The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is acutely aware of the potential for impacts from the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in BC and into our region. We understand that the pandemic is of great concern to all residents right now, and that you need accurate, current information about the quickly changing situation.
The RDKB is balancing both our level of risk and a critical need to do everything we can to prevent further transmission of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, while continuing to provide the services you need and expect from us.
Below is a list of measures we are now taking to address the ongoing risks of close social contact that can lead to residents contracting this virus and spreading it to others:
• The RDKB is responding to this global pandemic by working closely with lead agencies including the Interior Health Authority, Emergency Management BC and following the recommendations of the BC Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
• Our actions are in support of reducing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus to avoid a rapid increase in the number of affected residents so we can allow our healthcare system to meet the needs of anyone who is unwell or injured without being overwhelmed.
• The RDKB has now activated its Emergency Operations Centre to Level 2, with multiple staff dedicated to responding to COVID-19 events, and will reassess all closures and responses to the COVID-19 situation daily.
• The British Columbia government state of emergency coupled with the public health emergency is in place to support the COVID-19 response.
Facility and front counter closures
• The Grand Forks and District Aquatic Centre and Arena, the Beaver Valley Arena and the Greater Trail Community Centre in Trail that also houses Selkirk College, Charles Bailey Theatre, the Trail Gymnastics Club and VISAC Gallery are closed to the public until further notice.
• The RDKB has suspended face-to-face counter services at offices in Trail and Grand Forks as well as public access to RDKB fire stations.
Continuing service to residents
• The RDKB will continue to provide essential services including water and sewer treatment, fire rescue and emergency response.
• We will continue to provide all services such as building and plumbing inspection, land use planning and other services and will respond to public inquiries and requests by phone and email.
• Those who have enrolled in swimming lessons or other programs will have their accounts credited and do not need to take any action. We will contact them with updates on resumption of lessons and programming, as we know more.
• All monthly passes are suspended as of today, and will resume once facilities reopen. If some residents prefer to have their passes refunded, they should contact the appropriate facility office by email or phone. These numbers and addresses are available at rdkb.com.
• Residents can call the RDKB in advance to drop off building plans or other items or ask any questions about any facilities, passes, programs or closures at 1-800-355-7352 or email email@example.com or contact us through rdkb.com.
• All BC Transit buses in the West Kootenay and Boundary are now implementing rear door boarding, where available, across the province to enhance social distancing for drivers and passengers. Passengers can still load through the front door if they require use of the ramp or other accessible features of the bus. In addition, customers will not be required to pay fares in all BC Transit communities for 30 days for all systems including conventional, community, and handyDART. These changes are being made to protect the health and safety of operators and customers by creating the conditions for better social distancing.
RDKB staff working remotely, in offices and at other worksites
• Staff who can work at home are doing so.
• Other staff who still are going to RDKB work sites and offices are maintaining a two-metre personal distance from one another and from anyone they are near during in the course of their work day.
• Enhanced cleaning measures are also in place, and hand sanitizer and facilities for hand washing are readily available to staff.
• Landfills in the region are still open, although hours of operation in Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Beaverdell and Rock Creek facilities have changed due to staff shortages.
• The RDKB also reminds residents that they must not throw wet wipes or other synthetic cleaning cloths used for disinfection into compost buckets or flush wipes down the toilet – these products must go into garbage destined for the landfill.
• Residents can visit rdkb.com for more information about hours of operation and other Environmental Services topics.
Meetings, travel and health
• We have asked our staff and directors to follow all provincial recommendations and orders, including not traveling outside of Canada, including to the United States.
• We have canceled gatherings of more than 50 people in keeping with provincial regulations.
• Other meetings are occurring through electronic means such as Zoom Meeting and conference call, as much as possible. Any in-person meeting participants are maintaining a personal distance of two metres from one another.
• RDKB staff will stay away from work for 14 days and self-quarantine if they feel unwell, if they are returning from a trip outside of Canada or if they are in a household with someone who is unwell.
The most important thing we can each do right now as we each learn about the spread of this virus and how to best respond, is to take care of our own health and the health of those we care about. To that end, we ask all RDKB residents to follow the recommendations and orders of the BC Provincial Health Officer and the Interior Health Authority.
The RDKB will continue to provide regular public updates.
Important links and information
• BC Centre for Disease Control
• BC Ministry of Health
• Interior Health Authority
• Health Canada