Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates

Fire Chief's Update - May 5, 2020

On-Site Residential Chipping

The District of Metchosin will be providing an on-site chipping program to assist residents in removing woody shrub materials and windfall branches.  This is a temporary initiative and will be on a "trial basis"  to help mitigate fire risk in Metchosin  due to the early closure of open burning by the province.  Please see the Poster here for chipping guidelines and how to schedule onsite chipping during the month of May.

Municipal Hall Access

The District of Metchosin is continuing to take steps to ensure ongoing provisions of Municipal services as we work to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Access to the Municipal Hall remains "by appointment only."  Please contact us by telephone at 250-474-3167 ot email info@metchosin.ca with any questions or to arrange payment or collection of permits.

Parking and Beach Access

Parking delineators and parking restriction signage has been placed at local beach and trail access points due to the large influx of visitors to the community.  Please contact the Fire Department at 250-478-1307 if there becomes an issue with parking or emergency access in your area,  Beach fires continue to be PROHIBITED. 

Open Burning

All yard burning is prohibited by provincial Orders.  Campfires on private property are still permitted as long as they are no larger than 2'x2' and use clean, dry firewood only. 

Emergency Responders

A special shout out to our emergency responders in both the fire department and the emergency operations centre!  Know you are in great hands within our community - with many well trained, dedicated and caring people that care for the community as a whole...and as individuals.  We are here to help you.

Social Distancing

Thank you to all who have been encouraging and practicing social distancing.  Your efforts have helped "flatten the curve" here in BC and on Vancouver Island.  We realize it has been a challenge for everyone - and as a community it has been fabulous to see everyone work together. 

Community Resources

We will be putting together a listing of our local small farm resources and roadside stands - encourage locals to support our community farmers, bakers, gardeners and other local resources.  Also, a reminder, the Metchosin Farmer's Market begins again on, June 7 (Sundays 11am-1pm).

Shopping Assistance

If you are in need of shopping assistance or have any special needs or other areas of support we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact the Fire Department at 250-478-1307.

Hand Sanitizer

If you are in need of hand sanitizer, please contact the Fire Department at 250-478-1307.  They have limited supplies that are available to the public free of charge.

April 16, 2020

New COVID-19 supports for businesses, local governments

The Province is providing enhanced relief for businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%, along with new measures to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.

For further information visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home 

April 15, 2020

Open Burning Prohibited throughout British Columbia

Category 2, Category 3, Resource Open Management Fires to be prohibited

Effective at noon (Pacific time) on Thursday, April 16, 2020, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout British Columbia to reduce the likelihood of human-caused wildfires, although campfires will still be allowed.

The following activities will be prohibited, and these restrictions will remain in effect until the public is otherwise notified:

  • Category 2 open fires;
  • Category 3 open fires;
  • Resource Management open fires;
  • the use of fireworks;
  • the use of sky lanterns; and
  • the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description (except when used for a campfire)

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within British Columbia, unless specified otherwise (e.g. in a local government bylaw).  Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.  A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs 

Full Information Bulletin here

Restriction Map

April 15, 2020

The District of Metchosin Municipal Hall remains closed to the pubic, while staff continue to work modified work schedules in order to ensure business continuity and limit the spread of disease.  Public Works and the Fire Department continue regular work schedules, with a few modified duties and activities.

Parks, Trails, and Beaches

Parking and public access are an ongoing concern within  Metchosin and surrounding municipalities.  Public works and municipal staff are working to limit, restrict and control parking issues at our local beaches, parks and trail heads. Local governments have not been directed by the province to close down public access to these outdoor spaces; in fact these places are good to have open and used by the public during this crisis.  However, we appreciate and realize this puts an added strain on the local residents of Metchosin, specifically areas of high activity.  We ask for your ongoing patience as we continue to support the community as much as possible.  Our primary goal is to ensure parking does not interfere with emergency access to neighbourhoods and homes.  Should you have have any questions or concerns, please contact Fire Chief Dunlop at 250-883-4472.

Open Burning Prohibited - Effective Immediately

The province has confirmed open burning will be closed until Fall 2020.  We appreciate this significantly impacts the risk of wildfire in our area due to the added duff and fine surface fuels, wind fall and general yard debris.  We are diligently working on an alternative plan to what residents can do with debris as you will not be able to burn it prior to the Summer.  Until we find an alternative solution, please continue to pile the debris in a safe area, away from your home.  Please ensure the piles contain only clean debris. Further details will be provided at a later date.  Link to BC Wildfire Services Provincial Burning Guidelines.

