; 250 954-3073

  • EMO News Release - February 16

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    Virtual Emergency Preparedness Workshop - March 4
    Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins with a plan and being prepared to look after yourself, your family and your pets for a minimum of one week. We encourage residents to join emergency preparedness coordinators from Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Thursday, March 4 at 1.30 pm for a Zoom workshop which will help better prepare yourself, your family and your business in the event of an emergency or disaster incident.

    Please RSVP to info@emergencyoceanside.ca if you wish to participate. We will confirm your space and then a few days before the meeting, will send Zoom instructions by email. The meeting is a closed event; however, your screen name will be visible to the other participants.

    The ongoing pandemic reminds us of the importance of personal preparedness and that having a plan is critical to protect ourselves and our families. While we continue to physically distance and spend more time at home, there’s an opportunity to build emergency preparedness plans to fit our individual personal needs. We hope this workshop will help raise awareness and offer information and tips to help prepare businesses, individuals and families for the possibility of an emergency.

    To join, you will need a computer with an internet connection and can join the meeting in the following ways:

    • Computer with camera and microphone – click the link provided.
    • Computer with camera and no microphone – click link and call the phone number provided.
    • Computer with no camera or no microphone – call the phone number provided.

    If you have a specific subject you wish included in the presentation or questions you would like answered, please send them to info@emergencyoceanside.ca and we will do our best. We look forward to connecting with you, virtually!

    COVID-19 Immunization Plan
    BC's immunization plan is scheduled to occur in four phases through September with eligibility based on your age in 2021. The timeline for each phase may change due to vaccine availability and everyone in BC recommended to receive the vaccine will have the opportunity to get it in 2021. Please refer to gov.bc.ca/COVID19 for the most up-to-date information.

    Phase 1 through February 2021

    • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
    • Individuals assessed for and awaiting long-term care.
    • Residents and staff of assisted living residences.
    • Essential visitors to long-term care facilities and assisted living residences.
    • Hospital health care workers who may provide care for COVID-19 patients in settings like Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, paramedics, medical units and surgical units.
    • Remote and isolated Indigenous communities.

    Phase 2 - February to March

    • Seniors aged 80 and over not immunized in Phase 1.
    • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) seniors age 65 and over, Elders and additional Indigenous communities not immunized in Phase 1.
    • Hospital staff, community general practitioners and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1.
    • Vulnerable populations living and working in select congregated settings.
    • Staff in community home support and nursing services for seniors.

    Phase 3, April to June
    People aged 79 to 60, in five-year increments as well as those 16 to 69 who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

    Phase 4 - July to September
    People aged 59 to 18, in five-year increments:

    There are three steps to the immunization process, outlined here:

    STEP: Pre-registration - When you pre-register, you select your preferred method of communication. This is how you will be contacted to reserve an appointment. You can pre-register two to four weeks before eligible to reserve an appointment. Eligibility is based on your phase and age, working backwards in five-year increments. Pre-registration opens March 2021. There will be two options to pre-register, online and by phone.

    STEP 2: Appointment reservation - When contacted to reserve a vaccine appointment, you must complete a prescreening and select a location, date and time. This can be done online or by phone.

    STEP 3: Appointment day - Come prepared to your appointment and arrive a few minutes before your scheduled time. At the immunization clinic you will complete a check-in process, get your vaccine dose and wait in an observation area for about 15 minutes.

    Getting the second dose - People who get their first vaccine dose will be notified by email, text message or phone call when they are eligible to book an appointment for the second dose.

    Province-wide restrictions remain in place until further notice
    Your actions are helping to keep our businesses and schools open, and our hospitals and communities safe. Thank you for continuing to do your part in keeping our community safe and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    • Middle and secondary school students are required to wear a mask in all indoor areas.
    • Masks are required in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
    • Spend time with those in your household or core bubble only.
    • Explore close to home and avoid non-essential travel.
    • Enjoy a walk or hike with a friend, but do not gather outdoors.

