COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 27th, 2020 - 1:28 PM

A gentle reminder to people who have been asking whether there are cases on Salt Spring—we are committed to the confidentiality of our patients and will not disclose any more than the information you are receiving from the Medical Officer of Health. Our regulatory body, The College of Physicians and Surgeons has said: “….Dr. Henry is taking great care to ensure the privacy of individuals who are affected, which of course is of utmost importance. The College has recently learned of instances where information has been posted on social media or provided to the press about individual patient cases and test results, including the identification of certain smaller communities. This is not acceptable. Physicians must not disclose information about individual patients in any setting, including stories shared directly with other people, even if patient identities are not revealed. The risk of a privacy breach is too great”. We are also aware that there is a time lag between th…
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COVID-19: Donate to Support the Lady Minto Hospital - March 27th, 2020 - 12:15 PM

Lady Minto Hospital is here for you during the COVID-19 crisis, however the hospital and the people who take care of all of us need your help. In light of the potential COVID-19 risk we all face, Lady Minto Hospital is planning, training and working to be ready for all eventualities. More critical than ever, supply shortages need to be anticipated, identified, and taken care of as quickly as possible to ensure adequate inventory exists for the safety of hospital staff and patients. The Foundation has begun to pay for such extraordinary supplies, ensuring the need will be met. We are asking for the community's help at this critical time. Your donation will be used exclusively to help the hospital ensure that it doesn't run short of the supplies and equipment necessary to fight COVID-19. In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, we can all take comfort in knowing we have a community hospital and amazing team that is here for us. Donate online at ladymintofoundation.…
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COVID-19: Harbour Air Temporarily Suspends Flights - March 27th, 2020 - 9:02 AM

Harbour Air will temporarily suspend regularly scheduled flights beginning Sat, March 28. - As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread throughout the Province and with safety as our top value at Harbour Air, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our employees and our customers to cease all Harbour Air scheduled service flight operations. Our current plan is to start flying again May 4th, 2020. We understand the impact that this decision has on the communities we service, and because we don’t want to leave anyone stranded, as we are deemed an essential service in the province, we will continue to offer charter services which will include private flights, freight and government support services as required. For the safety of our flight crew and private flight passengers, these flights will be completed utilizing our larger DeHavilland Otter aircraft, which will allow for on board distancing. We will continue to follow the stringent cleaning and sanitation proto…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Emergency Fund

The Salt Spring Island Foundation has established the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is making an initial contribution of $20,000 and will also be receiving a CRD Grant-in-Aid of $5,000 for the fund. In addition, Country Grocer will be partnering with the Foundation to support the fund. Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, or other pressing community needs as they emerge. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “As Salt Spring faces this unprecedented challenge, the Foundation is committed to helping the charities and not-for-profit organizations that are on the front lines of this fight to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Islanders have always been incredibly caring and generous to others in times of need, and we appeal for their help now.“ The Foundation is inviting i…
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COVID-19: SD64 Letter from Superintendent Scott Benwell - March 26th, 2020 - 4:01 PM

Dear families of students in SD64: As we all know, the return to school after Spring Break this year is anything but normal. I want to reassure you that district staff have been working throughout the break, in partnership with provincial authorities, to ensure that public education continues to provide high quality learning and support services to our students, families, and communities. Like the communities we serve, the school district is resilient and ready to take on the challenges that lie before us in the coming weeks. Our responsibilities as a school district are numerous and I would like to share with you some of the things we are working on and some of the ways that we see our services continuing – services that will look and feel different for all of us. The BC Ministry of Education, with advice from the Provincial Health Officer, announced the suspension of in-class instruction to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure that our students and families…
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COVID-19: Open Burning Restrictions Issued for Salt Spring Island - March 26th, 2020 - 2:02 PM

