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

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

Apartments evacuated during police stand-off

The incident occurred at Grand Forks apartment building on March 28

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

Most Read