COVID-19 Pandemic – District Updates & Information

PROVINCIAL & FEDERAL UPDATES  |  WHAT YOU CAN DO  |  FINANCIAL SUPPORT  |  RELIABLE INFO LINKS

These are unprecedented times. The District would like to assure residents that addressing the COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority for Council and staff. District leadership and Emergency Operations Centre staff are monitoring updates and taking measures to mitigate the spread of the virus in the community of Sooke and beyond. How we react and support one another through this time will directly relate to our community resiliency. Consider your neighbours, help one another with shopping – check in via phone/texts to allow for social distancing. Residents are encouraged to follow the advice of health authorities and make informed decisions. Business continuity is top of mind and the District thanks all of the local businesses and employees who are going above and beyond to serve residents and keep shelves stocked. New information is unfolding each day. Visit this page regularly to stay informed.

MAYOR TAIT’S WEEKLY PUBLIC ADDRESS

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

WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING

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 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 building@sooke.ca 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.

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

CONFIRMED FACILITY CLOSURES:

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.

PROVINCIAL & FEDERAL UPDATES  |  WHAT YOU CAN DO  |  FINANCIAL SUPPORT  |  RELIABLE INFO LINKS


CONTACTS

District of Sooke
250-642-1634  info@sooke.ca
Staff Email Directory

Fire Department and EOC
250-642-5422 |  firedept@sooke.ca

Matt Barney, Deputy Chief & EOC Director
250-642-5422 ext. 638  |  SEPDirector@sooke.ca