    From the Town of Qualicum Beach
    Town Hall remains open to the public Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm (except statutory holidays). Town staff are available via email or phone until 4pm, Monday to Friday.

    While we are happy to help in person where needed, we encourage you to conduct business remotely where possible. You can contact us via any of the following methods:

    • Email qbtown@qualicumbeach.com
    • Phone 250 752-6921
    • Post PO Box 130, Qualicum Beach V9K 1S7
    • Mail Slot Out front of Town Hall, nearest the fountain

    From the City of Parksville
    City in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic are limited to payments of tickets/licence fees and the purchase of bus passes, with all other City business by appointment and no walk-in services. To book an appointment, call 250 248-6144 or refer to website contact info. Finance is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm. Please note, entry is from Jensen Avenue East. Masks are mandatory when at City Hall and visitors will be asked to provide information for contact tracing.

    For information, contact:

    Rob Daman
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    Town of Qualicum Beach
    rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

    Aaron Dawson
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    City of Parksville
    adawson@parksville.ca

    Deb Tardiff
    Manager of Communications
    City of Parksville
    dtardiff@parksville.ca

  • EMO News Release - January 19, 2021

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    Welcome to 2021! We look forward to continuing to share great emergency preparedness information with you. Please forward this email to neighbours, friends or family who might be interested in receiving our info.

    Island Health is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in the central island region again. We have been asked by Island Health to remind residents to double down on your efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Even though vaccinations will be coming, now is not the time to relax. COVID-19 is in all our communities and everyone must continue to follow the steps we know are effective in reducing the risk of transmission. Thank you for continuing to do your part; everything we do now will make a difference in the days and weeks to come.

    Washing our hands regularly, keeping at least two metres apart, wearing a mask in public spaces, and getting tested if you feel unwell are fundamentals of defeating this virus. It is also strongly recommended that everyone limit their travel between communities and outside the province, unless it is essential for work or medical care.

    Province-wide PHO Restrictions Continue
    The Provincial Health Officer order to suspend all events and social gatherings continues through midnight, February 5. These orders are intended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel. It is recommended that all non-essential travel continue to be avoided. Are you experiencing cold, flu or COVID-19 like symptoms? Please remember to visit http://bc.thrive.health to complete a self-assessment to see if you need a test before calling the Island Health Testing Call Centre. Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available daily, 7:30 am to 8 pm at 1 888-COVID19.

    Here’s what we must do to keep safe:

    • Limit social interactions to our immediate household. Those who live alone must limit their social interactions to one or two people in their frequent bubble. The fewer people we see, the less chance of exposure.
    • Wash our hands often; an easy and effective way to prevent the spread.
    • Wear a mask in all indoor public settings, including all retail stores and restaurants, except when eating or drinking. • Limit time in public places to essential trips for things like groceries and medications.
    • If you are experiencing cold, influenza or COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, please stay home, self-isolate and visit bc.thrive.health or Island Health’s website to determine if you require testing.
    • Testing is fast and easy. People aged four and older can be tested with a gargle test or nasopharyngeal swab with results usually available within 24 hours. Before calling to book an appointment, please use the self-assessment tool at bc.thrive.health to determine if you or your child needs a COVID-19 test. If a test is recommended, call 1 844 901-8442 to book an appointment (daily 8:30 am – 8 pm). Testing is available by appointment only.

    Province-wide restrictions:

    • Masks are required in British Columbia in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
    • Spend time with those in your household or core bubble only.
    • Explore close to home and avoid non-essential travel.
    • Enjoy a walk or hike with a friend, but do not gather outdoors.

