Local governments launch webpages for COVID-19 updates

District of Sechelt, Town of Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) have launched dedicated pages on their websites to update constituents about COVID-19 developments and changes to service.
 
As of March 19, Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers said the District of Sechelt will be providing “daily bulletins” on their website. In a video recorded community message on the webpage, Siegers relayed a number of updates, including Sechelt Hospital preparations.
 
Vancouver Coastal Health is holding conference calls with local government leaders three times a week, she said, and the hospital is preparing by calling in all staff, setting up a separate COVID-19 ward to keep patients separate, and ensuring staff, cleaning and safety protocols are in place. A separate section is also being set up for people who have come in for testing but whose results haven’t been confirmed.
 
The hospital is coordinating with the Emergency Operations Centre and have daily calls with the regional and provincial health officer. 
Some non-urgent surgeries are being cancelled so that staff can be deployed in other areas, she said, while certain programs such as ambulatory clinics and adult daycare have been cancelled. 
 
Siegers also stressed that people should maintain social distancing and wash their hands regularly, adding “we are as a community looking to pull together.” 
The SCRD is also making changes to its services because of COVID-19, with updates posted on its new webpage. Those changes include: 
 
• The latest update, posted March 20, states that effective immediately, transit users must board using the rear door “to enhance social distancing for drivers and passengers,” and that fares will no longer be collected. Wheelchair accessible boarding will still be available.
 
• Because bylaw staff are working at a limited capacity, they will not be able to respond to calls in person, or respond to dog complaints, but will address issues by phone (604-885-6817) or email (Bylaw.Compliance@scrd.ca). 
 
• The Pender Harbour Transfer Station Share Shed has been closed, and while books are still be accepted at the drop-off location at Gibsons Recycling Depot, people are no longer allowed to take books.
 
• The South Coast drop-off depot for residential green waste has been closed temporarily because it is full. It will be reopened “as soon as possible.”
The webpage also includes Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre (PREOC) reports, instructions on how to self-isolate, links to resources and phone numbers.
 
The Town of Gibsons has also begun providing rolling updates of changes to its services. On its site it announced that on-site building inspections have been cancelled until at least March 31.
 
The SCRD webpage: www.scrd.ca/covid-19-updates
 
The District of Sechelt webpage: www.sechelt.ca/Live/COVID-19-Municipal-Updates
 
 
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