COVID-19 information

March 29, 2021
Esquimalt News

Changes to age-related mask wearing

The PHO has been updated in terms of the age restrictions for wearing masks indoors. If you are 9 years and older masks are mandatory for indoor public spaces; this is a change from the previous PHO which was 12 years and older. 

Proof of vaccines: September 13, 2021

Per Public Health Orders, we will require proof of vaccination for some recreational activities. Review the list and learn more.

Phase 3 update: July 1, 2021

In-person access resumes at Esquimalt Municipal Hall, council meetings

  • Municipal hall is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Effective Monday, July 5, the public will be again welcome to go to the third floor, or to counter service in the Administration section.  
  • We  recommend and encourage members of the public to wear a mask while they are in our buildings.
  • The archives will be open to the public one day per week – Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • The public safety building has reopened to the public effective July 5.
  • Recreation continues to reopen and offer more programs and services. View the updates.
  • Limited in-person access to council meeting has resumed. Details.

Update March 29, 2021

The Provincial Health Officer has enacted a 3-week circuit breaker whereby several changes, including to our ability to hold group fitness classes, are in effect. 

Update January 19, 2021

Island Health continues to remind people across Vancouver Island to double down on their efforts to help stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 is in all of our communities and everyone must continue to follow the steps we know are effective in reducing the risk of transmission. 

Washing our hands regularly, keeping at least two metres apart, wearing a mask in public spaces, and getting tested if you feel unwell are fundamentals of defeating this virus. It is also so important that everyone limit their travel between communities and outside of the province, unless it is absolutely essential for work or medical care.

If you are experiencing cold, influenza, or COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, please stay home, self-isolate and visit bc.thrive.health or Island Health’s website to determine if you require testing.

Testing is fast and easy – people aged 4 and older with symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested with a gargle test or nasopharyngeal swab and results are usually available within 24 hours.

For more information on COVID-19 case numbers, visit Island Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or the BCCDC COVID-19 data hub. You can find more information on COVID-19 at www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

Update December 7

Restrictions continue regarding travel, face masks and other operations. Read more.

Update November 20

New orders require wearing masks in public buildings. There are also changes to events and some recreation activities. See the latest recreation changes on our recreation updates page.

Update August 21

Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events. Read more.

Update July 3

Esquimalt turns on the taps at the adventure park starting July 6. More information.

Update June 25

Fitness classes are back! The phased re-opening of Township of Esquimalt recreation operations is continuing with select group fitness classes resuming on Monday, July 6. As with the weight room admissions, advanced reservation is required and participants are asked to arrive ready to workout. Find out more.

Update June 18 

The fitness centre will open Tuesday, June 23 for limited hours as staff evaluate the new configuration and make any needed adjustments. After a short trial period, the fitness centre hours will expand as of June 29 to accommodate more guests. People interested in coming for a workout can sign up online through the Township’s recreation registration system or can contact the recreation desk directly. There will be no drop-ins to ensure an even distribution of people.

A variety of themed summer camps, including opportunities for before and after camp care, begin June 29. The camps will run primarily outdoors and any out-trips will be in walking distance to avoid the need for a bus.

Staff are in the process of evaluating field access for sports leagues as well as drop-in fitness classes with dates being finalized in the near future. The indoor aquatic facilities remain closed for the present time.

    Update, June 5

    Our staff are still available for most business so don't hesitate to contact us.

    Municipal playgrounds in the Township of Esquimalt will open to the public after closing on March 20 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. A map of Esquimalt Parks indicates which ones have washroom facilities.

    Although there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments, Island Health has released suggestions to help to reduce the potential risks: 

    •  Sick children or adults must not enter the playground or spray park
    • Adults should maintain 2 metres of physical distance
    • Children should wash their hands before and after using he playground or spray park
    • Avoid overcrowding
    • The playground equipment is not being disinfected

    Update, June 1

    Property owners are receiving their tax notices this week. The deadline has been extended until September 30 and residents have several ways to pay remotely. The Esquimalt Municipal Hall will be open for limited hours to receive in-person payments.  Do not enter if you feel unwell. 

    • We are allowing 2 members of the public at a time.
    • Hours: Wednesday and Friday only; 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
    • We accept cheques, bank drafts, Interac and money orders. No cash will be accepted.
    • You can also pay by mail, at your bank, via online or telephone banking or use our secure 24-hour mail slot. 
    • New for 2020: municipalities are no longer involved in the B.C. Property Tax Deferment Program. Please go to gov.bc.ca/propertytaxdeferment for information.
    Learn more about ways to pay your taxes and access your home owner grant.

    Update, May 25, 2020

    While the Esquimalt Recreation Centre remains closed to the public as plans are put in place to re-open the recreation facilities, the Lab Health Physio Clinic is providing in-person treatments – in a modified capacity. Learn more here

    Update May 15, 2020

    While the Township is not responsible for any large outdoor recreation facilities (tennis courts, skate parks, etc.), we would like to remind users of our lacrosse box, parks and sport fields to continue to observe the advice and rules set out by our Provincial Heath Officer. We are in the process of evaluating our options for re-opening our recreation facilities in a balanced manner that both serves the community while keeping our staff and visitors safe.

    Dr. Henry has stated that any business or service that has not been ordered to close may continue to operate if it can adapt to the orders and recommendations of the the Provincial Health Officer, including maintaining physical distance and practicing good hygiene.