    These restrictions will help to keep our businesses and schools open and our hospitals and communities safe. Thank you for continuing to do your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Most recent info at gov.bc.ca/COVID19

    Zoom with EMO Emergency Preparedness
    The pandemic has changed so much about the way we live and work and for Parksville and Qualicum Beach emergency program coordinators, engaging the community is no exception. Without pandemic restrictions in place, our EPCs would be working in the community, meeting with residents and neighbourhood groups. If you have a group of friends or neighbours interested in a presentation or talk about an emergency preparedness topic, please email info@emergencyoceanside.ca and we will look after you.

    Rob and Aaron have been reaching out virtually with organized Zoom sessions, an opportunity to chat about emergency preparedness. We have a few spaces available on:

    • Thursday, January 21 at 10 am
    • Wednesday, January 27 at 2 pm

    Email info@emergencyoceanside.ca if you would like to participate, letting us know which date is preferred. We will confirm your participation and send you Zoom instructions by email. To join, you will need a computer with an internet connection and can join the meeting in the following ways:

    • Computer with camera and microphone – click the link provided.
    • Computer with camera and no microphone – click link and call the phone number provided.
    • Computer with no camera or no microphone – call the phone number provided.


    There’s a cold snap coming…
    Environment Canada is predicting a few days of colder weather and possibly snow. This link provides a home preparedness checklist for severe weather, ideas on how to develop an emergency plan and emergency kit as well as suggestions on how you can connect with your neighbours.

    From the Town of Qualicum Beach
    Town Hall remains open to the public Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm (except statutory holidays). Town staff are available via email or phone until 4pm, Monday to Friday. While we are happy to help in person where needed, we encourage you to conduct business remotely where possible. You can contact us via any of the following methods:

    • Email - qbtown@qualicumbeach.com
    • Phone - 250 752-6921
    • Post - PO Box 130, Qualicum Beach V9K 1S7
    • Mail Slot - Out front of Town Hall, nearest the fountain

    From the City of Parksville
    City in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic are limited to payments of tickets/licence fees and the purchase of bus passes, with all other City business by appointment and no walk-in services. To book an appointment, call 250 248-6144 or refer to website contact info. Finance is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm. Please note, entry is from Jensen Avenue East. Masks are mandatory when at City Hall and visitors will be asked to provide information for contact tracing.

    For information, contact:

    Rob Daman
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    Town of Qualicum Beach
    rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

    Aaron Dawson
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    City of Parksville
    adawson@parksville.ca

    Deb Tardiff
    Manager of Communications
    City of Parksville
    dtardiff@parksville.ca

  • EMO News Release - December 15, 2020

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    Home for the Holidays
    Thank you for doing your part to keep us all safe. 2020 has been a challenging year and we are encouraged to see a vaccine on the horizon. Thank you for your support of EMO and we look forward to sharing emergency preparedness information with you in 2021. On behalf of the EMO team and the Councils and staff of the Town of Qualicum Beach and City of Parksville, we wish you a most wonderful holiday season and a safe and healthy 2021.

    COVID-19 Update
    Recent COVID-19 measures, which prohibit gatherings and events as well as meeting with people outside of your immediate household, have been extended until midnight, January 8.

    Province-wide restrictions:

    • Masks are required in British Columbia in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
    • Spend time with those in your household or core bubble only.
    • Explore close to home and avoid non-essential travel.
    • Enjoy a walk or hike with a friend, but do not gather outdoors.

    The extended measures mean there will be no multi-household Christmas dinners, Hanukkah celebrations or New Year's Eve gatherings. People who live alone may form a bubble with another unit, but everyone else is asked to stick to their immediate household. Some drive-through, drive-in and drop-off events with COVID safety plans are allowed with up to 50 people who must stay inside their vehicles. Schools will remain open until their usual holiday break time.

    On the fitness front, spin classes, hot yoga and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are suspended indefinitely. Other activities, such as gymnastics, dance studios, martial arts, yoga, pilates, strength and conditioning and cheerleading are on pause until new guidance is developed. Regular gyms and individual training may stay open. All adult indoor and outdoor team sports also remain banned, while youth sports have returned to phase two of ViaSport’s Return to Sport guidelines.

