COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Provincial and Federal Health Authorities are the lead agencies for COVID-19.

The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The CVRD is continuing to follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Provincial Health Officer. 

COVID-19 is spread by an infected person through droplets in the air when a person coughs or sneezes, close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the best source for COVID-19 health information. For more information please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
 

About COVID-19

Important Local Updates
 

May 12 Update - CVRD Board Chair and Emergency Operations Centre Spokesperson Jesse Ketler

Most Recent News Releases:

June 1 News Release: Local Governments and School District 71 Announce the Reopening of Public Playgrounds Effective Immediately

Comox Valley Information and Resources
 

Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Updates

The Comox Valley local governments have activated a level two regional emergency operations centre in response to COVID-19. 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. The regional EOC spokesperson regarding all COVID-19 matters within the region is CVRD Board Chair and Cumberland Councillor, Jesse Ketler.

The CVRD is also following the recommendations and guidance of the Province of BC, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and Island Health on communication and general preparations for COVID-19.

Please see the following media releases for more information:

Comox Valley Facility Closures and Updates

Indoor recreation facilities throughout the region remain closed, pending further updates and direction from the Ministry of Health and Worksafe BC. The CVRD’s Beach Fire Program is also suspended, along with special events and organized group sports such as soccer, rugby, baseball, and basketball leagues.

School District 71 and Comox Valley local governments have reopened outdoor playgrounds effective Monday June 1, 2020. This reopening includes all district school playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment as well as public outdoor playgrounds in the CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland and 19-Wing Comox.

The following facilities have reopened:

City of Courtenay

  • Martin Park Lacrosse/Pickleball Courts
  • Lewis Park Tennis Courts
  • Lewis Park Outdoor Skate Park
  • LINC Youth Centre Basketball Courts
  • Valley View Outdoor Skate Park

Town of Comox

  • Tennis Courts at Anderton Park
  • Tennis Courts at Community Centre
  • Pickleball Courts at Highland Rotary Courts
  • Outdoor Hockey Box at Highland Fields
  • Comox Disc Golf Course

Village of Cumberland

  • Skatepark and Jump Park at Village Park
  • Tennis and Basketball Courts at Village Park
  • Water Spray Park at Village Park
  • Off-leash Dog Park at Village Park
  • Cumberland Trailhead Parking Lots
  • Coal Creek Disc Golf Course in Cumberland remains open
  • Cumberland Lake Park day use and boat launch remain open (limited parking). Campground remains closed for now.

Comox Valley Regional District

  • Pinecrest Park Bike Park
  • Goose Spit Stairs (One-way uphill only. Please detour downhill via Yates and Hawkins Roads)

Users of these facilities are reminded to follow physical distancing measures by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of your household, avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces, and to stay home and self-isolate if you are ill.

Regional Waste Management Service

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management service (CSWM) is working hard to keep our landfill running while implementing new health and safety standards to protect our employees and the public during this public health crisis.

To protect waste collection workers, all waste for roadside pick-up must be bagged and securely tied - no loose items should be placed in curbside garbage containers. Your garbage will not be collected if there are loose unbagged items. Please properly bag items and place your garbage back out on your next garbage collection day, you will not need an additional tag. Please contact the waste collection company Emterra at 250-336-8066 if you have questions about these service changes.

If you or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19, do not put your garbage, recyclables or yard waste out for curbside collection until after your quarantine period has ended.

Residents with access to a municipal curbside collection and recycling program are asked to refrain from using the landfill at this time, as capacity is limited while physical distancing remains in place. Rural residents without curbside pickup should expect delays and limit their visits to yard and essential waste only.

Don’t forget to check with your municipality or your private provider to determine if there have been any changes to your garbage or recycling pick-up schedule.

For more information visit: cswm.ca/covid19

Sewage Treatment

The CVRD is pleased to report the number of wipes, rags, paper towels and disinfecting products in the sewer system has been decreasing. Thank you to residents for doing your part to protect our sewer system and avoid creating an additional public health risk.

Flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper can result in clogged sewer lines and pumps. This could result in blocked up pipes, flooded basements and sewage spills into our environment. Please do your part to protect our sewer system and avoid creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Remember, even wipes labelled flushable will not break down after they enter the system.

For more information about what not to flush and why, visit: comoxvalleyrd.ca/flush

Transit Services

BC Transit and the CVRD have implemented summer level servicing on all routes as part of a COVID-19 response plan. These changes focus on reducing service to schools and post-secondary institutions. BC Transit is also limiting the number of passengers onboard for physical distancing.  Enhanced cleaning, physical distancing procedures, rear door loading and free fares are all in effect.

