The Cowichan Valley Regional District is reminding residents that the upcoming Easter weekend isn’t the time to slack on following provincial public health orders and recommendations during this critical time in reducing impact of COVID-19.
They’re also telling people from outside the CVRD not to come here for the time being.
With longer days and nicer weather moving into spring, the CVRD wants residents to remain vigilant with physical distancing and staying near home to reduce the spread of the virus.
“The health care system in British Columbia has not been overwhelmed to date, and our numbers in the Island Health region show that what we have been doing has had an effect,” said Dr. Shannon Waters, medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley region.
“But we need to continue to be vigilant in following physical distancing and other measures to ensure the response efforts of our front-line workers can continue at the highest capacity possible.”
Like communities across British Columbia, the Cowichan region is subject to a number of provincial public health orders.
They include self-isolating if you are sick, even with symptoms other than COVID-19, maintaining a two-metre distance from others in all public spaces, restrictions on open burning of yard waste and debris, and staying home as much as possible and not visiting friends and family — even for the holiday.
“The Cowichan is a region where people come to vacation and recreate, but this is not a time where we can support an influx of visitors to our parks and trails or vacation properties,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD.
“We’re asking that if your primary residence is not in the Cowichan Valley, please do not plan activities or trips to our region during this critical time.”
Local parks and trails across the CVRD remain open, though many park facilities continue to be closed.
Users are reminded to adhere to posted signs for the safe and respectful enjoyment of everyone.
One-way use is being applied and signs on several loop trails managed by the CVRD support adherence to social distancing by trail users.
CVRD bylaw enforcement and parks staff continue to monitor public use of CVRD parks and trails, and adjustments may be implemented in response to public compliance to social distancing and other directives of the provincial health authorities going forward.
Cowichan residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with, and follow, all public health orders.
Failure to comply with provincial emergency orders can carry fines of more than $25,000 or jail time.
For more information about the CVRD response to COVID-19, including service delivery and contact information, visit the COVID-19 Information page on the district’s website.