    These restrictions will help to keep our businesses and schools open and our hospitals and communities safe. Thank you for continuing to do your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Most recent info at gov.bc.ca/COVID19.

    Spend an hour in January with EMO Emergency Preparedness Coordinators
    The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about the way we live and work and for our emergency program coordinators, engaging the community is no exception. Without pandemic restrictions in place, our EPCs would be working in the community, meeting with residents and neighbourhood groups to talk about emergency preparedness.

    So, we'd like to reach out virtually and hope you will consider spending an hour or so on Zoom with Aaron and Rob who promise to have a smile on their faces to help with those January blahs. We will be hosting a Zoom meeting on January 13 at 2 pm to chat about emergency preparedness and also answer your questions.

    Please email info@emergencyoceanside.ca if you wish to participate. A few days before the meeting, you will receive the Zoom instructions by email. Please be advised, the meeting is a closed event; however, your screen name will be visible to the other participants. Because there is a limit on the number of participants, we will host additional Zoom meetings if we are not able to accommodate everyone on January 13.

    To join, you will need a computer with an internet connection and can join the meeting in the following ways:

    • Computer with camera and microphone - click the link provided.
    • Computer with camera and no microphone - click link and call the phone number provided.
    • Computer with no camera or no microphone - call the phone number provided.

    If you have specific subjects for discussion or questions you would like answered, please send those along as well (info@emergencyoceanside.ca) and we will do our best to provide the information. We look forward to connecting with you, virtually!

    FROM THE TOWN OF QUALICUM BEACH
    Town Hall remains open to the public Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm (except statutory holidays). Town staff are available via email or phone until 4pm, Monday to Friday.

    While we are happy to help in person where needed, we encourage you to conduct business remotely where possible. You can contact us via any of the following methods:

    • Email qbtown@qualicumbeach.com
    • Phone 250 752-6921
    • Post PO Box 130, Qualicum Beach V9K 1S7
    • Mail Slot - Out front of Town Hall, nearest the fountain

    Please note, Town Hall is closed for the holidays on December 24, December 25 and January 1.

    FROM THE CITY OF PARKSVILLE
    City offices will be closed on Friday, December 25 and Monday, December 28 for the Christmas holidays and on Friday, January 1 for the New Year's Day holiday. City offices will be open on December 24, 29, 30 and 31.

    Currently, working within COVID-19 restrictions, the City's finance department is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm. Please continue to access our services electronically. All other City business is by appointment and walk-in services are not available. To book an appointment, phone 250 248-6144 or contact City staff by email or phone.

    The City's operations department is on call during all non-working hours, including weekends and holidays. For afterhours operations emergency, residents should call 250 248-6144 (4 pm to 8 am, Monday to Friday and weekends and holidays).

    For information, contact:

    Rob Daman
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    Town of Qualicum Beach
    rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

    Aaron Dawson
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    City of Parksville
    adawson@parksville.ca

    Deb Tardiff
    Manager of Communications
    City of Parksville
    dtardiff@parksville.ca


  • No In-person Public Attendance at Meetings - PHO Order

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    December 5, 2020

    We were advised yesterday that the December 2 Provincial Health Officer order on Gatherings and Events repeals the November 10 order and imposes more stringent prohibitions including in-person public attendance at council meetings, public hearings, committee meetings, open houses, and other in-person meetings. This order prohibiting members of the public from attending meetings is in effect until December 7. However, given the current surge of COVID-19 infections in British Columbia, we do not expect this order will be rescinded on December 7.

    Parksville Council’s next scheduled meeting will be held at 3 pm, Monday, December 7 in the Forum, Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. In order to comply with the PHO order, the public may no longer attend this meeting. Residents may view the meeting live through webstreaming, accessible from the City’s website. The meeting video is also archived for viewing at another time. The agenda for the December 7 meeting is posted on the City’s website. Comments should be emailed to council@parksville.ca prior to the meeting.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was recently made by Council to cancel the December 21 meeting. Prior to Council’s first meeting in 2021, expected to be held on January 18, we will advise the public how they may view and/or participate in the meeting. Should residents wish to reach members of Council, please email council@parksville.ca. We apologize for this last-minute notice; however, we were advised of this revised order late on December 4.