For more information visit: bctransit.com/covid19

Parks

Thank you to residents who are following physical distancing requirements in our regional parks. Fresh air, exercise and enjoying the natural environment, while respecting the health and safety of others, is an important part of keeping our community healthy during this time.

Visitors to our parks are asked to continue to follow public health recommendations and follow these important guidelines:

  • Respect physical distancing practices and stay two metres (six feet) away from others. This distancing measure does not apply to families or household units.
  • Stay and play in your local neighbourhood.
  • Respect the natural setting and don’t leave a trace. This includes not leaving behind painted rocks or fairy forest plastic, man-made items and garbage.
  • No fires are permtted at Goose Spit Park. Beach fire programs have been suspended until further notice at Joe Walker and Little River Crescent Beach.
  • Before you go, check your local government website to view the latest facility closures and measures being undertaken to contain COVID-19.

For more information visit: comoxvalleyrd.ca/parks

Fire Ban

Comox Valley fire departments have implemented open fire restrictions in the regional fire protection districts in response to COVID-19. Open fires are banned and fire permits will no longer be issued, with the exception of campfires in specific fire protection areas. Contact your local fire department for clarification if you are unsure of the restrictions in your area.

For more information visit: comoxvalleyrd.ca/airquality

Utility Bills

With many residents feeling financial pressures due to COVID-19 impacts, the Comox Valley Regional District would like to reassure CVRD residents that they will not be charged any late payment fees for utility bills paid by December 31, 2020.

Planning Services

Planning applications continue to be reviewed and applicants will be contacted about any necessary scheduling changes. Please note that Planning staff are not undertaking site visits at this time. Contact planning@comoxvalleyrd.ca or call 250-334-6006 to discuss submission of new planning applications.

COVID-19 Planning Applications FAQs

Building Permits

Building permits continue to be received, processed and issued but delays should be expected. To respect physical distancing, residents are asked to not be on site during building inspections.

Questions can be forwarded to our building services team at building@comoxvalleyrd.ca or call 250-334-6006.

Bylaw Compliance

Bylaw officers within the CVRD have been tasked by the province to provide education to residents about physical distancing and Provincial Orders that have been put in place to protect the community. Bylaw officers are not empowered to enforce, ticket or detain for public health orders.

CVRD bylaw officers are actively patrolling regional parks and trails, completing spot checks in the community and providing education to residents about physical distancing. Hot spots and gatherings larger than 50 people are reported to the Ministry of Health.

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 can report to either bylawenforcement@comoxvalleyrd.ca or publichealth@viha.ca.

April 9 News Release: Regional EOC Provides Update on Education and Enforcement of Physical Distancing

COVID-19 Business Resource Centre

Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism has compiled resources for businesses.

COVID-19 Business Resource Centre

Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness Updates

The Coalition to End Homelessness will post any social service agency closures/hour changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic that may impact those experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) homelessness.

COVID-19 Agency Updates from the Coalition

Provincial Support and Federal Information
 

Common Questions

Find answers from the BC Centre for Disease Control to some of the most common questions about COVID-19.

Common Questions

Testing and Isolation

Learn about BC's testing strategy and how to be tested if it is required, what self-isolation means and who will be asked to take this precaution.

Case Counts, Public Exposures and Press Statements

Here you will find the latest information on confirmed cases and testing for the novel coronavirus.

Childcare and Education

As of March 17, 2020, B.C. will be suspending K-12 classes.

Community Settings

People who need to engage in regular activities like shopping for food or other items are asked to practice common sense approaches to prevent infection and transmission.

Community Settings

Employers and Businesses

Here you will find information for essential businesses. Information will be added as it becomes available.

Event Planning

All event organizers are ordered to limit all public gatherings larger than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.

Event Planning

Vulnerable Populations

Here you will find information for people living with health conditions.

Vulnerable Populations

Supply Products and Services to Support BC's Response

Island Health is providing information on ways you can support their COVID-19 response. This includes opportunities for donating protective equipment, medical supplies, non-medical products, and offering discounts and services to support healthcare workers.

Support Island Health COVID-19 Response

The B.C. Government is looking for both medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response, and has created a COVID-19 Supply Hub. Please note this supply hub does not apply to Vancouver Island, and Island Health can be directly supported through the link above.

Supply Products and Services to Support B.C.'s COVID-19 Response

Additional Resources
 

COVID-19 Information Lines

  • Government of Canada novel coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397 
  • BC COVID Information Line for non-medical information on the virus, from travel recommendations to physical distancing:
    1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319) seven days a week 7:30 am until 8:00 pm
    or text 604-630-0300

Help prevent the spread by washing your hands and staying home if you are feeling unwell. In cold and flu season it is always respectful to not go to work or in public places when you are showing signs of illness. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing call 8-1-1 or use the COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool.