For up-to-date information on the coronavirus, care centres, prevention measures, travel tips and more, visit:
- HealthlinkBC here and BC Centre for Disease Control here
- Government of Canada here
- World Health Organization here
LATEST LOCAL UPDATES
December 1: Navigating COVID-19 throughout Interior Health
Interior Health has issued guidelines related to dealing with COVID-19 issues in the Interior Health region.
November 30: WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety plan
The Village has continuously improved the steps taken to keep staff and visitors to municipal sites safe. Review the WorkSafe COVID-19 Safety Plan here
November 17: Masks mandatory in municipal buildings
With COVID-19 cases rising in the interior region, effective immediately the Village of Keremeos is making masks mandatory in all municipal buildings. This includes the Village office and Victory Hall.
October 29: Masks in public spaces
Following the Provincial Health Officer's advice, the Village of Keremeos is strongly recommending the use of masks when visiting indoor public spaces, including municipal buildings.
Dr. Henry advised "It is now the expectation that people will wear a non-medical mask in public spaces," Henry said. "Now is the time for all of us to work together, while staying apart, to slow the spread of COVID-19 – and together we will get through this winter."
October 15: Be aware of recalled hand-sanitizers
As more hand-sanitizers have been recalled, it's important to understand which products are effective and safe for use. More information at this link.
August 14: BC Public Health Officer's Order on gatherings and events
As provincial COVID cases are on the rise, the Provincial Health Officer has issued a new Order regarding gatherings and events, including event-organizers' responsibilities to track attendees. Review the Order here
July 27: Stay safe from COVID this summer!
Please visit the Interior Health COVID-19 website for up to date news and information to keep yourself informed.
COVID-19 10 Ways to Stay Safe this Summer
June 9: RDOS Reinitiating Recreation Programs, Services and Amenities
The RDOS issued an information release announcing the reinitiation of some recreation programs, services and amenities, including the Similkameen Rec Centre fitness area on June 13.
June 1: Municipal sites re-opening and activities resuming
At their Regular Council meeting on June 1, 2020, Council resolved to re-open the municipal office, parks, washrooms, and playgrounds. Victory Hall will tentatively open July 1 (dependent on new ramp completion). Council will resume meetings in Council Chambers on June 15, 2020. Coffee with the Mayor will take place in the gazebo in Memorial Park on June 26 at 8 am.
June 1: RDOS Offices and playgrounds opening
The RDOS has issued an Information Release announcing the re-opening of the RDOS offices and playgrounds.
May 20: Economic Development Association assistance for businesses
Visit the BC Economic Development Association webpage for COVID19-related assistance to businesses that are planning to re-open, as well as industry specific resources, utilities, insurance and banking information, links to webinars and more.
May 20: Community Foundation Emergency Community Support Fund
The federal government's new Emergency Community Support Fund aims to provide additional assistance to charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including the South Okanagan Similkameen Community Foundation. Learn more here.
May 20: Skateboard park opening on May 21, 2020
The Skateboard park on Veterans Avenue at 9th Street will be open for use as of May 21, 2020. Most other municipal facilities will be opening within the next couple of weeks. Timing is dependent on when health and safety considerations for residents and staff can be met.
May 15: Keremeos next steps in transitioning to re-open municipal facilities safely
Keremeos CAO will be participating in a conference call with the Minister of Municipal Affairs on Friday, May15, 2020 to receive instructions on health and regulatory protocols for re-opening municipal facilities. Strategies will be discussed with Council early next week.
May 14: Update from Mayor and Councillors on closures due to COVID-19
The Village is actively working with other local governments in the region to plan a carefully phased reintroduction of municipal services and facilities. Updated information will be posted on this webpage as it becomes available.
While enjoying the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, please continue to follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer by social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel.
Wishing you all a safe and happy long weekend!
May 13: COVID 19 fact sheet and updated RDOS service information
The RDOS issued updated information on services in this Information Release
April 27, 2020: Grants for small community projects
The Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen is now accepting applications for their Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG). This is a new grant stream created to support small scale community projects from across the province that comply to the new social/physical distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The purpose of R-NSG is to support creative projects by individuals that
- build community strength and resilience
- foster community creativity and well being, and
- alleviate social isolation
The grants range from $50 to $500. More information is available at this link.
