Green Party MLA Adam Olsen says Gulf Islands residents want visitors stopped but goods and services to continue. (Hansard TV)

No plans to shut off isolated B.C. communities from COVID-19, Adrian Dix says

MLA Adam Olsen says Gulf Islands want to follow Tofino, Ucluelet

Provincial health authorities have “rapid response” plans for responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in rural and remote B.C. communities, but there is no move by the province to isolate communities looking to keep visitors and their potential viruses out.

After mayors in Tofino and Ucluelet made public pleas for visitors to stay away until the novel coronavirus pandemic subsides, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen said he has heard from Gulf Islands residents who want the same for their isolated homes.

“Has the ministry considered barring or restricting access to isolate, rural and at-risk communities in a way that will allow them to continue to receive goods to sustain themselves but also that may stop the spread into those communities?” Olsen asked Health Minister Adrian Dix.

RELATED: Tofino asks visitors to postpone trips, go home

RELATED: Ucluelet says non-essential travel has to stop

Dix didn’t answer directly, referring to local and regional plans for emergency preparedness in communities.

“No matter where you live, where it’s in Alert Bay or in Abbotsford, whether it’s in Vanderhoof or Vancouver, you can catch COVID-19, wherever you are, no matter what your age,” Dix said. “If you’re a teenager or you’re 60, you can pass on COVID-19.”

The latest community to call for no more visitors is Ucluelet, after increasing business restrictions led to the closure of resorts and other facilities.

A joint statement from the District of Ucluelet, the chamber of commerce and tourism officials referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s advice to Canadians to stay home except for essential travel. On March 18, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Ucluelet and Tofino closed beaches and bathrooms and suspended visitor services.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail medical lab makes changes amid pandemic

Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.

Selkirk College gives back during COVID-19 crisis

Staff have been delivering grocery items and medical supplies to those in need during pandemic

Cominco, West Kootenay Power, perpetuated in place names

Place Names: Consolidated Mining and Smelting (CM&S) became Cominco, then Teck-Cominco, then Teck

Reminder to boarders, Trail Sk8Park is closed

Trail bylaw enforcement regularly patrols city playgrounds and parks

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read