Open Burning Restrictions Issued for Salt Spring Island and All High Smoke Sensitivity Zones in British Columbia - As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Dis- ease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollu- tion increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function. This means that: Deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall Deterioration in air quality may lead to more cases of severe COVID-19 infections, adding further demand to our healthcare system, and Improvements to air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects. Evidence suggests that air pollution from combustion sources is most strongly associated with increased risk of viral infection, particularl…
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Peas and Big Fat Cutworms

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked! at how many big fat cutworms I shook from the sod I was trimming from edges of my garden beds today. I think I will just let the peas I started indoors grow for a little longer before sending them out to face such monsters (plus, it is still pretty cool at night to be planting vegetables, anyway). And while I am on peas: If you saw tiny notches in the edges of leaves on peas or broadbeans last year, that is pea leaf weevil, which is becoming more widespread. While the tiny adult weevils chew notches in the leaves, it is the weevil larvae, which feed on the nitrogen nodules in the roots that cause the worst damage because infested plants can’t make their own nitrogen. These weevils have one generation a year and only lay their eggs in the spring. There is no [legal or safe] way to kill them in the soil, but using two strategies you can avoid damage. First, start early plantings of peas (March-mid-May) in vermiculite indoors to avoid the …
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 26th, 2020 - 1:07 PM

We are in the calm before the storm and it is what we do right now that will determine the severity of the coming storm.

We want to thank all the residents and businesses of Salt Spring who are doing an incredible job of physical distancing and thus literally saving lives. So many people are helping in all sorts of different ways it would be impossible to mention them all, but thank you. Every day we delay the storm is a precious gift to everyone as more protective gear and ventilators are organized and information and treatments are developed.

Today, we’d like to provide some links to more support resources and the latest news on Covid-19 as it relates to our Salt Spring community.

Many people ask how long the virus can live on surfaces. The short answer is, it depends on the surface:

up to 3 days on smooth surfaces such as glass, plastic and metal up to 24 hours on cardboard about 4 hours on c…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 25th, 2020 - 1:03 PM

Over the last week or so, we have focused on what individuals can do to prevent transmission of COVID, how to access care, etc. Today we would like to recognize the stress and anxiety that this virus has caused in the community. Many of us have friends, family members, and neighbours who have lost their jobs. Our Island is highly reliant on tourism for income. Small business owners and their employees are worried about how to feed their families, pay rent or mortgages, and other basics. If you’re feeling anxious about the virus - about finances, the economy, or how to cope while staying at home - please take a look at some of the resources provided below. The federal and provincial governments are working to create a financial safety net for those who need it most during the pandemic. Please remember that compassion is one of our community’s greatest strengths. Help one another from afar, be kind, and we will get through this. RESOURCES: If you are experiencing any …
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Thinking Like An Island

Every spring for the last 43 years I have followed the same routine. I turn under green manure crops, spread compost, prepare fields, and direct seed and transplant. The seeds and small plants that go into the ground are the product of months and sometimes years of propagation work. The compost is made throughout the prior season, and the complex crop rotation and field plans are the result of a winter of careful thinking and consideration. The soils are built and improved over decades. Before the first seed gets planted, many months and thousands of dollars have already been invested into a professional endeavour that requires decades to develop and perfect. This spring is different. I am going through all the same motions as I always have, but this time for the first time, I have no idea how the results of my labour, the food that will surely ripen, will make it into the homes and the bellies of all those on the island and beyond that we have supplied for the last 20 ye…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Continues to Operate In Service to Communities Along Coastal BC - March 24th, 2020 - 5:27 PM

BC Ferries continues to provide ferry services to connect communities and deliver essential goods to urban centres and more isolated areas such as the Gulf Islands and smaller towns in the northern part of the province. In line with directions provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada and other leading health authorities, BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time. To date, BC Ferries has not been instructed to restrict travel. BC Ferries continues to carry all types of traffic. “None of us should be travelling if it is not essential,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “We want our customers that need to travel to know that we have taken steps to keep ferry travel as safe as possible. We are asking our customers to adhere to safe practices for their own safety and for the safety of BC Ferries employees.” Enhanced health and safety measures include additional cleaning and disinfecting, allowing and recommending passe…
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COVID-19: Letter from MP Elizabeth May to Her Constituents - March 24th, 2020 - 4:59 PM

