COVID-19: RDN Response
Monitoring and Preparedness
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is actively monitoring information provided by federal and provincial agencies regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The RDN will continue to follow the directives of the health officials as the situation evolves.
- The RDN coordinates with Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC), Island Health, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) as well as community partners.
- The RDN has initiated meetings every morning involving key staff who will identify and plan for the response to COVID-19, should the risk escalate.
- The RDN has an Emergency Plan and has developed business continuity plans specific to this situation.
Here are some steps the RDN is taking to minimize risk:
Recreation and Parks Services:
- RDN recreation facility closures include the Parksville Curling Club, Oceanside Place Arena, Ravensong Aquatic Centre, and all RDN recreation programs. Recreation programs and events are cancelled at the Cedar Heritage Centre, Gabriola Recreation Society, Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association (ACRA).
- Both RDN regional campgrounds are closed. Horne Lake Regional Park Campground and Descanso Bay Regional Park Campground.
- The boat launch at Horne Lake Regional Park is closed.
- Playgrounds, sport courts, tennis courts and skateboard parks at all RDN Parks are closed until further notice.
- Regional and Community Parks and Trails remain open. Please ensure physical distancing when using all parks and trails. Residents should only go out with people from their own household and always maintain a minimum distance of two metres from anyone else.
- Effective March 27, 2020, RDN Transit will limit each bus to 15-20 passengers at a time. When a bus reaches capacity, the driver will turn on the "Bus is full" sign and will not allow more customers to board until the passenger number drops. If needed, a standby bus will be called to pick up waiting passengers.
- Beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020, RDN Transit implemented its summer level of service. This means reduced service on routes to schools and post-secondary institutions that are closed due to COVID19.
- All RDN Transit and HandyDART busses are being sanitized daily.
- If a passenger happens to take ill on the bus, standard practice is to provide another bus for clients and return the original bus to the transit yard for sanitizing.
- For the health and safety of our RDN Transit operators and customers, you will now be asked to board and exit using the back doors only. Customers with accessibility needs may still use the front doors. Please do not approach the operator. Customers who normally pay with cash or tickets will not be required to pay.
- For lost and found, please call in advance: 250-390-4531.
Regional Landfill and Church Road Transfer Station
- The RDN’s solid waste facilities remain open, but at reduced capacity, with regularly scheduled hours of operation 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. Residential customers should expect lengthy delays and note that weekends are typically busier.
- The two facilities accept debit and credit and the public is encouraged to use ‘tap.’ Cash will not be accepted at this time.
- Commercial traffic is being given priority at both locations.
- Please ensure social distancing when interacting with facility staff.
- RDN residents can now buy extra garbage bag tags online at www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/extrabagtags .
- All RDN Offices are closed to the public. All RDN services will remain operational and staff will conduct business online, via conference calls, virtually or, where necessary, by appointment only.
- We encourage residents to seek RDN service via phone, email or the new building and bylaw web portal. Call the RDN at 250-390-4111 or 1-877-607-4111 or email inquiries [at] rdn.bc.ca with questions or to schedule an appointment if needed.
- The RDN’s new web portal is a convenient means of making building permit applications 24/7 without having to travel to the RDN office.
- Inspection requests for portal applications can be made through the portal.
- Residents can access the RDN web portal from home, office or mobile devices.
- RDN staff are available for assistance by telephone or email.
- Click here to apply online.
- The RDN Board held a Special Meeting at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 24 replacing their regular monthly Board Meeting. It was held virtually. Directors attended electronically and the public was able to listen online. The full audio is posted to rdn.bc.ca/agendas-minutes-videos
- At the Board meeting, the Board directed staff to communicate and work with BC Housing, Oceanside Heart, and the municipal Chief Administrative Officers of Oceanside to replace St. Anne's shelter which has had to close due to COVID-19.
- On behalf of the Board, Chair Ian Thorpe is urging all visitors, tourists and residents to avoid discretionary travel in the RDN including Gabriola, Mudge, and DeCourcy Islands.
Open Burning Restrictions for Land Clearing
- The Provincial government has issued open burning restrictions for all high smoke sensitivity zones in British Columbia. This will be in effect until April 15, 2020
- These restrictions will be enforced through Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) or 1-877-952-7277.
- The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation summarizes open burning that is applicable under the regulation and the Province has also developed a fact sheet with examples of activities that apply.
- On March 23rd, the RDN issued a news release requesting residents not engage in backyard burning and limit their use of woodstoves given the respiratory impact of COVID-19.
- Paper towels and personal hygiene products like used tissues, cleaning cloths, face masks, gloves and sanitary wipes, even the ones that say they are flushable or compostable all go into your garbage, tied securely in a bag. These items do not belong in your green bin or recycling. If someone in your home is sick, please double bag your garbage.
- While having some drinking water set aside for an emergency is always a good idea, the RDN would like to assure residents that the water provided by our nine community water systems is thoroughly treated to destroy all viruses, including coronavirus. Please don’t waste it, but feel confident to use and drink water from the tap.
Residents are reminded and encouraged to take the following steps to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections:
- Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid others who are unwell, and stay home when you are sick.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touch surfaces.
- In the interest of public health and safety, we urge you to do everything you can to keep the virus from spreading and follow the health and self-isolation guidelines as recommended by the BCCDC.
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- Those returning from travel outside of Canada need to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days after they return.
- Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their health-care provider, 8-1-1 or use the online self-assessment tool available at covid-19.bccdc.ca/. Understand that most people don’t need to be tested.
- Practice physical distancing and avoid group gatherings. The province has issued a ban on gatherings over 50 and a strong appeal for everyone to stay home during this critical time. Support friends, family and communities. Purchase groceries for those in isolation.
- Non-medical information may be obtained from 1 888-COVID19 (1 888-268-4319).
- The Province has assured everyone there are sufficient supplies and the supply chain is healthy. There is no need for excessive stockpiling.
- BC211 is a service that is available to residents in BC to help seniors in their community with basic needs, including grocery shopping and pharmacy drop-offs and check-ins. Seniors and people who want to volunteer and who are well can dial 2-1-1 or visit: www.bc211.ca/.
In the interest of public health and safety, we urge you to do everything you can to keep the virus from spreading and follow the health and self-isolation guidelines as recommended by the BCCDC.