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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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 …
Read more

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 …
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

COVID-19: Southern Gulf Islands Leaders Say Pandemic is Threatening Our Fragile Communities - March 23rd, 2020 - 10:47 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening our fragile Southern Gulf Island communities. The surge of visitors coming to these islands to seek refuge from the pandemic, are potentially compromising the health and well-being of Gulf Islands residents on Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, Saturna islands, plus many smaller islands in this region. These rural island communities do not have the appropriate services and emergency resources to deal with an extra 100, 200 or 300 more people. Off-island visitors don’t know if they have been exposed to the virus – our islands cannot provide adequate support. “Today our Islands need to focus on the needs of residents, says Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director – “We need our Gulf Islands precious medical resources for our most vulnerable, especially for those who are immune compromised.” Dave Howe, Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area Director, representing Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna islands, urges current visito…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 22nd, 2020 - 1:07 PM

The physicians of Salt Spring Island are on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19. This crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime. We are working flat out to be there for our patients and their families. Doctors cannot do this alone. What the public does now will impact the health of British Columbians in the weeks and months ahead. Lives depend on your actions now. Our province is in a state of emergency. Here is the directive from our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry: Stay home unless absolutely necessary. This means no dinner parties. No shopping. No sports, even outside. Have coffee with a friend online. Keep two metres or six feet away from everyone if you must go out. That’s about the width of a car or the length of two arms stretched out. Wash your hands frequently. Tell your loved ones to do the same. This is especially important for young people. We sometimes see you out in the park or at the beach. You can …
Read more

COVID-19: Only Essential Visits Allowed to Island Health Facilities - March 21st, 4:15 PM

Island Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to respond to COVID-19. The situation is evolving quickly and our strategies are evolving to keep people in the communities we serve safe. To support the Provincial Health Officer’s directions around social distancing and protect our residents, patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19, Island Health has made the difficult decision to allow only essential visits to our facilities. Essential visits will be considered for patients who are: critically ill receiving end-of-life care frail and need an escort or family member for their safety Eligible essential visitors must pass important screening criteria. This means they cannot have a cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, and they cannot have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days. We understand the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients a…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 21st, 2020 - 1:23 PM

We know that you in the community are quite rightly concerned and anxious about COVID-19. Your family physicians have organized ourselves to respond to the situation as it evolves and to provide you with timely and accurate information regarding the novel COVID-19 pandemic currently upon our doorstep. Our goal is to provide information and direction so you may understand your own responsibilities as a member of our community and the greater population during this worldwide outbreak. The Province’s team of public health specialists (the Medical Health Officers) are working hard to support family physicians to have the information that is needed to respond to this pandemic. We want to send out a clear message to you about how local Family Doctor healthcare is changing and explain how you can help our community fare as best it can through what will be a difficult time. We understand many people are frustrated that the Provincial Health Officer and Island Health have not p…
Read more

COVID-19: CRD Playgrounds In Parks and Recreation Centres Temporarily Closed

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, the services provided to the general public at the depot at Hartland Landfill are being reduced. Due to increased volume, customers should expect long wait times when trying to access the depot. In order to promote social distancing and reduce staff/customer interaction, the following measures have been put in place: Only two vehicles at a time will have access to the depot Only credit and debit payments will be accepted, no cash No household hazardous waste (including paint, propane bottles and oils) will be accepted No renovation waste will be accepted Hours at this time remain the same, long line ups are expected. Please consider holding off on your visit until after the COVID-19 crisis subsides. Please note, the above is in reference to the public drop off depot. Services provided at the active face are not affected at this time. Alternatively, there are other private garbage drop-off and recycl…
Read more

COVID-19: Watch Video - Country Grocer Salt Spring - A Safe Place to Shop

At this challenging time, we know you're concerned about your safe health when you go out to shop. We're working hard to regularly clean high touch points and ensure your safe shopping. We thank you for your efforts to adjust to the changes we're putting in place for you and our staff. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }   Editorial Note: Read all official, current and ongoing updates on COVID-19 specifically related to Salt Spring Island on the Salt Spring Exchange under our News > 'Special Alert: COVID-19' News section.
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 20th, 2020 - 1:00 PM

We would like to say thank you to all those in the community who are doing so many things to help during this challenging time. This includes the grocery stores which are making special hours for seniors; pharmacies which are ensuring we have enough medications; all the restaurants which have moved to take out; all the people who are helping their neighbours with their groceries, and so many more. While it is true that this virus affects the elderly and those whose immune systems are compromised most seriously, it will affect all of us. We must make sure that our healthcare system can continue to provide care to everyone who needs it and not become overwhelmed by patients with COVID-related disease. The best way to do this is to prevent person-to-person infection by maintaining social distancing and staying home if we have symptoms. If you are ill and have mild symptoms, please stay at home and take care of yourself. Contact your family doctor’s office if you need advic…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 19th, 2020 - 1:00 PM