Hi all, I know all of us like to be social, so social-distancing is a challenge, but please do it! I am keeping our Sidney office staffed, but only one staff person at a time. Please call ahead as we are not taking walk-in meetings. We are dealing with quite a few stranded constituents and trying to get their travel plans sorted. We appreciate your calls and updates, which I relay to key ministers. When we had a lot of calls from people who wanted the U.S.-Canada border closed, I used that for additional pressure as we have been pushing for the border to close. As you know, that is now happening and will take effect Friday night. I have sent emails to all the other elected levels of government, MLAs, mayors, CRD directors, First Nation chiefs and the Islands Trust office in Victoria to maintain contact and share developments in this fluid situation. Meanwhile, all Members of Parliament are offered a daily technical briefing by telephone conference on developments an…
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COVID-19: CRD Asks Parks Visitors to Maintain Social Distancing - March 24th, 2020 - 2:17 PM

To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is asking visitors to Regional Parks and community parks in electoral areas to adhere to the orders and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). CRD Regional Parks has seen a large increase in visitors in the recent weeks. Though many parks allow for appropriate social distancing measures to be followed, it has been observed that some parks are seeing traffic that does not allow for adherence to proper protocol as ordered by the PHO. The PHO recommendations and orders include keeping at least two metres of distance between yourself and others and not gathering in groups. While outside for fresh air and exercise, only be close to members of the same household and keep at a distance from everyone else. Responsible use of Regional Parks and Trails may allow them to remain open. Should measures outlined by the PHO not be able to be maintained, parks will have to be …
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COVID-19: Letter to Constituents from Adam Olsen MLA, Saanich North and the Islands - March 24th, 2020 - 2:02 PM

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia Provincial Health Officer, and the Minister of Health Adrian Dix, have been exemplary in the handling of this crisis. It’s important that everyone in our community follow their recommendations to help stop the growth of this virus. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit http://covid-19.bccdc.ca. As a result of their recommendations we have closed our constituency office to walk-in traffic. Our team is working from home and will be available by email (Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca) and by phone (250-655-5600). We will continue to process casework as usual and advocate on behalf of everyone in Saanich North and the Islands. I’m very concerned for the health and well-being of everyone in our community, especially those who are at the greatest risk and for those whose income or business is affected by the closures. I’m working hard as your MLA to advocate for solutions that meet your needs, especially for those hit harde…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 24th, 2020 - 1:03 PM

This is a surreal and strange time for all of us. Going for a walk or looking out at the water, everything looks the same as always. However, all over the world including here in BC people are dying, and intensive care units are filling up. We hear that people are losing patience with the social distancing measures which are being asked of you. You may be feeling frustrated by the limitations of not being able to meet with friends, or just don’t feel you are at risk. Please remember that social distancing and hand washing are the only preventive measures that have been proven to work for the pandemic. We are pleading with you to stick with it! The longer people don’t comply with social distancing, the longer we’ll have to do it. On Salt Spring we are in a period of relative calm and we hope it stays this way. Please remember that all of our local Family Doctors offices are open. They are taking phone appointments and will arrange to see those who need to be seen in p…
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COVID-19: Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island - March 23rd, 2020 - 5:19 PM

Information Bulletin regarding changes to the management of the government docks Harbour Authority of Saltspring Island (HASSI) due to COVID-19. The Harbour office, showers and washrooms have been closed to the public for over a week and remains so until further notice. Staff are working on site, please respect public distancing and limit contact to phone and email. In emergency call 911, the Harbour Master at 250 537-7530. For non urgent issues, call office at 250 537-5711 or email at Harbour@HASSI.ca. Docks: essential or emergency only, specifically: Kanaka dock will not re-open to transient visitor moorage at this time. Monthly moorage contracts will be extended. Breakwater dock will be open to essential and emergency vessels only (this includes outer islanders getting supplies). We are in ongoing discussion with the floatplanes. Centennial dock is open to existing monthly contract customers only. Temporary dinghy moorage at Centennial is being relocated t…
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Obituary: Lois Sprague