Campfires are still permitted at this time, however this may change suddenly and without notice.  Campfires must be in designated contained fire pits or appliances and no larger than 0.6 meters in diameter and can only burn Clean Dry Firewood.  Campfires must be fully extinguished by midnight.  Link to Metchosin Campfire Regulations.  

Social Distancing

If you have concerns about groups gathering and not social distancing, the Fire Department are happy to help educate on the importance of social distancing.  Please note however, there are no actual orders in BC requiring people to maintain two meters of physical distance outside of their homes.  If you are truly concerned about someone not self-isolating, or maintaining social distancing, please review existing direction on how to report a concern or make a complaint.  Link to Island Health.

April 14, 2020

Virtual Mental Health Support during COVID-19

B.C. seniors, adults, youth and frontline health care workers experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic can get help through virtual services.

To support British Colombians of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expanding existing mental health programs and launching new services.  

For further information please see here.

April 8, 2020

BC Hydro's COVID-19 Relief Fund open for applications from residential customers

BC Hydro today announced it is accepting applications from residential customers for its COVID-19 Relief Fund; small business customers can start applying next week.

See Information Bulletin here.

COVID-19 Federal and Provincial relief to residents and businesses

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

See here for further information.

COVID-19 Action Plan: BC's first steps to support people, businesses

British Columbians' affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from $5 billion in income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.

See here for further information.

April 1, 2020

District Operations

All District operations continue with modified work schedules and maintaining social distancing where possible.  Council and Staff continue to have regular briefings to ensure business continuity.  We will maintain these existing modified protocols for at least the next two weeks, at which time we will review the state of this pandemic.  Please continue to watch the District of Metchosin website for municipal updates and the Fire Department website for COVID-19 information from reliable sources.

As this Pandemic continues we encourage you to maintain social distancing whenever possible - and wash your hands several times throughout the day.   

First Responder Calls

As you may have heard, the BC Public Health Officer,  Dr. Bonnie Henry announced yesterday that First Responders (Fire Departments) will no longer be sent to any potential influenze-like-illness events;  Fire Departments are being restricted to severe emergencies, such as cardiac arrest and may be called for less severe emergencies if BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) is delayed over 20 minutes.  Additionally, the Fire Department will not be called upon for vehicle crashes unless technical assistance is requested by BCAS.  What this means is the Fire Department will not know when an emergency has happened and will not be responding. Ambulance crews will attend based on availability and urgency of the situation. You can expect to wait 20-30 minutes for someone to arrive. First Responders have no choice but to operate in accordance with these health directives and can only hope protocols will be amended in the future to be consistent with our community compassion and care priorities. 

For further information contact:

Stephanie Dunlop
Fire Chief | Emergency Program Coordinator
Metchosin Fire Department
firechief@metchosinfire.ca
C 250-883-4472 | W 250-478-1307

NEEDS - Thank you to everyone who has offered to volunteer!  It appears most everyone is being looked after, checked-in on or cared for by someone.  If however, you find yourself short of something - hand sanitizer, groceries or a voice to chat with - please let me know.  We only become a closer tighter community through our connections and care for each other.  Now is the time to get involved with a Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (POD) - if you aren’t part of one…Start One!  

For further information contact:

Stephanie Dunlop
Fire Chief | Emergency Program Coordinator
Metchosin Fire Department
f
irechief@metchosinfire.ca
C 250-883-4472 | W 250-478-1307

Annual Fireproof Metchosin

The Annual Fireproof Metchosin - Banish the Broom is CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PROVINCIAL BURNING BAN

The District is asking residents to please refrain from piling broom on the roadside at this time.  We are currently reviewing options and alternative to the provincial burning restrictions that are currently in place, recognizing we need to continue efforts to reduce the fire risk throughout Metchosin.  Please be patient as we continue to problem solve these issues amid this time of crisis.

March 30, 2020

Covidlangford.com available to all West Shore Residents

The City of Langford has initiated covidlangford.com, an educational self-assessment tool and hotline service.  The hotline is now available for all West Shore residents.  The hotline can be accessed at 778-600-0240 and further information is available at covidlangford.com or https://covidlangford.com/ 

March 27, 2020

Province Wide Closure of ALL Personal Service Establishments within the Province of British Columbia

All Personal Service Establishments within the province of British Columbia must close.

