COVID-19 Alberni Valley Response

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

This page has been set up to provide you with local information on COVID-19. We will regularly update this page with any changes to City of Port Alberni (the City) and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) operations which may affect Port Alberni and the surrounding Electoral Areas.

Here in the Alberni Valley, the City and ACRD use a combined approach to preparing for and responding to emergencies. Because the COVID-19 global emergency affects all citizens of the Alberni Valley, we have implemented a joint Alberni Valley COVID-19 Response Plan (the Plan).

As local governments, our main role is to help provide accurate and timely information to the public, as well as ensure we continue to provide essential services to the community we serve.

Please note that the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control should remain your primary source of information in the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreak. Please visit their websites information on COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus.

As we progress through this global epidemic, we remind you to do your part by following the direction of public health officials, including limiting public gatherings, practicing physical/social distancing, staying home unless your work is considered to be essential to the public good and washing your hands regularly

Stay safe - stay calm - stay informed - stay connected

We are stronger together.


This page has been set up to provide you with local information on COVID-19. We will regularly update this page with any changes to City of Port Alberni (the City) and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) operations which may affect Port Alberni and the surrounding Electoral Areas.

Here in the Alberni Valley, the City and ACRD use a combined approach to preparing for and responding to emergencies. Because the COVID-19 global emergency affects all citizens of the Alberni Valley, we have implemented a joint Alberni Valley COVID-19 Response Plan (the Plan).

As local governments, our main role is to help provide accurate and timely information to the public, as well as ensure we continue to provide essential services to the community we serve.

Please note that the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control should remain your primary source of information in the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreak. Please visit their websites information on COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus.

As we progress through this global epidemic, we remind you to do your part by following the direction of public health officials, including limiting public gatherings, practicing physical/social distancing, staying home unless your work is considered to be essential to the public good and washing your hands regularly

Stay safe - stay calm - stay informed - stay connected

We are stronger together.


  • B.C. Begins Phase 3 of the Restart Plan

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 1 month ago

    British Columbians are taking the next step in BC’s Restart Plan with a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province.

    “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of British Columbians, and under the guidance of the provincial health officer, we are now entering Phase 3 of our four-phase restart plan,” said Premier John Horgan. “As we carefully turn up the dial on our activity, we can now look to travel safely around the province. But as we hit the open roads this summer, we must remember we are not leaving COVID-19 behind, and we need to continue to do our part to bend the curve and protect the progress we’ve made.”

    British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this summer are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns. The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within B.C.:

    • pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
    • respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
    • no travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
    • practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
    • spending time in small groups and open spaces; and
    • practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.

    “Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” Premier Horgan said. “We are asking British Columbians to be respectful of the communities you travel to and do your research before you leave. We will help people get the tools and information they need to navigate this new normal safely.”

    Most of the businesses listed in Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan now have the guidance they need to safely begin to open. WorkSafeBC, public health officials and industry representatives have developed guidelines for hotels and resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment, like movie theatres, and businesses in these sectors have already begun to open with COVID-19 safety plans in place.

    “We've succeeded in flattening the curve by working together, but COVID-19 will continue to be in our province until we have an effective treatment or vaccine. By staying vigilant and following our foundational rules, we can safely do many of the things that we enjoy for the months to come,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.


    For more information:

    BC Government: BC Government COVID-19 provincial support

    WorkSafe BC: https://www.worksafebc.com/en

  • BC News Release: Province Takes Action to Support Return to Sport

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    British Columbians will be able to get back to playing sports sooner with the Province’s action to protect amateur sport organizations from COVID-19 liabilities, provided they are complying with public health orders and provincial sport guidelines.

    Government has created a ministerial order that protects amateur sport organizations, their employees and volunteers from liability.

    “We want to make sure children and their families can get the benefits of physical activity and get back to playing the sports they love,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Many sports organizations are run by volunteers who need to make sure they are protected for risks related to COVID-19. This order will help cover that risk so people can safely get back to playing sports sooner in their communities.”

    Provincial and local sport organizations have identified challenges with obtaining adequate insurance as a result of the pandemic. Most insurance companies are not providing coverage for COVID-19 related damages, meaning many amateur sports were unable to provide sport programming during the pandemic.

    The ministerial order protects amateur sport organizations and their representatives from damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from COVID-19 for amateur sports. For example, a sports organization or its representatives will not be liable for a participant in their sports program being exposed to COVID-19 as a result of participation. That liability protection would be in place as long as they follow applicable guidance, such as viaSport’s Return to Sport protocols and public-health guidance on how to prevent the spread of the virus. This guidance includes encouraging proper handwashing, regular disinfecting, limiting shared equipment, physical distancing measures and the use of wellness questionnaires and health self-assessment tools.

