The CVRD’s bylaw enforcement and parks staff will continue to monitor use of parks and trails. (File photo)

Residents urged to stay close to home over the holiday weekend

Time to be extra vigilant during the COVID-19 crisis

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is reminding residents to follow provincial public health orders and recommendations during this critical time in reducing the impact of COVID-19.

With longer days and nicer weather moving into spring, the CVRD wants residents to remain vigilant with physical distancing and staying near home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with our communities.

“The health care system in British Columbia has not been overwhelmed to date, and our numbers in the Island Health region show that what we have been doing has had an effect,” said Dr. Shannon Waters, medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region. “But we need to continue to be vigilant in following physical distancing and other measures to ensure the response efforts of our front-line workers can continue at the highest capacity possible.”

Like communities across B.C., the Cowichan region is subject to a number of provincial public health orders that include the following:

• Self-isolating if you are sick, even with symptoms other than COVID-19.

• Maintaining a two-metre distance from others in all public spaces.

• Restriction on open burning of yard waste and debris.

• Staying home as much as possible, not visiting friends and family.

“Cowichan is a region where people come to vacation and recreate, but this is not a time where we can support an influx of visitors to our parks and trails or vacation properties,” said Aaron Stone, chair of the CVRD. “We’re asking that if your primary residence is not in the Cowichan Valley, please do not plan activities or trips to our region during this critical time.”

Local parks and trails across the CVRD remain open, though many park facilities continue to be closed. Users should adhere to posted signs for the safe and respectful enjoyment of everyone. One-way use is being applied and signed on several loop trails managed by the CVRD to support adherence to social distancing by trail users.

CVRD bylaw enforcement and parks staff continue to monitor public use of CVRD parks and trails and adjustments may be implemented in response to public compliance to social distancing and other directives of the provincial health authorities going forward.

Cowichan residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves and follow all public health orders. Failure to comply with provincial emergency orders can carry fines of over $25,000 or jail time.

For an up-to-date list of emergency orders and resources for residents, please review our COVID-19 Reference Guide. For more information about the CVRD response to COVID-19, including service delivery and contact information, visit the COVID-19 Information page of the CVRD website.

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