    The new Provincial Health Officer Gatherings and Events Order may be viewed here.

  • Keeping Each Other Safe During COVID-19

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    December 1, 2020

    The actions we take help keep our businesses and schools open and our community and health care services safe. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is within our control and we thank you for doing your part. Residents are strongly urged to follow all provincial health orders and guidelines issued in response to COVID-19. Information and resources are available at Island Health and at Let’s Talk Parksville.
    • Masks/face coverings are required in BC in all public indoor settings, on public transit and in workplaces.
    • Spend time with those in your household or core bubble only. No social gatherings of any size.
    • Avoid non-essential travel.
    • Enjoy a physically distanced walk or hike with a friend, but do not gather outdoors.
    • Remain at home if you show signs however mild, of any illness like coughing, fever and other symptoms.
    City services during the pandemic - we continue to safely provide important services for our citizens; departments are available by phone or email and limited in-person services are offered through the City’s finance department. Masks or face coverings are mandatory when at City Hall and visitors will be asked to provide contact information for contact tracing purpose.

    The finance department is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm to process homeowner grants, accept property tax, utility, tickets/licence fee payments and to purchase bus passes, dog licences and building permits. All other business is by appointment only and walk-in services are not available. Please access services electronically and consider mailing payments or paying through your banking institution.
    • To book an appointment, call 250 248-6144 or refer to contact information on the website to reach City staff/departments directly.
    • General inquiries/questions to info@parksville.ca
    • Contact Vancouver Island University, School District #69 and the Parksville library by phone.
    Council meetings - the final Council meeting for 2020 will be held on December 7 in the Forum. Council continues to meet in person and the meetings are web streamed from a link on the City’s website. To meet distance requirements, in-person attendance by the public is extremely limited.

    City facilities - trails, parks and amenities remain open. Please observe posted guidelines. Residents should only go out with people from their own household and maintain a minimum distance of two metres from others.

    Request for service - Residents and businesses should use the online request for service form to report non-emergency operational issues, accessible on the City’s website. Once the form is submitted, the request for service is sent directly to the appropriate City department for their response during business hours.

    City department contact information:
    Administrative Services
    Community Planning and Building, 250 954-3061, planning@parksville.ca
    Engineering, 250 951-2484, engineering@parksville.ca
    Finance, 250 248-6144, cashier@parksville.ca
    Fire Department, 250 248-3242, fire@parksville.ca
    Operations, 250 248-5412, ops@parksville.ca

    For more information:
    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca
    250 954-3073
  • EMO News Release - November 20, 2020

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    As announced yesterday, by order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer, all individuals, places of work and businesses in BC must significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel. These new measures are intended to address the province's second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep our schools and businesses open. The order is in effect until midnight, December 7, 2020.

    The City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach follow the direction of the Provincial Health Officer and Island Health and align operations with the phases of the BC's Restart Plan. We have provided a summary of the new regulations for our residents below and a link to the updated province-wide restrictions is provided here.

    No social gatherings
    No social gatherings, inside or outside, of any size with anyone other than your immediate household or core bubble. This means no gatherings outdoors including your backyard, no playdates for children and most importantly do not invite friends or extended family to your household. Immediate household is defined as those people living in the same household.

    For those living alone, they can continue to see the same one or two people of their core bubble such as a partner, relative, friend or co-parent.

    Activities which are not considered a social gathering are going for a walk, parents carpooling kids to and from school and grandparents providing childcare. Please refer to the BC province-wide restriction available here for allowable services, religious and cultural gatherings, workplaces, restaurants and bars and indoor activities such as gyms and recreation facilities.

