Our sincere thanks to the dedicated health care workers, first responders, front-line workers and essential service employees who are going above and beyond to serve our community at this time. We recognize the challenges residents and businesses in our community are experiencing daily. In time, we will find a way to return to a new normal, while continuing with behaviours such as distancing requirements and sanitizing practices to help reduce the risks in our community, allowing us to get back to work and the activities we enjoy. Stay safe, stay well.
GENERAL UPDATES AND INFORMATION
Here are a few new links which may be of interest to residents:
· Safe spaces for people leaving violence https://news.gov.bc.ca/22099
· Supports for BC animal care facility operators https://news.gov.bc.ca/22101
· Resource to inspire, educate and engage Canadians https://canadatogether.com/en
Mobility Aids on Transit
Due to physical distancing recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer, RDN Transit has made changes to the number of mobility aids permitted on buses, which cannot be collapsed or folded. For more information, contact Transportation Services at 250 954-1001. This affects riders as follows:
· Full-size bus - only one rear-facing mobility aid per bus. No forward-facing mobility aids permitted at this time.
· Community shuttles/small bus - only one mobility aid per bus. The driver, wearing personal protective equipment, must attach the mobility aid to the bus with a series of connections (shoulder harness may be required).
VIRL Virtual Library Cards and Resources
While the library remains closed, you can still register and access many resources online. Sign up and take advantage of all the entertainment and learning opportunities available. https://virl.bc.ca/virl-offering-online-card-registration-24-7-wifi-and-...
Oceanside Business Resource
The Parksville and Qualicum Chamber of Commerce has a tool for local businesses to detail the services being offered at this time. This website provides a great resource for residents to determine the levels of modified business services being offered by our businesses. Businesses located in the Parksville and Qualicum Beach region can register to be added to the page. https://supporting-oceanside-businesses.com
Recovery for Small to Medium Businesses
Innovation Island and Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) are providing a Digital Economy Rapid Response Recovery program for small/medium sized businesses closed or running at below normal capacity. The free program supports regional businesses to enter and/or expand into the digital economy and is open to businesses on Vancouver Island north of the Malahat, on the Sunshine Coast, or Northern or Southern Gulf Islands. https://innovationisland.ca/der3
Emergency Preparedness Week – May 3-9
Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins with making a plan and being prepared to look after yourself, your family and your pets for a minimum of one week. Emergency Preparedness Week is a reminder intended to raise awareness and offer information and tips to help prepare businesses, individuals and families for the possibility of an emergency or disaster incident. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach will not be scheduling any public events for emergency preparedness week.
The past few weeks have reminded us just how important personal preparedness can be and as we have learned, being prepared and having a plan is critical. During this time of physical and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can take the important steps to prepare for a situation that can occur anytime, anywhere by protecting ourselves and our families. While being isolated at home, it’s a great time to build on the emergency preparedness plans and supplies you have gathered for other potential emergencies. For more information on how to prepare yourself and your family in the event of an emergency, visit GetPrepared.ca
Some preparedness websites are listed here should residents wish additional information:
With the COVID-19 situation, ensuring Parksville-Qualicum Beach residents receive up-to-date communications is even more important. Alerts can be sent over a variety of channels including mobile apps, text/SMS, email or voice dial. Registration is free and anonymous. Mobile app users can download the Voyent Alert! app from Apple or Google Play app stores. Email or SMS users may register online at https://register.voyent-alert.com. Access to the Voyent Alert! signup can also be accessed from the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach websites.
We offer an electronic newsletter with updates about COVID-19 as well as emergency preparedness info for the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region. Signup at EmergencyOceanside.ca.
COVID-19 is a serious health threat and the situation continues to evolve. The risk will vary between and within communities and some Canadians are more at risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions and age. We must continue to think ahead about the actions we need to take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The province, along with health authority partners, have expanded COVID-19 testing across BC. Island Health announced this week testing for those with symptoms of cold, flu or the coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. Island Health’s call centre employees are trained to assess whether or not a test is needed. For those showing no symptoms, testing is not recommended. Call 1 844 901-8442 for more info.
Canada COVID-19 Support App and Symptom Tracker
This mobile app helps with Canada's COVID-19 response by allowing Canadian to track symptoms, receive updates and gain access to trusted medical resources. You can help too, even if you are healthy! https://ca.thrive.health
UPDATES FROM TOWN OF QUALICUM BEACH
The Qualicum Beach Civic Centre will open for one day only to allow the Canadian Blood Services to operate a COVID-19 friendly collection next week. Although completely booked up and no walk-ins facilitated, Canadian Blood Services wishes to pass along thanks to all those who donate life-giving blood. As well, the Town thanks the Canadian Blood Services for their frontline work, providing this essential service. Donor info at www.blood.ca/en/blood/am-i-eligible.
UPDATES FROM CITY OF PARKSVILLE
Public Comments at Council Meetings
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation and until further notice, meetings are closed to attendance by the public. Council continues to meet regularly and meetings are held virtually and webcast live and archived from the City’s website. Council agendas are posted to the City’s website on Thursday the week before the Monday Council meeting.
Residents are welcome to send comments related to items on the agenda to Council@parksville.ca. If you wish your comments included in the public record, comments must be received by noon, the day of the Council meeting. Please include a full name and address for the comment to be included in the minutes.
While City offices are closed to the public, contact us by phone or email. Main phone 250 248-6144 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct department contact information on the City's website.
We will keep you informed of any changes to how the Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville operate as this pandemic evolves. City staff and elected officials are practicing physical distance and sanitizing protocols and many services continue to be available by phone, email and online, please refer to your municipality for contact information. Health-related information is available from:
BC Centre for Disease Control
Public Health Agency of Canada
Medical COVID-19 information - 811
Non-medical COVID-19 information - 1 888 268-4319
Government of Canada Coronavirus info line - 1 833 784-4397
Senior Support Program - 211