COVID-19 Pandemic – District Updates & Information
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.
WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING
- 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 was discouraged, then officially prohibited (effective March 26) until April 16th – 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).
- 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.
- The District has closed all public play structures and 4 linear parks when appropriate physical distancing is not possible – Whiffin Spit, Ed Macgregor Park, Sooke Bluffs Park, and the Marine Boardwalk.
- District offices closed to public access. All municipal meetings are cancelled. Staff are working virtually to support residents (available via phone/email).
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about options.
- Discussions on support to business are currently taking place at the local, provincial and federal government levels. No concrete plans have yet been communicated to the District of Sooke. Once they are known, the District will inform our businesses of the programs. This will include any relief regarding property taxes, utility and user fees.
DISTRICT NEWS RELEASES & UPDATES
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
MAYOR, MAJA TAIT’S WEEKLY ADDRESS
CONFIRMED FACILITY CLOSURES:
Minister of Education announces BC schools closed until further notice
Seaparc announced recreation centre closed until further notice – day camps running until March 20 only
Sooke Museum closed to the public until further notice
Sooke Vancouver Island Regional Library closed until further notice
Sooke Parks closed to the public – Whiffin Spit, Ed McGregor and Marine Boardwalk
All SD62 and District Park play structures closed in Sooke
Sooke Community Hall at 2037 Shields Road closed for public events
Sooke Tennis Courts on Throup Road closed by Community Association as of March 31, 2020
Sooke Skate Park closed by the CRD
Sooke Baptist Church and associated activities suspended – services and breakfast program
The West Coast clinic remains open. Appointments are primarily being conducted virtually and by telephone unless face-to-face treatment is necessary.
Fire Department and EOC