March 25, 2020 – 4:45pm
COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE #7 – CITY OF NELSON
Nelson, BC – City representatives participated in the weekly Community Futures business round table to hear from our business community on the challenges they are facing and heard about the creative ways they have pivoted to serve our community. Council has directed staff to adjust the City 2020 budget to achieve a 0% tax increase and to look at all of the City’s fees, charges and penalties with the goal of reducing the financial burden to our residents and businesses. The link to the full media release can on the City’s Budget Freeze and Review, can be found here.
The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) is working with BC Housing, Interior Health, the RDCK and our local non-profits to support the vulnerable populations’ response. Resources are being brought together to support this group.
The City has engaged a public health physician who has completed an initial review of the City of Nelson’s workforce safety procedures plan to ensure it meets the standards recommended by Interior Health as required under this pandemic. He reaffirmed that the City’s procedures are at a high standard that protects the health of both our employees and the community.
The BC Government has provided the following information today:
- Total cases in BC to date: 659
- 339 in Vancouver Coastal Health
- 218 in Fraser Health
- 47 in Island Health
- 46 in Interior Health
- 9 in Northern Health
- Total recovered cases in BC: 183
- Total fatalities in BC to date: 14
- Total cases in Canada to date: 3409
- Total fatalities in Canada to date: 36
Landlord and Tenant Update from the BC Government:
The provincial government made an announcement today with regards to renters and landlords in our province. In order to support renters in our communities, a $500 a month supplement will be offered to renters that have had reduced wages or been laid off. Benefiting those with low to moderate incomes; this supplement will be available to those that have lost wages or jobs due to COVID-19; but do not currently qualify for existing rental assistance programs.
Premier John Horgan laid out the following:
- The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords.
- Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason. However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
- Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. The smaller number of court ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
- Freezing new annual rent increases during the state of emergency.
- Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
- Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email).
- Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
For more information visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Update from the West Kootenay Regional Airport:
Air Canada has temporarily suspended all flights in and out of the West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar until at least March 31, 2020. Air Canada says its network planning group is constantly monitoring the situation and it will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada and Global Affairs and will adjust its schedule as appropriate.
For more information visit Air Canada’s website.
New Federal Order: Mandatory travel quarantine for international travellers kick in at midnight, tonight.
The following excerpt is from CBC News – March 25, 2020
All travellers returning to Canada — with the exception of what the federal government is calling "essential workers" — will have to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine as of midnight to help slow the spread of COVID-19, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said this morning
"This new measure will provide the clarity for those re-entering the country about the essential need to self-isolate," she told the Senate, where she was discussing the Liberal government’s emergency legislation to free up $82 billion to help Canadians weather the COVID-19 crisis.
"Individuals who exhibit symptoms upon arrival in Canada will be forbidden, also, from using public transit to travel to their places of isolation."
Hajdu said those travellers also will be forbidden to quarantine in a place where they can come into contact with vulnerable people. She said the Public Health Agency of Canada will make alternative arrangements for people in those circumstances.
CBC News Story
School District 8 has closed all playground and sports equipment at the schools. They are asking that parents and caregivers ensure children and young adults do not go on any of this equipment. St. Joseph school in Nelson has also locked the gates to its playground.
Kootenay Boundary Doctors Urge EVERYONE to #STAY-HOME
The healthcare workers in our community are urging everyone that can to stay home. What the public does now will impact the health of everyone in our communities in the weeks and months ahead.
Lives depend on your actions now.
Follow these directives:
- Stay home unless absolutely necessary. This means no ‘get togethers’. No dinner parties. No shopping. No sports with others, even outside. No play dates. Connect online.
- For blended families, reduce frequency of turn around between parent homes.
- Keep 2 metres or 6 feet away from everyone if you must go out. Even if they are relatives or close friends. That’s about the width of a car or the length of two arms stretched out.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Tell your loved ones to do the same.
The doctors had the following message for the young people in our community:
“This is especially important for young people. We sometimes see you out in the park or at the beach. You can get sick from this virus. More importantly, you can be carriers and cause a lot of harm to parents, grandparents, and other loved ones”.
To help provide important information to our community, the City of Nelson has developed a dedicated webpage nelson.ca/covid19 that will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. Please sign-up for ‘City News’ on NotifyMe to receive automatic updates from the City via text or email.
The City of Nelson relies on Interior Health, BC Public Health, and the Federal Government for information related to the virus itself. If you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your physician, or call the COVID-19 telephone line at 1-888-COVID19, to be assessed or call the testing clinic hotline at (250) 551-7500 to be triaged for testing. Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms may not present themselves for up to 14 days, but you may be a carrier of the virus; therefore it is important to follow the guidelines set out by the health experts.
We thank you for doing your part to help maintain a safe and healthy community and for understanding the importance of this evolving situation.
Ginger Lester, EOC Information Officer firstname.lastname@example.org