April 9, 2020

Comox Valley local governments are supporting the BC Ministry of Health and their efforts to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by assisting with public education on physical distancing.

Local bylaw officers are actively patrolling local parks and trails and may be completing spot checks at community hot spots in the evenings and weekends, providing education to residents, and responding to complaints over violations to provincial orders in effect.

Bylaw officers are not empowered to ticket or detain people over public health orders, any enforcement will be conducted by the Province. Bylaw officers will report any mass gatherings larger than 50 people to the Ministry for follow-up.

"With the long weekend coming up, we want people to know that it’s essential for everyone to follow the guidance of the provincial health officer,” says CVRD Board Chair and EOC Spokesperson Jesse Ketler. “Bylaw officers throughout the region are reminding residents and businesses to respect physical distancing and all public health orders in place, for our own health and safety. I also want to remind our residents that we’re all responsible for protecting front line workers, whether that’s our health care workers, essential staff, and our local government employees who are interacting with the public. We are seeing the results of our efforts on Vancouver Island and in the rest of the province, but we need to keep going to protect our communities. Hold off on mountain biking in Cumberland and visiting our many other popular local destinations. Don’t travel to our other Comox Valley communities, unless it’s an essential trip. By staying home we are saving lives.”

While residents are strongly encouraged to practice the recommended two-meter physical distancing, at this time this is not an enforceable order. Residents are urged to model this behaviour themselves, and educate others on the need to practice it as well. Residents who are aware of gatherings of over 50 people, have concerns with businesses operating contrary to the Provincial Orders, or general social distancing concerns should contact their local government bylaw office or Island Health at publichealth@viha.ca

Local Government Contact Information:

CVRD: bylawenforcement@comoxvalleyrd.ca | 250-334-6000 | www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/bylaw

City of Courtenay: bylaw@courtenay.ca |250-334-4441 (after-hours emergency 250-334-2947)|www.courtenay.ca/bylaw

Town of Comox: 250-339-2202 (Easter weekend, call 250-890-1223) | www.comox.ca/contact

Village of Cumberland: 250-336-2291 | www.cumberland.ca

Residents are encouraged to please follow the CVRD social media channels @comoxvalleyrd on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting the CVRD website www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19 to remain up to date on accurate information. All Comox Valley local governments are centralizing regional COVID-19 information through these channels.

The Emergency Operations Centre is standing by to support the lead agencies, Ministry of Health and Island Health, if requested at the federal and provincial level. The Emergency Operations team with representatives from the DND/19-Wing Comox, K'ómoks First Nation, CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Fire Chiefs Association, and many other external agencies and organizations are working together to collaborate on response measures and best practices for the region.

For more information please visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19

EOC Spokesperson:

Jesse Ketler, Spokesperson for COVID-19, CVRD Board Chair, and Cumberland Councilor
Cell: 250-898-9085