Green Party MLA Adam Olsen says Gulf Islands residents want visitors stopped but goods and services to continue. (Hansard TV)

No plans to shut off isolated B.C. communities from COVID-19, Adrian Dix says

MLA Adam Olsen says Gulf Islands want to follow Tofino, Ucluelet

Provincial health authorities have “rapid response” plans for responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in rural and remote B.C. communities, but there is no move by the province to isolate communities looking to keep visitors and their potential viruses out.

After mayors in Tofino and Ucluelet made public pleas for visitors to stay away until the novel coronavirus pandemic subsides, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen said he has heard from Gulf Islands residents who want the same for their isolated homes.

“Has the ministry considered barring or restricting access to isolate, rural and at-risk communities in a way that will allow them to continue to receive goods to sustain themselves but also that may stop the spread into those communities?” Olsen asked Health Minister Adrian Dix.

RELATED: Tofino asks visitors to postpone trips, go home

RELATED: Ucluelet says non-essential travel has to stop

Dix didn’t answer directly, referring to local and regional plans for emergency preparedness in communities.

“No matter where you live, where it’s in Alert Bay or in Abbotsford, whether it’s in Vanderhoof or Vancouver, you can catch COVID-19, wherever you are, no matter what your age,” Dix said. “If you’re a teenager or you’re 60, you can pass on COVID-19.”

The latest community to call for no more visitors is Ucluelet, after increasing business restrictions led to the closure of resorts and other facilities.

A joint statement from the District of Ucluelet, the chamber of commerce and tourism officials referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s advice to Canadians to stay home except for essential travel. On March 18, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Ucluelet and Tofino closed beaches and bathrooms and suspended visitor services.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

Province restricts open burning in Cowichan Valley until April 15

Measure meant to assist fight against COVID-19

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxaphonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read