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COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Stay well, stay safe and stay informed with the SRD.

COVID-19 Update & Helpful Resources

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis.  Here is a summary of current public health orders and official government announcements with helpful resources and links included.

Where can I go to get more information?

Please be cautious of information you read about the virus online and stick with reputable sites and Government information updates.

There are regular updates coming from the Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, that include advice for the public. Here’s how you can stay up-to-date on the most recent news:

COVID-19 Update – March 21:

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis.  To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, we recommend reviewing the websites listed above as they may be updated more frequently.   

Below you will find a summary of current public health orders and official government announcements, summarized into one list to help you navigate the sea of new information out there.


  • Public Health Emergency declared, effective March 17, 2020
  • Provincial State of Emergency declared, effective March 18, 2020.

These are mandatory orders for everyone in BC:

  • Gatherings larger than 50 people are banned.
  • Maintain 6 feet or 2 meters distance from others.
  • Stay home as much as possible, do not visit with friends (call them instead).
  • It’s okay to go outside for fresh air and exercise, but stay away from others.
  • Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.


  • Scheduled elective surgeries and procedures are being postponed.
  • Long-term care facilities are restricting visitors to essential visits only.
  • Choose virtual health care services whenever available, physicians will be compensated.
  • Physician notes are NOT required for prescription refills by pharmacists.
  • Dentists should provide emergency services only.
  • MSP coverage wait times are waived for those who have been out of province and returned.


  • In-class instruction is suspended at all K-12 schools.
  •  All parents who can, should care for their children at home. This makes it easier for providers to follow enhanced preventative health measures.
  • Enhanced government funding is available for child care providers that stay open and that close.
  • Providers receiving enhanced government funding (above) cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families.
    Read More: BC Government COVID-19 child care supports


  • BC Housing: No evictions for non-payment of rent.
    More to come.


  •  All personal service establishments (salons, spas, massage, tattoo, etc) must close.
  • All casinos and liquor-primary establishments (bars/clubs) must close.
  • Restaurants must move to pick-up/delivery service only, or close.
  • Restaurants may now sell liquor products with meals for pick-up/delivery using staff with Serving-It-Right certification.
  • Liquor distilleries are now permitted to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • All businesses must adjust their operations to meet social distancing orders and should implement enhanced cleaning, or close.
  • Employers must waive the requirement for doctors notes or testing for people to stay home.
    Read more: WorkSafeBC Instructions for employers and employees
    Read more: Guidelines for active construction sites


  • Auto insurance: Renew by email or phone.
  • BC Ferries: Passengers may stay inside their vehicles the entire trip; on board food service is minimal.
  • BC Transit, TransLink: Rear door, fare-free boarding on all buses. Those with accessibility needs can still load at front.
  • BC Liquor Stores: Will stay open, though on reduced hours.


  • Community centres, playgrounds, and sports fields may be closed.
  • Parks Canada: Visitor services at all national parks and historic sites are closed.
  • BC Parks: Some day-use facilities may be closed. Check online before you go.
  • All campgrounds are closed.


  • Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada now while they are still able. All travelling Canadians requiring assistance should call 1-613-996-8885 or email
  • Entry into Canada will be denied to all non-essential travellers who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents and their immediate family. US citizens will no longer be exempt.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the USA.
  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be actively refused boarding onto aircraft, including Canadians.
  • Overseas international flights entering Canada will be restricted to YVR, YYZ, YUL, YYC only.
  • Everyone entering the country must self-isolate for fourteen days.


  • BC Hydro bill deferral & payment plans available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.
  • One-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits has been waived. Call 1-833-381-2725.
  • Emergency Care Benefit for workers, including the self-employed, who do not qualify for paid sick leave or EI and have to stay home. (Effective April 2020)
  • Emergency Support Benefit for workers not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment, including self-employed people. (Effective April 2020)
  • Tax return filing due date is deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31.
  • Wage subsidy for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities to prevent worker lay-offs.
  • Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans. (Effective April 2020)
  • Boost to GST-credit and Canada Child Benefit payments to low-income individuals and families. (Effective May 2020)
  • $5,000 emergency loan available to Canadians travelling abroad through Global Affairs Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email
  • Read More: Canada’s COVID-19 Support for Canadians and Businesses

Do Your Part: Slowing Transmission of COVID-19

It continues to be extremely important that everyone works to prevent the spread of this disease. Even if you do not personally feel like you are at risk of getting sick, we must each do our part to protect other, more vulnerable community members. Slowing transmission helps our health care system keep up with the disease.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Sneeze/cough into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Maintain 2m distance from others
  • STAY HOME if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.

Do I need testing?

Please use the online BC COVID-19 Self Assessment tool:

Do I need to stockpile food and supplies?

Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly. There is no need to stockpile.

COVID-19 Additional Resources 

Phone: 1-888-223-3779
Website: COVID-19 information

Website: COVID-19 Info

Website: Daily updates for housing providers and those serving vulnerable populations.

Phone: 250-830-2300
Website: District News

Small Business Resources

Please find links below with resources for small businesses from a variety of government and industry sources around COVID-19 and emergency preparedness.

BC Economic Development Association:

BC Hydro offers billing help during outbreak:

  • The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BC HYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options. Commercial customers will be eligible for relief on a case by case basis.
  • Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.

BC Restaurant & Food Services: For updates follow BCRFA on Twitter

Business Development Bank of Canada:

Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19. With flexible and tailored solutions, BDC can help you through this situation with the right financing and advice for your business.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Preparedness Business Guide here

Calling All Suppliers – Help Canada Combat COVID-19:

  • The Government of Canada is seeking information from suppliers on their ability to provide products and services. Fill out this form if you can provide items from the list below, or any other product or services not listed.
  • Products: Disposable N95 masks, Disposable Surgical masks, Nitrile gloves, Vinyl gloves, Gowns, Bottles of hand sanitizer, Other prevention products.
  • Services: Guard / security services, Nursing services, Food services, Laundry services, Accommodation maintenance services, Personal services, IT support services, Other services.

Destination BC: Emergency Preparedness for BC’s Tourism Industry here and specific info about the Coronavirus here

Destination Canada: COVID-19 Updates here

Emergency Preparedness BC: Small Business and Tourism Operator Emergency Planning hereincluding:

Employment Insurance:

Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim.
  • Contact the new dedicated toll-free phone number if you are in quarantine and seeking to waive the one-week EI Sickness Benefits waiting period so you can be paid for the first week of your claim:

Export Development Canada: Information for Canadian exporters impacted by COVID-19 here


  • COVID-19 may have financial impacts to FortisBC customers. They encourage customers to reach out and let them know if you are having difficulty with your bill so they can help find a solution.

Small Business BC: COVID-19 Small Business Resources her