(Courtesy of the Kitsap Public Health District)

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps responds to Island’s first case of COVID-19

First Vancouver Island case announced Wednesday by province

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the City is stepping up in response to COVID-19 health concerns after the province’s health officer confirmed the Island’s first case of the novel coronavirus.

“I want to assure all Victoria residents and visitors that we are taking this issue seriously and are in communication with provincial health officials regarding standards and protocols,” Helps said in a statement.

She said proper hand washing protocols have been recommended to City staff and that they are being directed to stay home if they feel unwell. Helps said she urges Victorians to follow the same best practice.

READ ALSO: First presumptive COVID-19 case reported on Vancouver Island

Cleaning protocols at Crystal Pool and other city facilities have also been “stepped up” and no city events or programs — including council meetings — have been cancelled or rescheduled. City services can also be accessed online.

In the statement, Helps said all city facilities are open as usual but the public health direction continues to be assessed as new information becomes available.

On Wednesday, B.C. health officials identified seven more cases of COVID-19, including the first case on Vancouver Island – a man in his 60s who was with a tour group to Egypt where another traveller was identified Tuesday as having the novel coronavirus. Another new case is a man in his 70s who lives in Egypt and is visiting the Fraser Health region.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the new cases indicate a need for people to take care if they have cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms, as well as to avoid social gatherings.

READ ALSO: Trudeau promises $1 billion for COVID-19 research, resilience

“We must all step up our social distancing,” Hentry said. “This is not forever, it is for the coming weeks.”

Helps said she recommends everyone continues to follow the Province’s advice.

“My thanks to Dr. Bonnie Hentry for her calm leadership,” Helps said.

The new cases bring the B.C. total to 46. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic Wednesday, with more than 100,000 people infected and Iran and Italy the current front lines of new cases.

With files from Tom Fletcher

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Sooke woman, 93, sews aprons for grocery store workers

Emilia “Oma” Tkacz has been donating her crafts to the community for years

Trio of rock shows rescheduled for Alix Goolden Hall

Bowie tribute show, Martin Barre’s Jethro Tull show and Tommy Emmanuel all booked for late fall

West Shore first responders salute health care staff at Victoria General Hospital

Students and first responders support those on the frontline against COVID-19

4 inmates at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

B.C. Ferries busy on long weekend, even during pandemic

Sailings from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo filling up

B.C. artist erects 15-foot statue and names it COVID

Decades of collecting spare parts culminated in folk art towering over a country road

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

People needing addiction services feeling ‘abandoned’ during pandemic

The province is trying to increase access to addiction care through a phone line of experts, doctors

COVID-19: B.C. ER nurse self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

VIDEO: Community rallies around Campbell River fire victims

Emergency Social Services volunteers logged over 100 hours in first day after fire

Most Read