North Cowichan strengthens some COVID-19 safety protocols, and introduces new ones, as the pandemic enters ts second phase. (File photo)

North Cowichan strengthens some COVID-19 safety protocols, and introduces new ones, as the pandemic enters ts second phase. (File photo)

Local governments in Valley bring in new COVID rules

Municipalities reacting to new public health orders

In response to the latest public health orders announced on Nov. 19, local governments in the Cowichan Valley are strengthening their existing COVID-19 safety protocols and implementing new ones.

The wearing of masks is now mandatory in all municipal buildings in North Cowichan, City of Duncan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and all employees who are able to work from home are being encouraged and accommodated to do so for the remainder of the calendar year.

Residents are encouraged to conduct all business with the local governments online or over the phone and avoid in-person visits to its offices if possible.

All in-person CVRD meetings, including committee and commission meetings, will cease and be conducted virtually as required.

Business meetings for rental groups in the CVRD are still permitted in person, but are required to meet COVID-19 response requirements, including mask use and physical distancing.

“We continue to closely follow the recommendations of Dr. [Bonnie] Henry, and will be updating all the CVRD’s COVID-19 safety plans to reflect the most recent provincial health orders,” said Brian Carruthers, CAO of the CVRD.

“While we do not anticipate any disruptions to our core service delivery at this time, some of our more discretionary service offerings like recreation programs have been impacted and will be adjusting or curtailing service as required. We urge residents to check the CVRD website for information, or call our staff directly to inquire about any changes to our services.”

As for North Cowichan, select fitness classes at Fuller Lake Arena and the Cowichan Aquatic Centre have been suspended until further notice.

For information on which aquatic, fitness, and skating programs and services are available, and to pre-register, visit www.northcowichan.ca/recreation.

“We are certainly in the second wave of COVID-19 now, and in Dr. Henry’s words, this virus is proving difficult to beat,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“We are taking extra precautions at municipal hall to protect residents and staff. Safety has been paramount throughout this pandemic, and remains so. Despite the increased safety protocols, we are working to continue uninterrupted services as best we can. I want to thank the community for their patience. Now is the time to be kind, be calm, and be safe to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

For information on how to access municipal services in North Cowichan, visit www.northcowichan.ca/COVID19, or call 250-746-3100.

Duncan’s council and committee meetings will continue to be conducted electronically as required.

Size-limited business meetings in the City of Duncan are still permitted in person but are required to meet COVID-19 response requirements, including mask use and physical distancing.

City Hall is open for in-person payment transactions Monday to Friday, with 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. set aside for seniors or people who are immune compromised; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all other customers.

Customers who can make payments through their online banking and file home owner grants through the website www.duncan.ca are encouraged to do so.

The drop box at city hall will continue to be monitored for payments or correspondence.

Other city business can still be done by phone at 250-746-6126, or email at general inquiries to duncan@duncan.ca.

“We continue to closely follow the recommendations of Dr. Henry and will be updating the City of Duncan COVID-19 safety plans to reflect the most recent provincial health orders,” said Peter de Verteuil, CAO of the City of Duncan.

“We do not anticipate any disruptions to our core service delivery at this time”

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Possible COVID-19 exposures may have occurred at Alexander Elementary School on Jan. 13, 14 and 15. (Google Maps)
Alexander Elementary in Duncan announces possible COVID-19 exposures

Exposures may have occurred on Jan. 13, 14 and 15

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New street signs in Duncan in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional native names on signs

North Cowichan to add three more off-leash dog areas in the new year. (File photo)
North Cowichan adds three new off-leash areas

Trial program runs through 2021, but not the summer months

Principal Marie-Claude Carrier has overseen the opening of the Cowichan Valley’s first francophone school. (Citizen file)
Registration now open for Duncan Francophone school

École francophone de Duncan opened last fall with six students

Reggie went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park on Jan. 3 and owner Brittny Bukva is hoping for his safe return. (Submitted)
Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila is stepping down as deputy mayor following controversy over her decision to travel to Mexico in December. (Black Press Media file photo)
Councillor steps down as deputy mayor of Metchosin after controversial trip to Mexico

Mayor hopeful mediation will help council get back to the business of community

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read