    "We are thrilled that sport is making its return in the province. Today's announcement is welcome news for our partners in the amateur sport sector,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport. “This co-ordinated response to address concerns around volunteer and staff liability means that these not-for-profit organizations can focus on delivering safe, high-quality sport experiences for the people in their communities."

    To view the ministerial order, visit: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/mo/2020_m183

    To learn more about viaSport and the Return to Sport Guidelines, visit: https://www.viasport.ca/sites/default/files/ReturntoSportGuidelines.pdf

  • Provincial State of Emergency Extended to Continue B.C.’s COVID-19 Response

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    VICTORIA – The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

    “As we continue to slowly and carefully reopen our economy, British Columbians are starting to see aspects of normal life return. But it's important to remember that we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Premier John Horgan. “There are a lot of people, businesses and communities that continue to need a hand right now, and the extension of this state of emergency helps us do that.”

    The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on June 23, 2020, allowing government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.

    “Under the provincial state of emergency, our government continues to address the variety of needs throughout British Columbia in response to COVID-19,” Farnworth said. “We’ve been working with communities throughout this crisis, and the provincial state of emergency helps ensure our efforts continue in a mindful and co-ordinated way.”

    For more information, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home

  • WorkSafeBC Provides COVID-19 Guidelines and Resources for Businesses & Employers

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    WorkSafeBC is actively monitoring and adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic to determine health and safety needs to best support workers, providers and employers around the province. WorkSafeBC is working to support the direction of public health agencies for slowing the progression of COVID-19 by helping workplaces to take appropriate preventative measures.

    Every employer is required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their workplace and implements measures to keep their workers safe. As part of this safety plan, employers will complete the following six steps:

    Step 1: Assess the risks at your workplace

    Step 2: Implement protocols to reduce the risks

    Step 3: Develop policies

    Step 4: Develop communication plans and training

    Step 5: Monitor your workplace and update your plans as necessary

    Step 6: Assess and address risks for resuming operations

    WorkSafeBC has released industry-specific guidelines and resources, as well as a plan template to assist organizations in the development of their COVID-19 Safety Plan. Businesses in all sectors are required to use these guidelines and resources to develop their COVID-19 safety plans and post those plans for employees and customers.

    WorkSafeBC will continuously update information, make modifications as necessary and they will be reviewing plans with employers during workplace inspections. Please be reminded that in accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer, this plan must be posted at the worksite. During a WorkSafeBC inspection, employers will be asked about the steps they have taken to protect their workers and to show their plan.

    For further information:

  • Canada Border Services Agency Announces Changes to Travel Restrictions

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of June 8, 2020 23:59 EDT, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days. Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.

    An immediate family member refers to a person’s:

    a) spouse or common-law partner;

    b) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or

    a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;

    c) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of

    a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b):

    d) parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;

    e) guardian or tutor.

    All foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 continue to remain prohibited from entering Canada.

    This change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa.

    For more information, contact: Border Information Service, Canada Border Services Agency at contact@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca or 1-800-461-9999

  • ICBC Reinstates All Knowledge Tests by Appointment

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    After successfully reintroducing additional knowledge tests on May 4th, ICBC will now be expanding appointments to include all knowledge tests effective June 1st.

    Starting today, customers can call to book an appointment for all types of knowledge tests at offices throughout the province. Locations offering testing and their availability can be confirmed when booking an appointment. Scheduled appointments will allow ICBC to provide an important service to customers while ensuring our commitment to physical distancing guidelines.

    Due to anticipated demand, ICBC is encouraging customers to come prepared by studying the learning guides and taking the practice knowledge test several times to give them a greater chance of qualifying on the first attempt.

    Customers can call ICBC's driver licence contact centre at 1-800-950-1498 and leave a voicemail message requesting a knowledge test. Customers will receive a callback from an ICBC representative, who will identify available testing locations and book the appointment. All appointments will be 45 minutes per knowledge test and the number of available appointments will vary depending on location. ICBC will not be offering stand-by appointments at this time. Translation services for knowledge testing will also be reinstated effective June 1st adhering to WorkSafeBC guidelines.

    The expansion of knowledge testing is part of ICBC's ongoing commitment to support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    ICBC is putting extensive effort into a plan to safely resume road testing, which includes engaging with staff and WorksafeBC on the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, which we are working actively to source. There is no timeline yet for resumption but progress is being made and ICBC will keep customers informed.

    ICBC continues to consult with WorkSafeBC and follow the advice of the provincial authorities to find ways to resume further operations that ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff.