    Update May 8, 2020

    See the latest resources for workers, families and business owners.

    Federal:

    Provincial:

    Businesses and Employers:

    Federal:

    Provincial:

    More COVID -19 support info:               

    Update May 5, 2020

    The Province has released an updated list of resources including valuable information for businesses, homeowners, renters and parents.

    Update April 20, 2020

    Update April 7, 2020

    Update March 30, 2020

    Update March 27, 2020

    We appreciate your patience as we adjust and evaluate our operations and policies to reflect the rapid changes resulting from COVID-19.

    Operations

    • We understand that the yard and garden waste drop-off is popular this time of year, however the facility is closed for the time being due to concerns for everyone’s safety amid the pandemic. Residents are asked to refrain from illegal dumping. While we are seeking an alternative, we appreciate your understanding that the safety of our crews and the continued function of our municipal infrastructure is our top priority.
    • Garbage and food waste collection is continuing as normal with modified work safety procedures for staff. Please ensure all waste materials are securely tied up to maintain a higher level of hygiene for our crews.
    • We have received several questions about property tax timelines and deferrals. Staff are preparing for various outcomes but await direction from the Province as the body responsible for setting of deadlines for these processes.
    • Staff remain available to answer questions and process many of our usual permits, applications and licences. Please contact us via email, online or by phone at 250-414-7100.

    COVID-19 enforcement

    • We are working out the details of what the province’s changes in enforcement powers will look like for our bylaw officers in the weeks and months to come. 
    • The Esquimalt community has been overall compliant with the orders. 
    • It is important to note that some of the messages we’re hearing from the Province, including keeping two meters apart as part of social distancing, are not in a formal order and therefore are not enforceable from a bylaw perspective.
    • The fact remains, however, that all advice from the Provincial Health Officer should be followed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • When visiting our parks, please respect the direction given by our health authorities to practice social distancing and remain 2 meters apart.

    Communications

    • Township updates regarding COVID-19 are added to our dedicated page, Esquimalt.ca/covid19. Residents are encouraged to sign up for Esquimalt Alert to receive significant updates like advisories, services changes and emergencies right to their phone or computer. The Township also uses Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to relay communications and connect with the public.

    Update March 24, 2020

    Update March 20, 2020

    • Playgrounds in the Township are temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Public parks remain open, but we strongly recommend visitors follow appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols outlined by the Provincial Health Officer.
    • The yard and garden waste drop-off facility on Canteen Road will be closed as of 5 p.m. Sunday, March 22 to the public and to the municipality. 

    We apologize for any inconvenience. 

    Update March 19, 2020

    As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, municipal facilities will be closed to the public.

    • Municipal business is ongoing, as well as parks and public works activities. Details.

    Update March 17, 2020

    • As of 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Archie Browning Sports Centre will close to the public for regular programming. 
    • Tree permits are now being processed over the phone, residents can call 250-412-8513. They can also be sent in electronically at [email protected]. Further follow up with the property owner will take place over the phone and by email.  Please tag the affect tree(s) and our arborist will attend to evaluate. 
    • Park washrooms remain open at this time with additional sanitization practices in place.
    A message from Mayor Desjardins

    Update March 16, 2020

    • Please note that the upcoming Advisory Planning Commission meeting is cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
    • Residents wishing to take part in tonight's public hearing are encouraged to do so remotely. Take part in tonight's public hearing while social distancing by contacting our corporate officer at 250-414-7135 by 4:30 p.m. (or leave a message) for details. As always, council meetings may be livestreamed
    • The Archives will be closed starting March 17 until further notice. For further information, please contact Jessica Nichol [Archivist/Records Coordinator] at 250-414-7177 or email at [email protected].

    • The Province has published a COVID-19 self-assessment tool

    Update March 13, 2020

    If you want to give input at Monday's public hearing but are practising social distancing, contact our corporate officer at 250-414-7135 by 4:30 p.m. Monday (or leave a message) for arrangements on how to take part. Please note that, as always, council meetings may be livestreamed

    We have postponed and cancelled some events. See our event updates and cancellations.

    Overview

    The Township of Esquimalt is actively monitoring the progress of COVID-19 and its potential impacts on our community through regular communication with the local health authority and other government agencies. We will defer to their expertise and direction in matters of significant operational changes, like closing our recreation centre or municipal hall.

    We are evaluating our cleaning processes and making improvements as needed in both the municipal hall and our recreation facilities including adding additional signage in our washrooms and sourcing additional hand sanitizing stations.

    Residents interested in council meetings may watch the meetings live from their phones or personal computers. They may give feedback in advance of the meeting for council's consideration. Learn more about participating in council meetings. 

    Please note that in recognition of COVID-19, events may change as our regional situation evolves. We will continue to work closely with Island Health and other government agencies and will follow their advice on how to approach this situation. We value the contributions of our community events and will support them as we navigate these changing conditions. 

    We ask that residents and staff observe the prevention tips offered by Island Health, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

    Some of the common tips are:

    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
    • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
    • cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands; and
    • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

    Government COVID-19 information and updates:

    Please refer to this web page (esquimalt.ca/covid19) for any updates from the township and follow us on social media.

    For non-emergency health situations, call 8-1-1. This is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line operated by HealthLink BC. Translation services are available in more than 130 languages as well as services for the deaf and hard of hearing.