The monitoring of, and response to, COVID-19 is being led by Local, Provincial and Federal Health Authorities (not local government). It is important to make sure we rely on facts and have strong sources of information in our arsenal.
- Public Health Emergency declared, effective March 18, 2020.
- Province wide orders and restrictions are in currently in effect until midnight February 5, 2021. CLICK HERE to view the full province-wide restrictions.
Physical Distancing Orders
- No gatherings outside your immediate household.
- Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.
- Masks must be worn in all public spaces. may be worn when keeping physical distance isn’t possible to help keep those around you safe.
- Enhanced quarantine compliance procedures are in place for travellers entering the country.
Mental Health Supports
- Mental-health supports for everyone:
- Province of B.C. mental-health supports page: http://gov.bc.ca/Covid19MentalHealthSupports
- B.C. COVID-19 mental health self-assessment tool – mental-health screening tests with a COVID-19 self-assessment tool: https://cmhabc.force.com/MentalHealthCheckIn/s/
- BounceBack – free online, video and phone-based skills-building program for seniors, adults and youth who are experiencing low moods, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
- Counselling and mental-health services – a variety of mental-health services, including low- or no-cost community counselling programs: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
- Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre – confidential, non-judgmental, free emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide. Call 1 800 SUICIDE (784-2433) or visit: https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/
- First Nations Health Authority – comprehensive mental-health and cultural supports during COVID-19: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-COVID-19-Mental-Health-and-Cultural-Supports.pdf
- The KUU-US Crisis Response Service: 24-7, culturally aware, crisis support to Indigenous people in British Columbia. Call 1 800 588-8717 or visit: https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.com/
- Crisis services by region – a list of crisis supports and services by region. Find help near you: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/looking-for-local-resources-support/
Mental-health supports for youth, young adults and families:
- Foundry Virtual – provincewide virtual services with counselling, peer support, family support, groups and workshops via chat, voice or video calls for young people aged 12-24 and their caregivers. All services are free and confidential. Call 1 833 FOUNDRY (308-6379) or visit: https://foundrybc.ca/get-support/virtual/
- Here2Talk – confidential, free counselling and referral services by app, phone or online chat for all registered post-secondary students, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1 877 857-3397, or 1 604 642-5212 if you are a student calling from outside of Canada (international calling charges may apply).
- Ministry of Children and Family Development – the Ministry of Children and Family Development supports all children, youth and families in British Columbia to live safe and healthy lives and is responsible for providing programs and services to support child and youth mental health. A list of supports can be found at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/child-and-youth-mental-health-supports
- Kids Help Phone – 24-7, immediate counselling, support, information and referrals. Youth can call 1 800 668-6868 or text TALK to 686868. Texting support for adults is available by texting TALK to 741741. Or visit: http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre – free mental-health and substance use information, resources and peer support for B.C. parents, caregivers and families of children and youth. Call 1 800 665-1822 or visit: https://keltymentalhealth.ca/
Supports for seniors:
- BC211 – this service will take calls from seniors looking for help and those who would like to volunteer to help seniors in their community, including virtual or telephone visits: http://www.bc211.ca/
Support for front-line health-care workers:
- Virtual peer support service and online resource hub – phone and text-based peer-support service: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
Here are four other ways to support your mental health over the next several weeks:
- Reach out. Though meeting in large groups will not be in the holiday cards this year, connecting with others safely is vital to your mental wellness. Consider making the holidays special by reaching out to someone who is isolated and alone – you may be surprised at how much joy it brings to both of you.
- Talk about it. You are not alone. This year has been hard on so many people. But talking about it really does help. And sharing how you are feeling not only benefits you, but it often encourages others to do the same and creates a sense of community. What better gift is there than that?
- Keep up with routines. Try to maintain habits that support your positive well-being during the holidays. Eat well when you can, commit to regular physical activity and get plenty of sleep when possible.
- Try to take a moment for yourself. Prioritize yourself during the holidays by doing things you love and that make you feel calm and connected to what matters to you. These are busy, stressful times, but just 15 minutes of downtime a day will go a long way toward ensuring the holidays really are peaceful and calm.
- COVID-19 testing criteria changes regularly. Take the online self-assessment tool or call 8-1-1 if you have symptoms to check whether you should be tested.
- Choose virtual health care services whenever available.
- Physician notes are NOT required for prescription refills by pharmacists.
- Workers and volunteers in long-term care may no longer work at multiple facilities.
- Elective surgeries and procedures have restarted with new surgical renewal plan in place.
- BC Service Centres will stay open, but the first hour of service is dedicated to seniors and other vulnerable people. You can also call for service: 1-800-663-7867.
- In-Person Canada Service Centres are now closed. Apply for benefits online.
- BC211 is available to match volunteers with seniors in need of help with groceries, etc. Call 2-1-1 or visit online.
Recreation & Outdoors
- Most municipal parks and playgrounds are open.
- BC Parks have re-opened for day-use and camping. Check online for the current status of your park before you go.
- National parks, historic sites, and campsites are re-opening. Check online before you go.
- Beginning June 22, 2020, Parks Canada will open some front country campgrounds in a limited capacity and additional visitor information services in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks. Backcountry campgrounds will also begin to open as conditions in the backcountry allow.
Labour & Businesses
- All employers must have a Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- Employers cannot require a doctor's note or testing for people to stay home from work.
- Commercial landlords who are eligible for the CECRA are restricted from evicting their eligible commercial tenants.
- Workers may take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19, retroactive to Jan 27, 2020.
Travel & Borders
- All Canadian borders are closed to non-essential travellers. Travellers must not show any signs of illness and are required to carry out a mandatory 14-day Quarantine.
- Travellers entering the country must self-isolate for fourteen days.
- Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be actively refused boarding onto all aircraft and trains, including for travel within Canada.
- Temperature screening is now required at all airports as well as at points of departure for those travelling inbound into Canada.
- Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Reduction in service at Canadian land border crossings in effect.
- All international flights (including from the USA) entering British Columbia will be restricted to YVR only.
The snapshots provide a summary of the day's updates and announcements by the Provincial and Federal Governments, along with other regional information.
COVID-19 Phone Numbers:
There are a number of information lines set up to assist people with COVID-19 Inquiries, including:
- COVID-19 Information Line **FOR NON HEALTH INFORMATION** - 1-888-268-4319. Open seven days a week, from 7:30 am to 8 pm PST
- 811 - dial 811 for COVID-19 and non-COVID health related information
- 211 - seniors looking for support with groceries, medication pick up, other supplies (or volunteers willing to help seniors) can dial 211 or visit www.bc211.ca
COVID-19 Online Links:
Last edited: Thu, January 07, 2021 - 9:10:06