COVID-19 Pandemic – District Updates & Information
Last updated: November 24, 2020
With COVID-19 cases increasing not only around the province but more specifically on Vancouver Island, Dr. Bonnie Henry is emphasizing “we need to slow this down. We need to put the brakes on the virus and doing this requires a sustained effort by all of us.” She shares, “This second surge is putting a strain on our health-care system… We need to ease this pressure so we can continue to manage the virus in our province and also continue to do the many activities that are important to us.”
While the District remains open to serve you, residents are reminded that most business can be done online, through the District website, and by phone (250.642.1634). It is critical that, as a community, we work together to slow the spread. If attending municipal hall, please note that masks as mandatory as per provincial health orders.
As the District takes direction from public health, council is meeting exclusively virtually at this time. The community can continue to view public meetings through the live stream on the District website and participate on public meeting agenda items. To participate on an item on the agenda, please connect with our Corporate Services staff by email (firstname.lastname@example.org); they are happy to assist you.
Consider your neighbours during this challenging time: check-in via phone/texts, or leave them a friendly note on their doorstep to allow for social distancing. We are in this together. Our community effort to wear masks, not participate in social gatherings and to stay home when we are ill is how we can put forth a collective community effort and do our part to slow the spread.
As of November 20, 2020 the following province-wide restrictions are in effect:
- No social gatherings of any size
- Masks are required in public all indoor settings and all retail stores.
- Masks must be worn at workplaces in all shared spaces
For more information on these recent health orders, please visit the Government of BC website.
Resources for local businesses
Resource for seniors
- Safe Seniors, Strong Communities is a program that matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials to volunteers in their community who are willing to help.
Mental Health & COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic may make us feel confused, sad and anxious. Self-isolation may make us feel separate from some of the activities we used to do to help manage our feelings. It’s important to learn about resources and supports to help you take care of yourself and your family.
- Health Link BC
- Parents & Children: FAQs for Children and Students from BC Centre for Disease Control
- Teens: Anxiety & Youth
- Adults: Here to Help
Visit this page regularly to stay informed.
Please also visit:
- November 20, 2020: Mayor’s Public Address: Increasing COVID-19 Case & New Provincial Health Orders
- November 16, 2020: WorkSafe BC has made additional resources for businesses available, find an updated guide for employers and entry posters for workers and visitors
- November 9, 2020: Remain vigilant and continue to follow public health guidance as COVID-19 cases increase in province
- Mayor’s Public Address – May 25, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – May 11, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – May 4, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – April 27, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – April 20, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – April 6, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – March 30, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- Mayor’s Public Address – March 23, 2020 (video) Written Statement
- On May 25, 2020, the District announced that the Municipal Hall will re-open to the public on June 1, 2020, with social distancing measures in place. For all services, other than tax payments, residents are encouraged to first phone (250.642.1634) the District and book an appointment. This will help reduce exposure to other residents in the reception area, reduce wait times and ensure staff availability and readiness.
- The District activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on March 13th to monitor directives from Provincial and Federal Ministries, and streamline communications; on March 19th the EOC was ramped up to a Level 2 response to support advance planning.
- District Bylaw Officers step up to aid in education and warnings to residents regarding business and parks closures, social distancing and public gatherings.
- A dedicated web page for small businesses and essential resources launched on District of Sooke website. #ChooseSooke and support local business.
- Open Air burning prohibited (effective March 26) until further notice – this includes ALL backyard burning and Class A burns (land clearing). Small campfires still permitted (clean, split wood only in a contained ring, maximum 2 feet in diameter). A reminder that dumping yard waste in public parks or spaces is prohibited – residents are asked to compost yard debris at this time.
- The Fire Department has developed response protocols for first responders to limit exposure and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- Car seat installation service at Sooke Fire Rescue on hold: The Fire Department has put the car seat installation program on hold until further notice as the service cannot be offered while adhering to the advice of public health officers.
- Building inspections are being conducted virtually, where possible (photos and video may be accepted), and onsite when buildings are not occupied at the discretion of the Building Official. Contact email@example.com to inquire about options.
- Discussions on support to business are currently taking place at the local, provincial and federal government levels.
