The Municipality of North Cowichan is taking steps to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a release issued on Friday, North Cowichan officials confirmed that all programs at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre and public hearings will be cancelled immediately, among other measures.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District has established an emergency operations centre, and North Cowichan is participating in that process.
“As a member municipality, North Cowichan is working closely with the CVRD, other member municipalities, First Nations, local school districts, and Island Health to fully understand the situation across the region. Staff are taking steps to ensure provision of critical services should the situation worsen,” mayor Al Siebring said. “We recognize we are in a state of flux, things are changing quickly, and we are committed to updating the public as things change on our end,” he concluded.
The municipality will be following the Province of British Columbia and Island Health’s direction and taking further protective measures. All programs, including swim lessons, fitness, day camps, and childminding at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre will be cancelled effective immediately. However, the Aquatic Centre will remain open for drop-in use. Cleaning with an alcohol-based cleanser is increasing in frequency at all municipal facilities.
All public hearings are also cancelled until further notice, and councillors will not travel for conferences. Regular council and committee of the whole meetings will continue, and the public will still be able to participate. Council meetings will be live-streamed, and residents are encouraged to watch from home. Questions about any agenda item can be submitted in advance of the meeting.
“While staff are continuing to provide regular services to the public at this time, to protect our staff and members of the public, it is encouraged that residents interact with municipal staff remotely where possible,” the release stated.