The Cowichan Valley Regional District has established a Regional Emergency Operations Centre to assess and respond to the public safety risk posed by COVID-19.
“The CVRD is working closely with its partners, including member municipalities, First Nations, school districts, and Island Health to fully understand the situation across the region and coordinate decision making,” said Brian Carruthers, CAO of the CVRD. “We are reviewing essential service levels across all aspects of our workforce, recognizing that this situation is likely to worsen and require reduction or periodic elimination of services.”
The BC Ministry of Health has confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island. The provincial health officer is now directing the cancellation of gatherings of 50 or more people at this time, and the CVRD will be following this direction.
In an effort to encourage the practice of ‘social distancing,’ the CVRD and its member municipalities ask the public consider their patronage at public facilities and determine whether their business with local governments could be conducted online or over the phone. If in-person attendance is essential, the public is asked to maintain at least a one-metre distance from staff and other patrons as much as possible.
It is anticipated the REOC will convene daily for the foreseeable future to assess the evolving situation with representatives from partner governments and agencies, and continue to share information with the public as required.