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).
- As of May 7, 2020, the boat launch at Horne Lake Regional Park has been re-opened for public use.
- As of May 14, 2020, Sports Courts and Huxley Skate Park will be open (singles play only unless playing with people from the same household).
- As of May 21, 2020, Cedar Skate Park will reopen.
- As of June 1, 2020, both RDN regional campgrounds will reopen. Horne Lake Regional Park Campground and Descanso Bay Regional Park Campground. The online reservation system will be accepting campsite reservations beginning May 25, 2020 at 7:00am.
- As of June 3, 2020, RDN playgrounds and other outdoor amenities will reopen. Users can help reduce the potential risks by following these guidelines:
- Stay home if showing any sign of illness
- Wash or sanitize hands before and after play
- Practice physical distancing, even at play; keep at least 2m(6 feet) distance at all times;
- Do not gather in large groups; and
- Do not share sports equipment, toys, food, water bottles or other personal items.
- As of June 18, 2020, RDN Summer Camp registration opens. Camps will run between July 6 and September 4.
- As of June 27, 2020, Field and Sport Court are open for use by organized groups. All groups will need to provide a return to sport plan before bookings are approved.
- Regional and Community Parks and Trails remain open. Please ensure physical distancing when using all parks and trails.
- On June 1, 2020, front door boarding and fare collection will resume on all RDN Transit and HandyDART services. To do this safely, we will be installing a temporary vinyl panel to allow physical distancing for the RDN Transit operators and customers.
- The use of face coverings will be encouraged on buses and at bus stops where physical distancing is not possible. Passengers are responsible for providing their own face covering.
- Effective June 3, 2020, the Route 25 ferry shuttle to departure bay ferry terminal will resume based on the BC Ferries schedule. Transit schedule will be updated here.
- Effective June 3, 2020, RDN Transit will beginning easing bus seating restrictions and buses will be able to accommodate approximately two thirds capacity before being deemed full (up to 35 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.
- Safety measures have been implemented across the RDN Transit System to align with BC's Restart Plan. These measures include:
- Temporary vinyl panels to allow for physical distancing between the operators and passengers;
- Enhanced cleaning on buses and at RDN Transit facilities;
- Communication to staff and customers about physical distancing procedures;
- Limiting passenger capacity to support physical distancing; and
- Encouraging use of face coverings on buses and at bus stops where physical distancing is not possible.
- For lost and found, please call in advance: 250-390-4531.
- Solid Waste - Curbside Collection, 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.
Curbside Collection Service
- RDN residents can now buy extra garbage bag tags online at www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/extrabagtags .
- Additional precautions have been put in place to protect the collection drivers:
- All garbage must be bagged and securely tied, including:
- all paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, face masks, gloves, and disposable sanitary wipes (flushable and compostable) - these items cannot be disposed of in your recycling nor food waste containers.
- If someone in your household is sick, double-bag and securely tie all personal waste.
- All garbage must be bagged and securely tied, including:
- Waste that do not adhere to the above guidelines will be LEFT BEHIND, NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Administration Building
- 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.
- Bylaw Services - Covid-19 Information
- 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
- Effective noon on Friday June 19, 2020, all open fires will again be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.
- Effective noon April 16, 2020 most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout BC Fire Bans and Restrictions.
- The Provincial government has rescinded open burning restrictions for all high smoke sensitivity zones in British Columbia.
- 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.
- Campfires, Category 2 and Category 3 Fires Poster.
- 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.
- Waste Water
- 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.
- 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.
- Practice physical distancing, even at play: keep at least 2m(6ft) distance at all times from anyone outside your household.
- Do not share equipment and clean your equipment before and after play,
- Do not gather in large groups.
- 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/.
- If you do not have a primary care provider please call Island health's COVID-19 Call Centre to be assessed to determine if you need testing: 1-844-901-8442.
- 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.