As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve worldwide, many people have questions about what that means for us in Warfield, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and BC. We understand that the pandemic is of great concern to all residents right now and that you need to know where to find accurate, current information about the quickly changing situation. The monitoring of, and response to, COVID-19 is being led by Local, Provincial and Federal Health Authorities (not local government). It is important to make sure we rely on facts and have strong sources of information in our arsenal.
Here are some key links you can bookmark to get the facts and up-to-date info:
BC Centre for Disease Control Latest Updates: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Interior Health Latest Updates: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/CommunicableDiseaseControl/Pages/Breaking-News-and-Info.aspx
Provincial and Federal websites also:
What Are We Doing?
As your local government responsible for regional services and for emergency management, the RDKB is in regular contact with the Interior Health Authority and Emergency Management BC about the status of the virus and recommendations about how to respond. We are also following all updates and recommendations from BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
1. We are seeking the public’s cooperation. If you are feeling ill in any way, please stay home. We are also encouraging staff who may be ill to stay home to help prevent the spread of illness.
2. As recommended by the Province, we are encouraging social distancing. While we do enjoy our personal interactions with you, we are encouraging the public to explore alternatives when conducting business with your local municipality or RDKB such as by phone or email.
3. Proactive Preparedness. Our regional emergency management personnel through the RDKB have been taking part in regular teleconferences and updates with both Emergency Management BC and Interior Health so that we can maintain situational awareness.
4. The Warfield Community Hall will be closed until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and will advise when the hall will reopen for public rental.
5. In abundance of caution, the Village of Warfield will hold e-meetings for the foreseeable future and the notices/agendas will be posted online. Any questions at all, please call the Village Office at 250-368-8202.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself and My Community?
At this time, Public Health Canada, BC Centres for Disease Control and the BC Medical Health Officer consider the public health risk as a result of COVID-19 to be LOW.
The best actions we can take right now to protect ourselves is to start with the good old fashioned basics:
- Follow provincial health authority guidance on social distancing – avoid international travel, including to the US, follow self-isolation guidance, avoid crowded functions and activities.
- Good handwashing (including scrubbing as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice)
- Use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer – this does not replace hand washing, but it is a good idea to use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not an option.
- Smart hygiene – avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands. Cough/blow your nose into a tissue (and immediately dispose of it), if you have no tissue, cough into your sleeve. You can choose not to shake hands.
- Stay home if sick – if you feel that you are sick, stay home so you don’t expose others. If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, call 8-1-1 for an assessment. There is a new provincial call line available as well 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) and a text line 604-630-0300
- Be a good neighbour; call or check in on your neighbours. There are many in our communities who are immune compromised who are worried about going out right now. See if they need help grabbing a few groceries or anything else. And please, when you go out, there is more than enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc. in Canada for everyone so no need to stockpile.
As I’m sure you can imagine (even just watching how the headlines have changed in the past 48 hours), the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving. I hope this email reassures you that our staff are closely monitoring things and we will continue to keep you updated should things change. We will send updates on our website and social media pages as they become available.
We recognize that these are extraordinary measures. The intent behind these proactive measures is to reduce the risk of widespread infection and the resulting impacts on our health care system within our region. To that end, we ask all Warfield residents to follow the recommendations of the BC Provincial Health Officer and the Interior Health Authority. We are all in this together.
Village of Warfield Mayor