The closure order was effective immediately and will remain in place until BC public health officials provide new direction. PSE operators and staff provide services to or on the body of other persons, requiring direct personal contact. Such services are impossible to deliver while maintaining the appropriate interpersonal distance of 2 m, as specified in required social distancing parameters imposed by public health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Examples of PSEs are as follows:

Hair, Skin, Nails and Personal Wellness

Body Modification

  • Aromatherapy
  • Beauty parlour service
  • Cosmetic laser service
  • Face painting
  • Floatation tanks
  • Electrolysis
  • Esthetics (skin/body)
  • Hair/barber
  • Health spa, skin clinic
  • Medical spa
  • Makeup
  • Manicure
  • Massage - including RMT's
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Mud/steam bath
  • Pedicure
  • Sauna
  • Shaving
  • Tanning (indoor)
  • Teeth whitening (excluding dentists)
  • Water therapy**
  • Waxing, lash and brow tinting
  • Body piercing
  • Ear piercing
  • Micropigmentation
  • Microblading
  • Tatooing
  • Tatoo Removal 

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/keeping-bc-healthy-safe/pses-mpes

We recognize the hardships that closure will place on you and your staff, and we commend you for following this vital public health Order.  We also recognize that these are in addition to the hardships already faced by all us as we endeavor to maintain social distancing in our lives and communities to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

If you have any questions, please contact your local Environmental Health Office or Visit www.islandhealth.ca/covid19 for more information.

March 26, 2020

Effective Immediately:

Open Burning is prohibited within the District of Metchosin.  Campfires are still permitted (2x2 - out by midnight).

March 26, 2020 -  the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners is restricting all open burning in High Smoke Sensitivity Zones throughout BC until April 15th, 2020 which includes Metchosin.

No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.

Please see here for full Media Release

March 24, 2020

The District of Metchosin is continuing to take steps to ensure ongoing provisions of Municipal services as we work to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Effective March 24, 2020 we are closing public access to the Municipal Hall but business functions and services will continue.  Please contact us by telephone at 250-474-3167 or email at info@metchosin.ca with questions or to arrange payment or collection of permits.

It is critical that we continue to be vigilant in protection ourselves and others.

  • Stick close to home: social distancing is how we will "flatten the curve" to protect ourselves and each other.
  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your flexed elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.  Call your doctor or 8-1-1 for medical information (for non-medical questions call 1-888-COVID19).
  • Stay connected: pick up the phone and check in with family, friends and neighbours. 

BC Centre for Disease Control - COVID-19 Common Questions

List of COVID-19 Essential Services

March 17, 2020

Access to the District offices by appointment only to limit the spread of infection

The District of Metchosin is taking steps to ensure ongoing provision of Municipal services as we work to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Access to the District will be limited to "by appointment early" beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Please give us a call - we're here to help!  Contact the District by phone at 250-474-3168 or email at info@metchosin.ca  

March 16, 2020

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reinforce public health recommendations to practice social distancing, the District has suspended all public meetings for the month of March. Please see http://www.metchosin.ca for the updated public meeting schedule.

The public is encouraged to contact the District by phone at 250-474-3167 or email info@metchosin.ca if you have a concern that can be dealt with without accessing the offices.  The District is fully prepared to continue the provisions of essential services, and we are taking steps to protect the health of our community and staff and prevent the spread of illness.

March 12, 2020

Although the risk to Canadians remains low, the District of Metchosin is actively monitoring the status of the COVID-19 situation and is taking appropriate precautions.  Council and Committee meetings continue to take place however, we are asking residents to please stay home and not attend meetings at the Municipal Hall if you are sick or feel unwell. 

Here are some key reminders from the World Health Organization:

  • Wash your hands frequently – Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for a minimum of 10-20 seconds.
  • Maintain social distancing – Maintain approximately 6 feet in distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth – Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.  Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.  From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene – make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene.  This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – Stay home if you feel unwell.  If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.  Follow directions of your local health authority.

In addition to the above steps and to be proactive in discouraging the spread of germs, the District is taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Additional hand sanitizing stations installed in the Municipal Hall
  • Arranging for more frequent cleaning of high touch points in the Municipal Hall
  • Recommending to staff proper hand washing protocols
  • Encouraging staff to regularly wipe down personal workstations

The Metchosin Fire Department and Emergency Program volunteers have COVID-19 response protocols and resources in place.  Responder activities have been modified to keep all crews safe and are prepared to support the community should the need arise.

If you have any concerns, questions or need information please contact the Fire Department or Emergency Program at 250-883-4472.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 1:15pm