B.C. now has 231 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, including four confirmed cases in Northern B.C.
The City of Prince Rupert issued a press release late on March 13, with assurances to the community that although there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus locally, they want to protect residents and visitors from the spread of COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.
“Public health risk will be continually reassessed and City services will be adjusted accordingly should the risk level change,” the press release said.
The City has implemented several measures to aid in the combat of the virus such as directing staff to enhance cleaning measures within City facilities and to observe good hygiene. To promote recommended social distancing, the City is advising residents to pay utility bills and other amounts owing by alternative payment methods to in-person options, such as paying by cheque dropped in the mail-slot, by on line payment or by payment at financial institutions.
In addition, BC Transit has implemented enhanced cleaning measures for the fleet of buses to prevent potential spread via transit.
The municipality has cancelled it’s recreational programming until further notice.
“Registered participants will be contacted by staff to inform them of cancellations, and community members are encouraged to share this information. We apologize for the inconvenience, however this step is being taken in an abundance of caution to minimize potential impacts to the community,” the City said.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 45 new cases during the daily health briefing on Wednesday, March 18.
This means that there are 144 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 58 in Fraser Health, 16 within Vancouver Island Health, nine within Interior Health and four within Northern Health.
Henry announced that there were no new deaths due to the disease, but 13 people are now in critical care due to their symptoms – up from seven on Tuesday.
The new cases come as provincial and federal governments announced sweeping measures to combat the novel coronavirus. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth declared a state of emergency for the next two weeks. The federal government announced $82 billion in economic supports for those financially impacted due to lay offs and sickness.
Henry reminded the public of Tuesday’s order for bars to close and restaurants to move only to take-out if they cannot ensure their guests practice social distancing – or staying at least six feet apart.
The next seven to 10 days marks a “critical time” in the fight against further spreading COVID-19, Henry said, because symptoms typically take roughly five days to show after contracting the disease.
“We are dealing today with things happening 10 to 14 days ago,” she said. “The things we do now are going to help us 10 days – 14 days – from now.”
Cancellations so far in Prince Rupert are increasing and The Northern View will update as frequently as possible.
Parlour Hair Salon – Closed
LeBlanc Boutique – Closed
Anytime Fitness – Closed
Warehouse One – Closed
The Source – Closed
Gigantic Fun – Closed
Maverick Foods – Closed
CityWest – Storefront closed to the public – Call centres will remain open
Island Wellspring Massage Therapy – Closed
Hekate Esthetics – Closed
Serenity Esthetics – Closed
Genetics Fitness – Closed
E’Klektik Trading – Closed
Harris and Wick – By appointment only
Cornerstones Physiotherapy – Closed
Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce – Closed
Great Bear Natural Medicine Clinic – Closing on Friday, March 20
The Argosy – Closed
RESTAURANTS AND BARS:
Wheelhouse Brewing, St. Patrick’s Day- Cancelled
McDonald’s – Dining room closed. Open for take out and drive though
Tim Horton’s – Dining room closed. Open for take out
Don Cherry’s – Closed
Crest Hotel – Open- Limited seating in Waterfront Restaurant and Charlie’s Lounge
Breakers Pub – Closed
Gondola Restaurant – Open regular hours, business as usual
Fukasaku of Prince Rupert – Closed
Javadotcup – Closed
Friendship House – Closed
Hecate Strait Employment Development Centre – Closed
Prince Rupert Public Library – Closed
Prince Rupert City Hall – Closed to the public – Services by appointment only
Prince Rupert Landfill – Closed to the public – Services by appointment only
Prince Rupert Archives – Closed
Prince Rupert Fire Station – Closed to the public
North Coast Regional District – All facilities closed to the public – Services by appointment only
Recycling Depot – Closed to the public – Services by appointment
Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter – Closed to the public – Please leave donations in designated places
BC SPCA Prince Rupert Branch – Closed to the public – Adoptions and emergency surrenders by appointment only
District of Port Edward – Closed to the public
Coast Mountain College – Classes cancelled, March 18, 19, 20 – campus remains open
Charles Hays spring break trip – Cancelled
SD 52 – All schools are closed indefinitely
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Lester Centre – All events cancelled
Create Jam – Postponed
Good Time Games – Spring break camps – Cancelled
McChesney’s Debut – Postponed
Gymnastics – Spring break camps – Cancelled
Eagle Eye Archery – Cancelled
Prince Rupert Soccer – Postponed
Sheri’s Favourites Ice Skating Gala – Cancelled
Prince Rupert Curling Club – Cancelled all public and private events
Junior All Native Basketball Tournament
Prince George Dance Festival – Cancelled
Midget Hockey Tournament – Cancelled
ALL CITY OF PRINCE RUPERT PROGRAMS:
Cancelled until further notice
Adult Sewing, Art-Ventures, Bronze Cross/Medallion Camp, Carpet Bowling, Casual Gym, Co-Ed Indoor Soccer, Drop in Kid’s Zone, Drop in Youth Lounge, Drop in Climbing Wall, Youth sewing
Abs!!, Barre Burn, BodyFit, Power Flow Yoga, Tabata GX, Yin & Tonic, Zumba, Men’s Indoor Floor Hockey, Nifty Fifties Walking Club, Noon-Hour Badminton, Public Skating, Spring Break Camps, Swimming Lessons, Volleyball, Women’s Ball Hockey
The Northern View is currently in contact with all organizations and public agencies and will update as soon as confirmed.