COVID-19 Alberni Valley Response

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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.


  • Wood Elementary School COVID-19 Exposure Event

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    22 Oct 2020

    Please visit School District 70 website to find out information related to a COVID-19 exposure at Wood Elementary School.

    https://www.sd70.bc.ca/

    Additional information can be found on Island Health website:

    www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/exposures-schools

  • COVID-19 Impact Survey

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    16 Oct 2020
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    The City of Port Alberni is gathering data about the local economy and how it has changed over time due to COVID-19. Complete a survey for a chance to win $100 at a local store.

  • Alberni District Secondary School COVID-19 Exposure.

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    04 Oct 2020

    Please visit Alberni District Secondary School website to find out information related to a COVID-19 exposure at ADSS.

    adss.sd70.bc.ca/

    Additional information can be found on Island Health website:

    www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/exposures-schools

  • COVID-19 Daily Health Check for K-12 School Settings

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    27 Sep 2020
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    Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools can be found on the BCCDC webiste: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/childcare-schools/schools

  • COVID-19 Emergency Centre Update - September 17, 2020

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    17 Sep 2020
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    The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) is now posting COVID-19 data by ‘Health Service Delivery Area’. All communities within the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District are located in the Central Vancouver Island, in addition to Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Lake Cowichan. As of September 16, 2020, there were 4 active COVID-19 cases in the Central Vancouver Island area. VIHA updates this information regularly on their website, under ‘Current Data’ found here: www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures

    Children returned to school this week and are learning new routines and expectations. The Island’s medical health officer has indicated Vancouver Island is one of the safest places for children to return to school and we hope knowing this will help to alleviate some of the concerns and uncertainty for parents. Regular updates from School District 70 can be found here: www.sd70.bc.ca/. Updates for École des Grands-Cèdres can be found here: grandscedres.csf.bc.ca/. Updates for St. John Paul II Catholic School can be found here: www.jp2nd.ca/.

    COVID-19 Testing

    Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should use the self-assessment tool bc.thrive.health/ to see if they need testing before calling the COVID-19 Testing Call Centre. Testing is available for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. COVID-19 Call Centre 1-844-901-8442.

    BC now offers two option for COVID-19 testing in children and youth. The COVID-19 gargle and mouth rinse test is available for most school-aged children from kindergarten through grade 12. The nose swab is used for younger children or those that may not be able to follow the swish, gargle and spit instructions. http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing/children-youth.

    Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

    The ACRD Administration office is open by appointment only. Please call 250-720-2700 to speak to a staff member to schedule an appointment. ACRD staff are also available to continue to serve the public over the phone, via virtual meeting, or via email. www.acrd.bc.ca/district-staff-list

    City of Port Alberni

    Earlier this week, City of Port Alberni council directed staff to reopen the Echo ’67 Aquatic Centre in October 2020. Stay tuned for schedule details. City staff continue to serve the public over the phone, virtual meetings, or via email. www.portalberni.ca/staff-directory

    Stay Informed

    Search out reliable COVID-19 information by visiting these sites:

    Vancouver Island Health Authority
    www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19

    BC Centre for Disease Control
    www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

    The Alberni Valley Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) remains open at Level 1 and will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

  • BC Transit Mandatory Face Covering - August 24

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    12 Aug 2020
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    BC Transit, in alignment with Translink and other transportation agencies, will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the Province as of August 24.

    Exemptions for BC Transit’s mandatory face covering policy include:

    • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;
    • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
    • Children under 5 years of age;
    • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access; and
    • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency situation.

    We recognize the advice from health professionals, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible including on transit vehicles. Customers have indicated making the use of face coverings mandatory will create a more comfortable environment.

    While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented as an educational step without enforcement. The educational position is aligned with Translink and other transit agencies in Canada.

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

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    24 Jun 2020
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    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

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    10 Jun 2020
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    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

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    10 Jun 2020
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    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

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    10 Jun 2020
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    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: