The District of Metchosin City Hall (Black Press Media file photo)

Metchosin ‘ahead of the game’ going into COVID-19 pandemic

Fire chief asks residents age 50 and older to stay home, use community resources

While Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop says the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have come out of nowhere, she says the District was somewhat prepared even before it hit.

“Going into this thing we were ahead of the game,” Dunlop said. “We certainly had enough for what we needed and could help smaller communities too.”

Dunlop doubles as the District’s emergency program director and says she coordinates on a daily basis with the mayor and council as well as emergency program staff.

At first, Dunlop said they had to address issues such as how to support the most vulnerable people in the community. Now, nearly one month after the pandemic hit the region, Dunlop says there are new issues to be dealt with.

“One of the challenges – because provincial parks are closed – is that people naturally come out here and that adds a lot of extra stress on smaller communities like ours,” Dunlop said. “The beach is a fabulous place to go … but you have to drive to get there. There are parking issues and added public in a normally quiet neighbourhood.”

READ ALSO: Langford expands COVID-19 response to include all of West Shore, home testing

There was also some concern about whether or not emergency vehicles could get through areas but Dunlop noted Easter long weekend traffic was well maintained.

When it comes to gear and a medical response team, Dunlop said the District planned ahead to be prepared for any kind of disaster. While the idea behind coordinating a team did not come together with a pandemic in mind, Dunlop said they now have a group of doctors and nurses in Metchosin who can help where needed as well as supplies like masks, gowns and equipment.

The Old Metchosin School has also been designated as an isolation space with sleeping areas, washrooms and a kitchen that were originally meant for a cancelled cadet camp.

Having a community filled with people who want to help is a benefit as well, Dunlop said.

“They want to stay home, socially distance and support getting rid of this pandemic,” Dunlop said. “We’re fortunate our citizens can keep the social distancing by just going out into their yard.”

READ ALSO: Colwood mayor advocates for zero per cent tax lift for 2020 in light of COVID-19

Moving forward, Dunlop asks people to refrain from open burning in accordance with provincial guidelines. She said the District is trying to come up with strategies on how to deal with debris and brush on properties as wildfire season nears.

In addition, residents who are 50 years or older should be staying home and utilizing resources from the District for help getting groceries and prescriptions.

“People over the age of 50 or 60 are at a higher risk and although they feel great we ask that they self-isolate,” Dunlop said. “The risk is low here, but why risk it when we have so many people that are willing to support you?”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusDistrict of MetchosinMetchosin Fire Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One in custody after two men stabbed in Victoria

Police arrest suspect morning after stabbings on Pandora Avenue

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

New grocery store coming to Oak Bay Junction

Urban Grocer set to bring up to 40 new jobs

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

Most Read