    Mandatory mask requirements
    Masks are now mandatory for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. Examples provided are retail stores, recreation centres, libraries, common areas in hotels and in restaurants/bars when not seated at a table and at municipal halls.

    Essential travel only
    At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of British Columbia and between regions of the province. Essential travel is considered regular travel for work within your region and for things such as medical appointments and hospital visits.

    General information
    Concerns or questions about COVID-19 such as symptoms or exposure should be addressed directly to Island Health (not your local government). Island Health is positioned to answer any questions regarding outbreaks and public exposures and is doing the necessary trace contacting and identifying those who should self-isolate. Please refer to the Island Health website for more information.

    Business at both the City of Parksville or Town of Qualicum Beach is by appointment only and walk-in services are not available. Masks are mandatory when entering the buildings and visitors will be asked to provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing.
    We appreciate the support of our residents as we adjust our operations to working with these new regulations. The safety of our residents and staff continues to be our priority. The choices we all make over the next few weeks will make a difference and will support our businesses and schools to stay open. Thank you for continuing to do your part in keeping us safe and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    For information, contact:
    Rob Daman Emergency Program Coordinator Town of Qualicum Beach rdaman@qualicumbeach.com
    Aaron Dawson Emergency Program Coordinator City of Parksville adawson@parksville.ca
    Deb Tardiff Manager of Communications City of Parksville dtardiff@parksville.ca
  • EMO News Release - November 17, 2020

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    Since late summer, COVID-19 case counts continue to increase in the number of active cases and people in isolation. Although most cases are concentrated in the Fraser Health region, COVID-19 continues to spread in all health regions in BC including Vancouver Island as is evidenced by the increased case counts over the past two weeks.

    A few weeks ago, the Province of BC implemented a province-wide order limiting social gatherings in private homes to your immediate household; the people who live in your home, plus a maximum of six other people (your safe six). This order applies to all homes and for all occasions within Island Health. A household is defined as a group of people who live in the same dwelling. If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household. If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household. Dr Henry has said people who live alone can maintain a small bubble.

    Because of the number of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended travel in and out of the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions be limited to essential travel only. If it is necessary to travel to Metro Vancouver, it is so important to exercise caution.

    At this time, there is a two-week provincial order for those living in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley which essentially limits socializing to those within an immediate household – no gatherings or household visitors allowed. We are now going on nine months of feeling the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic in our community and although we do not have the same provincial order in Island Health, conducting ourselves in a safe and preventative manner, keeping our bubbles small is the best possible way to keep ourselves and loved ones safe this winter.

    The choices we make do make a difference and will support our businesses and schools to stay open. Thank you for continuing to do your part in keeping us safe and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Wearing a mask

    The Public Health Agency of Canada now advises wearing non-medical masks with three layers. Earlier this month the Public Health Agency of Canada advised Canadians to up their mask game and use non-medical face masks with three layers - two layers made of a tightly woven fabric like cotton and a third layer made of a synthetic water-repelling material which can act as a filter to trap infectious particles. (Alternatively, you can choose masks with a pocket in which you insert a removable filter.) Previously, PHAC had been telling Canadians to use a non-medical mask or face covering with two layers. Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam stressed the importance of the new recommendation given the fact that we are moving into winter and likely to spend more time indoors.

    This link explains proper material, fit, safety considerations and outlines the reasons why the Public Health Agency is now recommending three-layer masks.

    Every layer of protection helps slow the spread of COVID-19. But no layer is perfect. Layer up to keep our loved ones, elders, and communities safe - and our businesses and schools open.

    Pandemic Preparedness Guide

    A roadmap to help you plan for a pandemic, this guide provides resources, supports and information on what to do to keep yourself and others safe. There's an explanation of a pandemic, info about emergency kits, good hygiene, personal health, copying with stress, checklists and forms, how to clean and disinfect and other useful information. The link to the guide is here.