    For more information, visit: www.icbc.com

  • ACRD & City of Port Alberni: A Path to Recovery Plan

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) and the City of Port Alberni (CPA) have developed a joint COVID-19 Path to Recovery Plan to promote physical, social and mental wellbeing, guide the reopening of businesses and workspaces, restart community engagement, strengthen communication, maintain the health and safety of residents and rebuild our resilient economy.

    The COVID-19 response will have a long recovery and as we move through this process, we will need to be patient, understanding, flexible and adaptable to emerging direction and guidelines that will keep our community safe and healthy. The Path to Recovery Plan intends to chart a pathway for recovery while taking direction from the Provincial Health Officer.

    The Plan is a working document that is responsive to developing circumstances within the region. The strategies and timelines are tied to directives of the Provincial Health Officer to allow for recovery actions that are fluid and reactive to the evolving situation while fitting within the COVID-19 response and recovery framework provided by the Province.

    During this uncertain time, we are all looking for a clear direction forward. This plan has been developed to provide a framework that outlines the next steps to reengage, reopen and revitalize our community. The Alberni Valley is resilient and strong and together through cooperation, collaboration and preparation, we will prevail.

    As we enter this new phase towards recovery, steps will be slow, cautious and deliberate. We will follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and will alter our intended course when necessary to ensure the safety of our residents. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 globally, nationally, provincially and locally to guide our steps along this path and adjust accordingly.

    Our “new normal” will be guided by necessary precautions to keep residents safe and include provincially recommended health practices that will remain in effect for the months ahead:

    1. Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice

    2. Wash hands, avoid touching your face and use respiratory etiquette

    3. Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill – with no exceptions

    4. Maintain physical distancing (no handshakes or hugs, keep your number of contacts low and keep a safe distance)

    5. Make necessary contacts safer with appropriate controls (e.g. use barriers, alter schedules & redesign spaces)

    6. Increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces at home and work

    7. Consider using non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing can’t be maintained (transit or shopping)

    8. Continuing to minimize non-essential personal travel

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District Emergency Operations Centre: 250-724-1356

    email: eocoperations@acrd.bc.ca

    websites: www.letsconnectpa.ca/covid-19 / www.acrd.bc.ca / www.portalberni.ca

  • BC Ferries Implements Face Covering Requirement for Passengers

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    VICTORIA – In keeping with directives and guidance provided by Transport Canada, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This directive goes into effect on June 15 for routes longer than 30 minutes and applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. Passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. Customers must bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers.

    As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) and be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.

    BC Ferries will also continue screening all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.

    BC Ferries is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy travel experience for its passengers and employees. For those that need to travel, additional measures have been put in place to keep customers and crew healthy and safe. These preventative measures include support for physical distancing, screening customers on arrival, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles on all decks during the sailing and enhanced cleaning.

    As this situation is rapidly evolving, BC Ferries encourages customers to monitor the website for any additional changes to service. For full details on service changes and the measures BC Ferries is taking in response to COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.

  • Joint News Release - Playgrounds Reopen In the Alberni Valley, Effective June 10

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    about 2 months ago

    Port Alberni, BC – Effective Wednesday, June 10, 2020, the City of Port Alberni, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and School District 70 will reopen playgrounds for public use in the Alberni Valley.

    When using the playground equipment, we remind you to:

    • Supervise children
    • Bring hand sanitizer to use before and after using the playground
    • Keep a 2m (6 feet) distance between guardians from different households
    • Do stay home if you are sick
    • Restrict crowding as much as possible

    Please note that the playground surfaces are NOT sanitized.

    For children to stay healthy and active, we recognize it is important for them to play outside and that the use of playground equipment will encourage their physical and mental health. The welfare of our residents continues to be our primary focus. As we move towards recovery, we will monitor information, follow recommendations provided by the Federal, Provincial and local agencies and communicate any further changes to service delivery.

    On March 22, playgrounds were closed to protect the health and safety of all residents, encourage physical distancing and help slow the spread of COVID-19. As these facilities reopen, public health officials will continue to stress the importance of taking precautions to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

    Remember to have fun!

    for more information:

    Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, 250-720-2700 / www.acrd.bc.ca

    City of Port Alberni, 250-723-1327 / www.portalberni.ca

    School District 70, 250-723-3565 / www.sd70.bc.ca




  • Government of Canada Develops Online Tool to Help Determine COVID-19 Benefits

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    2 months ago

    Are you eligible for benefits during COVID-19? During the pandemic, the Federal and Provincial governments have provided a variety of supports and benefits for individuals and businesses. The Government of Canada has produced a great, new online tool that will help you determine whether you qualify for financial help during COVID-19. It is very user-friendly and effective. After only a few short questions, it will direct you to any appropriate Provincial and Federal benefit programs that apply to you. Visit: https://covid-benefits.alpha.canada.ca/en/start