It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to our wonderful Raging Granny sister, Lois Sprague. Lois hosted our meetings in her and John’s warm, sunny and welcoming kitchen with a huge window and where, using Johns huge telescope…all set up so we could see them easily. we kept up with the nesting habits of an eagle family across the water. Lois was one of the very early Raging Grannies here on the island, as well as a volunteer extraordinaire with the Library and Seniors Centre and the Conservancy…to name just a few. She often sat and knit while we discussed our latest raging plans and practiced our songs. When she wasn’t knitting, she was showing off her latest quilting project or home made tea’s. We will miss her badly. You can see us singing with Luke Wallace, and drinking (tea and ???) at Lois and Johns table! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CndYfQH9XB0
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Chamber Addresses Current Community Challenges

Salt Spring Island and its residents have a long history of happily welcoming thousands of visitors all year around. We are proud of our safe community and love sharing it with people from around the world. Given the situation, we ask that you stay safely in your home to help our island, province and country deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community, like other small communities, has very limited resources to deal with the pandemic. It is important that our essential services are not overwhelmed by an added risk from an influx of visitors. Salt Spring Island will be here when it’s over. We are working hard to make sure that the wonderful shops, restaurants, cafes, artisans, farmers, tour companies, accommodations and adventure operators that make Salt Spring what it is, are able to open again. We need to ensure that our businesses, their owners, their employees, and all community members remain safe and healthy so that they can offer you the world-class service that the…
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COVID-19: Open Letter to Residents of Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands

Dear Residents of Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands, We are living through unprecedented times. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a society-wide mobilization previously seen only in wartime. Public guidelines are being revised daily and the pace of change can feel overwhelming. It may be difficult to understand who is in charge and what is being done to keep our families and island communities safe. The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is leading pandemic planning and response across BC. She has declared a provincial health emergency and ordered the closure of schools, restaurants and personal service businesses, restricted mass gatherings, and ordered international travellers to self-isolate. These orders are not suggestions. Our communities require 100% compliance for measures to be effective and violations should be referred to the police non-emergency line. Island Health and their local resources such as the Lady Minto Hospital are …
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 23rd, 2020 - 1:10 PM

It is clear that cases of COVID 19 are increasing. Whether they grow exponentially or start to decrease, depends on all of us. We now have 39 positive cases in Island Health. Throughout the province there are 33 patients hospitalized with COVID 19 and 14 of these are in intensive care. Our message remains the same as our Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau: Please stay at home. Spend time outside but only with members of the same household and always 2 meters away from others. Every day that you and your family stay distanced from others, the better prepared we will be for the coming days and weeks. We must do everything, every day, to protect our community and loved ones. So please go for a walk, get in the garden, go for a bike ride all while adhering to the advice above. Do not meet for coffee or dinner parties. Please do your part. Editorial Note: Read all official, current and ongoing updates on COVID-19 spe…
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Water Optimization for Salt Spring Island Survey - Share Your Feedback by April 6, 2020

The CRD and North Salt Spring Waterworks District are working with Innova Strategy Group in gathering input on a review of the operation, administration, and governance of Salt Spring Island’s water services. Here is an opportunity to participate on or before April 6, 2020. Your feedback is important in shaping the future of water service delivery on Salt Spring and collaborating around water decision-making, roles, responsibilities, gaps, and challenges of the current public water service model on Salt Spring.

Survey Link

  Read the Full CRD Water Optimization Study Terms of Reference Below     Click here to download the Water Optimization Study Terms of Reference IN PDF format.
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