Friday, April 24, 2020 – 4:15pmCOVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE #28 – CITY OF NELSON
City Council Adopts Economic Stimulus and Financial Stability Plan
At a special meeting of Council on Thursday, April 23rd, Mayor and Council approved an Economic Stimulus and Financial Stability Plan in response to COVID-19 as part of their review of the City’s Five Year Financial Plan. The City is facing shortfalls in many of its revenue streams, including transit fares, parking revenue and rental fees.
The City’s Chief Financial Officer worked with all City departments over the past month to identify areas where expenditures could be reduced without compromising the City’s ability to provide essential services. Council approved several recommendations to cut and/or defer expenditures while prioritizing spending to protect the City’s long-term financial stability and ensure the City has the financial flexibility to weather a more prolonged shutdown. Details of this plan will be available early next week.
City Council COVID-19 Update
On recent calls with our local MLA, Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness and Selena Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mayor Dooley raised a number of key community issues and opportunities.
- The closure of Provincial Parks and campground in our region. Both Ministers acknowledged that this concern has been raised throughout rural BC and are discussing with the Provincial Health Officer and the Minister of Environment on how these could be re-opened in a safe manner.
- All local governments that operate transit systems have lost significant fare revenue. Minister Robinson identified that this is an issue across Canada, and they are in discussions with the federal government on possible compensation for municipal transit operators.
The impact COVID-19 will have on the International Student programs at Selkirk College and School District 8.
- The opportunity to create economic stimulus through the fast-tracking of capital projects including the new Kootenay Lake Ferry, long-term care beds, and affordable housing.
Grohman Narrows Transfer Station is now accepting all waste material types; Free yard and garden waste accepted until the end of May
The temporary measures that the RDCK implemented at the Grohman Narrows Transfer Station limiting services have been lifted. All previously accepted materials such as household garbage, furniture, yard and garden waste, construction and demolition waste, wood waste and scrap metal are now being accepted. Yard and garden waste is currently being accepted free of charge until the end of May.
The RDCK has implemented safety measures to protect both site users and staff in an effort to restore services to residents. Users should expect longer than normal wait times in order to allow for proper physical distancing and an expected increase in demand of the facility. To read the full media release: https://rdck.ca/EN/meta/news/news-archives/2020-news-archive/removal-of-material-restrictions-at-some-rdck-waste-facilities.html
Expansion of COVID-19 Testing in British Columbia
Dr. Bonnie Henry explained that with the evolving pandemic situation, the province has modified the testing strategy for COVID-19 by moving the focus from high risk and vulnerable populations, to a more community-based approach that includes testing for anyone
showing symptoms of the disease such as coughing, fever, or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing symptoms, you are asked to call Healthlink at 8-1-1 and speak to a registered nurse. Dr. Henry did caution that “while everyone can be tested, not everyone needs to be tested” as the test has "limited applicability" for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
Nelson area residents can the testing centre at (250) 551-7500. The testing centre is open 9:00am – 2:00pm each day.
For more testing information, visit: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/testing-information/
Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the federal government has an agreement in principle to partner with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses. This program is expected to be operational by mid-May.
Details on the program include:
- The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 percent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
- The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 percent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 percent of the rent.
- Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 percent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
To read the full media release: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/24/prime-minister-announces-partnerships-provinces-and-territories
Companies Salute Frontline Healthcare Workers in Nelson
On Thursday, April 23rd, road crew workers from Selkirk Paving, Nelson Ready Mix and Yellowhead Road and Bridge along with other construction companies in the region, lined up on Lakeside Drive before parading through Nelson to salute healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View video of Mayor Dooley in Ride-Along to view the parade. https://www.facebook.com/JohnDooleyMayorOfNelson/videos/854450941724467/ To read the full Nelson Daily story: https://thenelsondaily.com/news/spl-nrm-yrb-salute-covid-19-frontline-staff-parade-through-nelson
Interactive Resource by CBC for Economic Supports
The BC Government has provided the following information today:COVID-19 Case Statistics:
- Total cases in BC to date: 1853
- 767 in Vancouver Coastal Health
- 772 in Fraser Health
- 114 in Island Health
- 158 in Interior Health (Increase of 2 cases in 24hrs)
- 42 in Northern Health
- Total recovered cases in BC: 1114
- Total new cases in BC: 29
- Total fatalities in BC to date: 98 (Increase of 4 in 24 hrs)
- Total cases in Canada: 43,859
- Total fatalities in Canada: 2302
Important Resources & Information – COVID-19
Which businesses are open in Nelson? https://www.nelsonkootenaylake.com/news
BC Government Resources List for Support and Information during COVID-19
Supports for Businesses in BC: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/business-management/small-business/covid-19_small_business_supports.pdf
Wellness Together Canada https://ca.portal.gs/
Anxiety Canada https://www.anxietycanada.com/
BounceBack BC https://bouncebackbc.ca/
Here2Talk for Post-Secondary Students https://here2talk.ca/home
Psychological First Aid – Over 19+ https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/covid-19-resources
Crisis Line Association of BC – 1-800 suicide (1 800 784-2433) - 24/7
www.crisiscentre.bc.ca - 24/7 - crisis and suicide intervention
Mental Health and Information Support Line - 310-6789 (no area code required)
Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
www.kidshelphone.ca or text connect to 686868 - 24/7
Helpline for Children - 310-1234 (no area code required)
www.youthinbc.com - 24/7
VictimlinkBC – 1-800-563-0808 - 24/7
information, referrals. Immediate crisis support
HealthLinkBC - 811 or www.healthlinkbc.ca
For seniors looking for additional support at this time, call 211 or visit:
Interior Crisis Line Network – 1-888-353-2273 - 24/7Nelson Police Department Victim Services
Nelson Transition House – (250) 354-4357
24/7 - Specifically for women leaving or struggling in, an abusive relationship.
– (250) 505-5657
To help provide important information to our community, the City of Nelson has developed a dedicated webpage nelson.ca/covid19 that will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. Please sign-up for ‘City News’ on NotifyMe to receive automatic updates from the City via text or email.
The City of Nelson relies on Interior Health, BC Public Health, and the Federal Government for information related to the virus itself. If you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your physician, or call the COVID-19 telephone line at 1-888-COVID19, to be assessed or call the testing clinic hotline at (250) 551-7500 to be triaged for testing. Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms may not present themselves for up to 14 days, but you may be a carrier of the virus; therefore it is important to follow the guidelines set out by the health experts.
To check your symptoms or get updates from the BC Government you can download the BC COVID-19 App or visit this website
We thank you for doing your part to help maintain a safe and healthy community and for understanding the importance of this evolving situation.Information from the BC Center for Disease Control on COVID-19
Ginger Lester, EOC Information Officer firstname.lastname@example.org