COVID-19 is in all of our communities including our Gulf Island communities. We are all part of this pandemic. BC and Vancouver Island’s infection rate curves are following that of other countries; we are just a bit behind. We are in the critical period to “flatten the curve” and slow the rate of spread of COVID-19. The most effective tool we have to prevent spread is physical separation. We implore you to maintain social distancing of 6 feet (2 meters) which is the typical distance from fingertip to fingertip with arms outstretched. If you have any cold symptoms or are returning from out of the country you must self isolate for 14 days. Many people have questions about testing and we understand this has and continues to be confusing. The World Health Organization says “test, test, test” and yet here in BC we are not offering general access to testing. Following the protocols established by our Medical Health Officer, we are currently only testing healthcare workers, crit…
Read more

COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Emergency Program - Updates - March 18, 2020 - 12:45 PM

The Salt Spring Island Emergency Program, along with the CRD Emergency Operation Centre in Victoria held a conference call with major stakeholders on Salt Spring to discuss the ongoing developments around COVID-19 so that we can provide a coordinated response and message. These communications will continue and updates will be provided as warranted. As this is a Public Health Issue, the medical teams of Island Health, our health clinics and health providers and Lady Minto Hospital are providing the lead on this.  They were some of the many organizations participating in the call. The Emergency Program is supporting the Health Agencies where we are able. Many people on the island have questions and there has been a significant increase in inquiries. The March 17, 2020 release of the Salt Spring Island GP's and Hospital Medical Staff Association statement says: "With the spread of cases associated with a dental conference in Vancouver in early March, as well as the outbr…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 18th, 2020 - 1:06 PM

As of today, we are not aware of any definite COVID cases on Salt Spring. The Medical Health Officer keeps us informed on a regular basis. However, given the emergence of cases elsewhere on Vancouver Island, we are assuming that there are cases in our community and are acting accordingly. We will not be sharing information about individual cases (see point 5). If you have any symptoms of a cold or respiratory illness, assume you are infectious and stay at home and self isolate for 14 days. DO come to the hospital if you are having trouble breathing or need medical assistance, or for any other emergency problems your GP can’t handle. Do NOT come to the hospital for minor ailments, doctor’s notes, or prescriptions. This is really helping to keep the emergency room ready to treat emergencies. Thank you so much for your help. Your doctors are working from their offices or remotely from home and offering phone consultations. Please phone your doctors’ office for detail…
Read more

COVID-19: SD64 Suspension Of In-Class Instruction - March 18th, 2020 - 12:06 PM

To the students, staff and families of Gulf Islands School District, Yesterday, the provincial government announced that, effective immediately, in-class instruction for B.C.’s K to 12 learners is suspended indefinitely. This temporary measure, to protect students, staff and the public against the spread of COVID-19, was made in consultation with school districts, stakeholders and the Ministry of Health, and under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. Minister of Education Rob Fleming made the following declarations: Districts will ensure continuity of educational services as provided for under the School Act. Final grades will be issued for all K to 12 students in British Columbia. All students who are eligible to graduate will graduate this year as expected. Although some graduation assessments will be postponed, students who are on track to graduate will do so. The Ministry of Education is working with post-secondary institutio…
Read more

COVID-19: Changes to Visitor Restrictions at Island Health Facilities - March 17th, 2020 - 4:09 PM

Island Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) to respond to COVID-19. The situation is evolving quickly and our strategies are evolving to keep people in the communities we serve safe.

This is an update to the information bulletin regarding visitor restrictions issued on March 16, 2020.

To keep our patients, families and staff safe and in keeping with the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations for social distancing, Island Health is limiting the number of visitors per day entering our buildings, effective immediately.

Until further notice, the following updated visitor restrictions are in place:

Hospital Emergency Departments, Intensive Care/Critical Care areas: ONE adult caregiver/support person, per day Perinatal Unit: ONE adult caregiver/support person, per day…
Read more

COVID-19: CRD Closes Recreation Centres - March 17th, 2020 - 3:30 PM

To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is closing recreation facilities as of 5pm today. All three CRD Recreation Commissions met today and decided that Panorama Recreation Centre including Greenglade Community Centre, Sooke Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC) and Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) will close until further notice to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

We recognize many families and individuals rely on our recreation programs and services, and we ask for your patience while we continue to determine next steps as the situation develops. Limited services are still available. Please see the list below for details.

Day Camps

Day camps will continue to run until 5pm on Friday, March 20 pending additional direction from the Prov…

Read more