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New health measures target Vancouver Island campers

– Story by Kyle Christensen

If you’re planning a little R-and-R at a campground or RV Park, you now must provide additional information to owners and operators.

Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick has issued a public order meant to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

Owners and operators are required to collect information from each customer to help with contact tracing, including names and phone numbers. The information must be kept for 30 days.

“We need to do everything we can to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and we know effective contact tracing plays a significant role,” said Dr. Stanwick. “I appreciate the support of Tourism Vancouver Island in our collective efforts to help protect our families, friends, and those who may be most at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus during the winter months.”

“We want to see our communities stay as safe as possible by educating visitors who have chosen to travel within our region and do so responsibly in accordance with current public health orders and guidelines,” says Anthony Everett, President and CEO, Tourism Vancouver Island. “We hope to see Vancouver Island strike a balance between health and safety and supporting the survival of our tourism industry which is vital to Islanders.”

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According to the Province’s COVID-19 dashboard, 90.8 percent of the 20,986 cases are in either Fraser Health (12,814) or Vancouver Coastal (6,237).

Dr. Henry recently issued an order that Island Health residents postpone non-essential travel to the Lower Mainland.

“Island Health has been working closely with WorksafeBC and will also work with RV and Campground operators to help keep people visiting their sites, and those in the community, safe,” said Gethsemane Luttrell, Director of Public Health Protection & Assessment with Island Health. “Our Environmental Health Officers will visit RV sites and campgrounds to provide the information necessary to ensure compliance of this order.”

Island Health recommends the following precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • stick with six, keep 2m/6ft apart;
  • stay home when sick;
  • wash hands frequently;
  • wear a mask when we can’t stay apart.

According to the dashboard, Island Health has 340 total cases (including six epi-linked), two people in ICU, six deaths, and 267 people have fully recovered from the Coronavirus.

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