Port Coquitlam Takes Proactive Steps to Help Stop Spread of COVID-19

PORT COQUITLAM, BC – Mar. 13, 2020…The City of Port Coquitlam is postponing or cancelling some upcoming city events and limiting attendance in programs and facilities until June as part of its proactive measures to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The city is postponing its annual May Days celebrations, Volunteer Recognition Awards ceremony, Public Works Open House and Farmers Market Opening following direction yesterday from the B.C. Chief Medical Health Officer to cancel any indoor or outdoor public gathering of more than 250 people. The intent is to ensure the safety of residents by limiting gatherings where social distancing can’t be controlled.

Based on the direction from the provincial government, the city will be keeping facilities open during regular business hours. However attendance in programs and activities will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained. The City will be closing the ice arenas and concession at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre for the next two weeks as ice season ends today.

“We know these are popular events and we did not make the decision to postpone lightly,” said Mayor Brad West. “These are extraordinary times and like everyone else, we have been watching this issue unfold locally and around the world. Nothing is more important to the City than the health and safety of our residents.”

West added, “I cannot stress enough how important it is for each and every one of us to do our part to help stop the spread of this virus. As a public body, we feel it’s crucial to show leadership here and to make the hard decisions that come with that.”

Port Coquitlam is guided by local, provincial and federal health authorities on health matters. The city is actively monitoring updates being provided and is committed to taking immediate action as directed by these agencies to protect the safety of residents.

Updates will be provided directly to user groups as well as through the City’s website and social media channels. At this point, decisions about postponing events taking place after June have not been made.

The city is also offering full refunds for anyone wishing to withdraw from a recreation program or cancel a rental due to concerns about the virus. Anyone with questions about a city recreation program can contact recreation@portcoquitlam.ca or 604-927-7529.

“The city has emergency plans and processes in place to respond to situations like this, and our top priority is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our residents and employees,” said Kristen Dixon, Chief Administrator Officer. “We are making practical decisions well in advance so we can provide certainty to those organizing and planning to attend events.”

Dixon further noted “We recognize that people will be looking for things to do given its Spring Break. We’re fortunate that we have a vast array of parks and trails in our community and encourage our residents to get out and enjoy these beautiful outdoor spaces where it’s easier to achieve social distancing.”

The public is advised to go www.portcoquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates about any impacts to City programs, services and events. Any changes to services will be posted on social media and the designated webpage, which includes links to health authorities’ websites.

What Port Coquitlam is Doing

The city is committed to help prevent the spread of the virus the city has the following measures in place:

  • Providing a clean and safe environment for all our facility users with increased daily cleaning of public touchpoints in city facilities.
  • Posting signage in all facilities reminding the public of proper hygiene etiquette
  • Activating the City’s Emergency Operations Centre
  • Activating the City’s business continuity plan to ensure we can maintain our core services such as water, sewer, police and fire.
  • Providing remote access tools for key staff should they need to work from home
  • Keeping the public informed.

The city is also advising staff and facility users to follow proper hygiene etiquette as directed by local health authorities. This includes:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water (use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available),
  • Avoid touching your face,
  • Not coughing in your hands,
  • Discarding tissues into a waste container,
  • Using cleaning supplies provided to wipe down fitness equipment before and after use, and
  • Not attending public facilities, events or gatherings if you are sick.

For all health-related concerns, the public is advised to call 811, the Government of Canada novel coronavirus telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397 or contact their health-care provider or local public health office.

For more information and updates please contact the following resources:

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Pardeep Purewal
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533
Email purewalp@portcoquitlam.ca