- Return to Work During Covid-19 Policy
- Frequently Asked Question – NEW Temporary Homeless Shelter (associated News Release available here)
- Sooke Fire Rescue launches drive-by birthday program for residents under 12 or over 75 who need help celebrating a birthday during these times of social distancing. Celebrate with lights and sirens! Until May 31, 2020, Sooke Fire Rescue Department is accepting requests to drive past local homes and recognize that special day. Submit a request and you will be contacted by Sooke Fire Rescue Department to coordinate the details.
ORDERS, NOTICES & GUIDANCE FROM THE PROVICIAL HEALTH OFFICE:
In a Provincial State of Emergency, the Provincial Health Officer can make orders as needed. All must follow the orders. For a complete listing of orders in please see here and note orders in place include:
- 2020_M082 – Bylaw Officer
- 2020_M083 – Local Government meetings
- 2020_M084 – Local Authorities and Essential Goods and Supplies
NEWS RELEASES & PRESS
- July 7, 2020 Safe, suitable space for homeless residents
- June 30, 2020 Visiting Sooke during Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan
- June 29, 2020 Canada Day 2020 birthday drive and virtual celebrations
- June 24, 2020 Sooke searches for solutions to pandemic homelessness
- June 18, 2020 Media Release Planning BC’s Recovery – have your say and take the survey!
- June 2020 Letter to Residents from Mayor Tait
- May 29, 2020 Municipal Hall reopening June 1
- May 7, 2020 Media Release – BC’s Restart Plan – next steps to move BC through the pandemic
- April 30, 2020 District of Sooke Parks re-open to public, effective May 1, 2020 at 4:00pm
- April 24, 2020 Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program Continues in Sooke through bc211
- April 22, 2020 Multiple agencies rally together to support vulnerable residents in Sooke
- April 16, 2020 Federal and Provincial Govt’s announce additional support for business and local govt
- April 15, 2020 Mayor Maja Tait on how the Rapid Relief Fund has helped her town – Times Colonist
- April 9, 2020 CRD Information Bulletin Responsible Parks use needed for CRD Parks to remain open
- April 8, 2020 Mayor Tait Letter to Residents – Sooke News Mirror
- April 6, 2020 Media Release – Outdoor burning ban extended, non-essential travel, parks closures and camping
- April 3, 2020 Media Release – Municipal Bylaw Officers to aid in enforcement of social distancing and gatherings
- March 31, 2020 Media Release – Province critical supplies inventory; Sooke tennis court closed
- March 30, 2020 Media Release – New Sooke business info; additional parks closures & SD62 announcement
- March 26, 2020 Media Release – Open Burning prohibited and provincial powers under state of emergency
- March 25, 2020 Media Release Think Local First
- March 24, 2020 Media Release Parks and Playgrounds to close
- March 23, 2020 Media Release COVID-19: Physical Distancing, Social Solidarity
- March 20, 2020 Media Release Coronavirus response – outdoor burning and use of playpark structures
- March 19, 2020 Media Release Coronavirus response – EOC ramped up to Level 2
- March 16, 2020 Media Release Announcement from the Mayor – District COVID-19 response (YouTube Video)
- March 16, 2020 Media Release District closes public access to municipal hall COVID-19 pandemic
- March 13, 2020 Media Release Coronavirus response – District activates Emergency Operations Centre
- March 10, 2020 Coronavirus prevention and monitoring
Please refer to organizations/agencies for latest information.
- Diabetes Canada donation bins are closed for donations – no dumping
- Minister of Education announces BC schools closed until further notice (re-opened part-time for June)
- Seaparc announced recreation centre closed until further notice
- Sooke Museum closed to the public until further notice
- Sooke Vancouver Island Regional Library closed until further notice (library card reg & resources online)
- Sooke Community Hall at 2037 Shields Road closed for public events
- The West Coast clinic remains open. Appointments are primarily being conducted virtually and by telephone unless face-to-face treatment is necessary.
- The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is issuing library cards online – gain access to a wide array of e-resources, including online e-books, audio, e-magazines and more.
Fire Department and EOC
250-642-5422 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Barney, Deputy Chief & EOC Director
250-642-5422 ext. 638 | SEPDirector@sooke.ca