April 27, 2020: Support for businesses
Governments and the private sector are supporting businesses in British Columbia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the B.C. government is providing an additional $5 billion in income supports, tax relief and funding for people, businesses and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here
April 24, 2020: Emergency Benefit for Workers
On April 23, 2020, the Provincial Government announced an emergency benefit for workers impacted by COVID-19.
April 21, 2020: COVID-19 dashboard from the BC Centre for Disease Control
Interesting collection of graphs summarizing the current COVID-19 stats for the province.
April 14, 2020: AgSafe BC multi-language resources for farmers and ranchers
AgSafe BC has developed a webpage with safety resources for farmers and ranchers, including protocols, links and signs in French, Punjabi and Spanish.
April 9, 2020: Dr. Bonnie Henry urges "Stay home over the long weekend"
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, has indicated that the next few weeks are critical in managing the pandemic. Over the Easter long weekend, British Columbians are asked to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding all non-essential travel, staying home and finding virtual ways to connect and celebrate with family and friends. Full article here
April 9, 2020: Temporary Rental Supplement now available
Renters who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for the Province’s new temporary rental supplement. Details here
April 9, 2020: RDOS COVID-19 Recreation Resources
Keep checking the RDOS recreation website for information on staying healthy and active during the pandemic. Special for Easter, Eggstravaganaza !
RDOS wishes to remind residents that their parks and trails are still open. Read the RDOS long weekend Information Release
April 8, 2020: Resource line for seniors assistance - dial 211
The Province is funding the expansion of bc211, a province-wide information and referral service, to match seniors whose support network has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with volunteers.
See the full article
April 8, 2020: All BC Parks closed
The BC Provincial Government has just announced the closure of all BC Parks, effective immediately. Read the information release here
April 7, 2020: Provincial guidelines for protecting farmers and farm workers
During a conference call with the Minister of Municipal Affairs last week, Mayor Bauer requested guidelines for seasonal agricultural workers.
On April 6, the Provincial Health Officer issued guidance for farms and farmworkers. This document outlines recommendations for all farms to meet the orders, notices, and guidance issued by the Provincial Health Officer and additional mandatory requirements for farms employing Temporary Foreign Workers and domestic workers.
April 6, 2020: Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic verifying patient info
The Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic is asking their patients who are using email, to send them an email with their name and phone numbers so that they may verify info for future appointments. Send email to Keremeos.Clinic@gmail.com * with the names and phone numbers for those using the submitted email address. To ensure that the info goes to the correct file, please include just the last 3 digits of your health care card/PHN/MSP number for verification.
Note that personal health information will not be sent to email addresses for privacy reasons. Telehealth appointment and non-urgent messages may be sent by email.
* Please do not use the email address above to communicate with clinic or staff as it goes to a data entry clerk.
April 6, 2020: Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB)
The CERB supports Canadians by providing financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. To see if you are eligible, visit the CRA webpage.
April 6, 2020: RDOS recreation resources during the pandemic
The RDOS recreation department is offering online resources and tools while the recreation centres are closed. Please see the RDOS recreation webpage here
March 31, 2020: No donation of clothes and goods
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, charitable organizations cannot accept donations at present. Please do not leave items such as clothing or household goods at private donation sites (eg. the Keremeos Bargain Centre) or public drop boxes.
Residents are asked to retain their donation items until Health authorities declare that it is safe to donate again.
March 30, 2020: Help with inventory of critical supplies
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is asking for assistance from the business community to help coordinate an inventory of critical supplies in the province. Critical supplies include such things as masks, gloves, gowns and cleaning supplies.
If you know of a business or own a business that is holding substantial quantities of any of the items on the list attached to the request (see link above), please email the Village of Keremeos municipal office at email@example.com by Thursday, April 2, 2020.
March 30, 2020: RDOS asks "Please stockpile recycling and avoid landfills"
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is urging residents to use their curbside collection programs for garbage, recycling and yard waste, and to stockpile other recyclables rather than come to local landfills. Read more
March 27, 2020: Personal protective equipment needed
South Okanagan Similkameen family doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives are reaching out to their community to issue a plea for personal protective equipment (PPE).
They are seeking donations of un-used quantities of the following: Surgical and Procedural Masks, Industrial Dust Masks or N95s, Latex and Non-Latex Gloves, Safety Glasses and Goggles, Face Shields (With or Without Masks), Procedural Gowns
Please email PPEdonations@sosdivision.ca
Spread the word and share the poster
March 26, 2020: Open burning ban to preserve air quality
As cases of COVID-19 in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control has asked for measures that help to reduce excess air pollution. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function.
