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Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Update #42

By Contributor
May 15th, 2020

Submitted by City of Nelson Emergency Operations Centre

Stay Local, Keep Your Community Safe This Long Weekend

As the May long weekend approaches, the province reminds everyone to avoid all non-essential travel in BC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and instead stay local.

Though some restrictions are expected to ease next week, it remains vital for everyone to maintain physical distancing and take other important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

This includes staying home if you have any symptoms of illness, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and not touching your face. 

Here are some tips to enjoy the long weekend while following the public safety guidelines set by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry:

  • Have fun close to home
  • Do not visit vacation properties
  • Do not go pleasure boating
  • BC Ferries service is reduced on many routes
  • Only visit your local provincial park or recreation site
  • Enjoy the outdoors safely
  • Plan ahead and stick to well-marked trails

Provincial Parks Open For Day Use

On May 14, BC Parks will start to reopen the majority of provincial parks, protected areas and marine parks. People across the province will have more access to safe outdoor recreation opportunities while meeting the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer.

Many front- and back-country trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches will open for day-use. Visitor centres, nature houses and concession buildings may be opened on a case-by case basis. In some instances, facilities such as playgrounds, hot springs, halls, and picnic shelters will remain closed.

On June 1, BC Parks will re-open most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping. To ensure physical distancing, there may be some changes in campgrounds, including additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campgrounds.

Some communal facilities such as shower buildings will open with enhanced cleaning protocols, while campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities and back-country cabins will remain closed.

COVID-19 and Returning to Safe Operations

All businesses and organizations, whether they stayed open or are planning to re-open in Phase 2 or Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, should begin their planning with input from workers on how to operate in a safe way. All businesses are required to have a public ‘COVID-19 Safe Plan’ to operate in BC to help reduce the risk of exposure.

Workplace Safe Plans will address how:

  • Workplaces are organized and arranged.
  • Specific activities are carried out.
  • To clean and sanitize.
  • Changes and precautions will be communicated to everyone at the workplace.

The following steps are provided to help workplaces develop a plan:

  1. Assess the risk
  2. Implement measures to reduce the risk
  3. Develop policies
  4. Develop communication plans and training
  5. Monitor workplace and update plans as needed
  6. Assess and address risks from resuming operations

To learn more, visit WorkSafeBC:

Interior Health to Resume Elective Surgeries on May 19

While the pandemic continues to evolve, Interior Health is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to safely resume elective surgeries to support access for patients, both on waitlists and yet to be added. Patients will be rescheduled based on priority.

Interior Health is calling patients to confirm their health status and determine if they are able and willing to move forward with surgery, with the recognition that some individuals may wish to continue to postpone their surgery at this time. Those who choose not to proceed with their surgeries immediately will hold their spot on the waitlist.

In an effort to support as many people as possible, Interior Health will also maximize their ability to provide minor procedures that do not require an operating room, as well as day surgeries that do not require overnight stays in hospital.

Interior Health will assess opportunities to expand capacity over the coming months to ensure individuals who need surgery get it as quickly as possible.

Some National Parks and Historic Sites to Re-open on June 1

Starting June 1, 2020, the Federal Government will gradually resume some operations at certain national parks, national historic sites, historic waterways, and national marine conservation areas. This will include access to some trails, day use areas, and green spaces, and some access for recreational boating. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also gradually resume some operations at selected national wildlife areas, including conservation activities and day use access for visitors.

Until June 1, suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place, including over the Victoria Day long weekend. For their own safety, Canadians should not try to access locations that are closed.

All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice.

The BC Government has provided the following information today:

COVID-19 Case Statistics:

  • Total cases in BC to date: 2391— 878 in Vancouver Coastal Health; 1149 in Fraser Health; 126 in Island Health; 181 in Interior Health (1 new case in 24 hours); 58 in Northern Health
  • Total fatalities in BC to date: 135 (3 deaths in 24 hours)
  • Total new cases in BC: 15
  • Total people recovered in BC: 1885
  • Total cases in Canada to date: 73,335
  • Total fatalities in Canada to date: 5,471

Categories: GeneralHealth


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