    Being Winter Prepared

    We've seen our share of rain and wind this month and no doubt will see more severe weather over the coming winter months. This link provides a home preparedness checklist for severe weather, ideas on how to develop an emergency plan and emergency kit as well as suggestions on how you can connect with your neighbours.

    For information, contact:

    Rob Daman
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    Town of Qualicum Beach
    rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

    Aaron Dawson
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    City of Parksville
    adawson@parksville.ca

    Deb Tardiff
    Manager of Communications
    City of Parksville
    dtardiff@parksville.ca

  • EMO News Release - October 26, 2020

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    At yesterday’s briefing, the provincial Medical Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Hendry, announced a substantial increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province over the past weekend. Today’s announcement is a reminder that we should remain diligent and continue to work together to stop the spread of the pandemic.

    Vancouver Island has had no new infections over the weekend; nine active cases isolating as of October 26 (five in Central Island) and 59 people in quarantine based on contact tracing. The local medical health officer reports contact tracing has limited the transfer of infection. Although Vancouver Island infection numbers are low, we must remain diligent to protect each other. This is not the time to get complacent even though our infections remain far lower than anywhere else in the province.

    A new provincial health order limits gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household plus your “safe six” (six additional others). This order is necessary because transmission is now occurring within households. This order can be enforced by municipal bylaw and police officers and clear violations of the order may be reported to the RCMP. We hope this will not be necessary and residents will comply with this order; the rules are in place to protect us all.

    For the coming winter months, Dr Hendry suggested we should focus on our immediate family and consider having social connections with others in a safe way. This will be a challenge but is something we need to do as a community, so we are able to get through the coming respiratory season and protect ourselves and others in the best possible way.

    There is now an expectation, not an order, that masks should be worn when in businesses, workplaces and indoor public spaces, especially in high-traffic areas. Because we cannot always keep a safe distance, masks can provide an extra layer of protection. To be safe, we should feel comfortable wearing a mask at any time.

    A reminder to Oceanside residents to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

    • Maintain physical distance of at least two metres
    • Wash your hands often
    • Cover your cough or sneeze
    • Do not touch your face
    • Avoid large gatherings
    • Stay home if sick
    • Wear a mask in public spaces
    • Be kind, be calm and be safe

    For information, contact:

    Rob Daman
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    Town of Qualicum Beach
    rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

    Aaron Dawson
    Emergency Program Coordinator
    City of Parksville
    adawson@parksville.ca

    Deb Tardiff
    Manager of Communications
    City of Parksville
    dtardiff@parksville.ca

  • Be Safe and Have Fun this Halloween!

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    October 14, 2020

    We wish for our residents to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween this year. We are passing along some suggestions from the BC Centre for Disease website. Outdoor trick or treating can be safe when people respect physical distancing, wear masks, use hand sanitizer and ensure treats are prepackaged.

    No matter how you celebrate Halloween this year…

    • Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
    • Try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume. Costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.

    Skip Halloween parties this year…

    Leave the parties behind. Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19. Celebrate with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.

    If you host or attend a small party, keep it within your social group (stick to six)…

    • You should know everyone who attends, no plus ones. Follow our guidelines for safer celebrations.
    • Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes, and vapes.
    • Be more outside, than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open. Avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
    • Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames - hand sanitizer is very flammable!

    Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips…

    • Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
    • Keep to your local neighbourhood this year. Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
    • Trick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people. Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
    • Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats. Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go. You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.

    Get creative handing out treats…

    • Get creative! Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy. Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl. Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
    • Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
    • Be more outside, than inside. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell. If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening.
    • If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
    • Help make trick-or-treating more accessible to everyone by handing out treats from the bottom of your stairs or at your curbside.

    Consider launching a virtual competition with your neighbours for the best outdoor Halloween decorations or show kindness by sharing photos, or connecting virtually, instead of hugs with your loved ones who are more at risk. Be kind, be calm and be safe this Halloween.