Open burning in Keremeos and the surrounding area is therefore restricted until April 15, 2020.
See the order and map from the Ministry of the Environment here
March 24, 2020: RDOS closure of playgrounds and outdoor courts
RDOS Information Release informing residents of the closure of playgrounds and outdoor courts.
March 24, 2020 email to residents: Playground closures
The Village of Keremeos has joined other BC municipalities in closing all playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment due to the inability to ensure sanitary conditions.
Regrettably, the Village must also discourage the use of public picnic tables. Those wishing to picnic in one of our parks should bring a blanket to picnic on and situate themselves far from others.
March 20, 2020: Please call before going to clinics
The South Okanagan Similkameen family physicians and nurse practitioners are asking all patients to call ahead before visiting a family medicine clinic. See the Information Release
March 20, 2020: Enjoy a family outing in Keremeos parks and trails
With many facilities closed, Keremeos residents may wish to plan a family outing. Some ideas:
Visit Memorial Park to enjoy the playground, picnic tables and outdoor exercise equipment
- Walk or bike along one of Keremeos' trails
- Visit Memorial or Pine Park for free-style play and a picnic (blanket on the grass, well away from others)
- Look for signs of spring on the Riparian Park trail
The warm weather means rising water levels along the Similkameen River, resulting in slippery conditions and undercutting (false ledges). Use extreme caution near the river's edge.
Public Works staff are working hard to wipe down outdoor surfaces more frequently, but residents are still encouraged to use hand-sanitizer and practice social distancing when enjoying Keremeos Parks and Trails.
March 20, 2020: Informative CBC article on staying healthy during the pandemic
Sharing this informative article from the CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news/coronavirus-guide-explainer-1.5497009
March 19, 2020 email to residents: Closure of recreation facilities
The Regional District announced today that they are closing all facilities, including corporate and satellite offices, recreation facilities and community halls. Full details are in the Information Release
For Keremeos, this means the closure of our Recreation Centre.
March 18, 2020 email to residents: Closure of Municipal Hall
In a further effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Village of Keremeos is closing the Municipal Hall except for urgent matters by appointment.
Please do not book to visit the Municipal Hall if you have been ill in recent weeks or have been outside of the region. Contact the Village office at 250-499-2711 if you need to book an appointment.
March 17, 2020 email to residents: Keremeos update
The Village of Keremeos has taken several proactive steps to prevent the possible spread of COVID 19. We are adjusting operations as conditions change.
- Gatherings in Victory Hall and the Municipal Office have been canceled indefinitely, as have any prospective bookings.
- Council meetings remain open to the public (next is April 6, 2020), but this may change. We will notify the public if alternate meeting methods are adopted.
- The Municipal Hall remains open only for urgent business that cannot be conducted by phone or email. The office is fully staffed and ready to help. Call 250-499-2711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Provincial staff are currently considering amendments to statutory requirements on numerous municipal functions. We will advise the public of those changes as we receive new information.
- The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) has activated their Emergency Operations Centre, which encompasses the Keremeos area. RDOS and Keremeos staff are working closely with Emergency Management BC to monitor the situation.
- Further provincial and regional policy decisions are likely to be forthcoming in upcoming days and weeks, which may further impact municipal operations.
March 17, 2020: RDOS EOC update
The RDOS Emergency Operations Centre is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working with other municipal and Indigenous governments to provide information updates. Read the March 17 Information Release
March 16, 2020: Limited in-person municipal services
The Village of Keremeos is asking that (wherever possible) those conducting business with the Municipal Office to do so by phone or email. We also ask that anyone who has been out of the region or has recently developed symptoms of cough, fever or breathing problems, please postpone visiting the Municipal Office.
March 13, 2020: Keremeos facility bookings suspended
The Village of Keremeos has suspended bookings of facilities such as Victory Hall and meeting space at the Municipal Office. Anyone with a booking in the upcoming months will be contacted by Village staff.
March 13, 2020: Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activation
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has activated the Emergency Operations Centre to collaborate with local and Indigenous governments throughout the nine Electoral Areas, six member municipalities as well as local and provincial agencies to share response plans and guidelines. Read the Information Release