COVID-19 Updates

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) continues to work closely with the Provincial government, Interior Health Authority and other partner agencies to monitor the COVID-19 situation and respond appropriately.

The health and safety of our employees and the people in our communities is our first priority. We continue to follow the guidance of our local experts at BC Centres for Disease Control, at Health Canada and at other global health organizations to help prevent the spread of infection.

The situation is evolving rapidly, and we remain ready to respond as needed.

Current Updates

Here is how we are adjusting some services to help protect the health of our staff and our communities:

Administrative offices

All RDCK offices will be closed to the public as of end of day on Friday, March 20.

All RDCK offices will be closed to the public as of end of day on Friday, March 20, until further notice.  Many of our staff will work from home, however some will remain in the office to address public needs by phone. RDCK services will continue to operate to serve residents and businesses, including building inspection services and permit issuance. The application of health and safety protocols to effectively respond to COVID-19 may result in changes to our operations. Please visit the RDCK website for up to date information regarding office hours and changes to our operations: www.rdck.ca

Applications for Rezoning, OCP Amendment, and Temporary Use Permits

Due to the current situation, the RDCK is challenged in its ability to safely host a public hearing. With that in mind, and in an effort to keep everyone safe, the RDCK may not be able to complete applications already in process wherein this legislative requirement has not yet been met. For owners considering applying for Rezoning, OCP Amendment, or Temporary Use Permit applications, this may delay your projects.

Board meetings

The next scheduled RDCK Board meeting is April 16, 2020. Staff will determine if this will be a remote meeting a week prior and information regarding access to remote/virtual public Board meetings will be posted on the RDCK website.

The information for the next Board meeting will be posted here.

Building Inspection

Building Inspection by Local Governments declared a non-health essential service:

On March 26, the BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General declared the “building code enforcement, inspection of buildings, building sites and building systems by building officials and registered professionals (architects and engineers)” as non-health essential service providers. See the full media release here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568 

To ensure the safety of staff and the public, the RDCK Building Inspection Services has instituted modified inspection processes respecting strict social distancing protocols and limiting inspections of occupied buildings to a directed digital record collection process coordinated by the building inspector.

RDCK facilitated digital permit application processes are acceptable. Call your local RDCK Building Inspection department at one of the following 1-800 numbers below to enquire if you would like to use this application process. Hard copy applications will continue to be accepted from those who are unable to use the digital process.

  • Nelson office: 1-800-268-7325
  • Creston office: 1-833-223-2661
  • Nakusp office: 1-844-817-9096

Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT CIP/AAP)

Effective immediately, all Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT CIP/AAP) public engagement meetings are cancelled. 

While we understand that public engagement is an integral part of the CBT CIP/AAP process, the health and well-being of our citizens is our top priority.

Please be assured that the CBT CIP/AAP grant process will move forward. The RDCK staff are working closely with the Columbia Basin Trust to explore an online engagement tool. Please be patient while we work through how to best deliver this option to you. 

More information will be available soon. All applicants will be notified by email.  Please go to our website at http://rdck.ca/cip-aap for the most up-to-date information.

Employees

We are taking measures to help prevent the spread of infection amongst RDCK staff, so that we can continue to provide services across the region. These measures include the closure of all RDCK administrative offices on March 20, 2020, the cancellation of non-essential business travel, remote working arrangements (where appropriate), and regular updates and advice on preventative behaviours and actions.

Finance/payments

Payments can be made at most banks and some credit unions under the vendor name “Regional District of Central Kootenay” or “Central Kootenay Regional District.”  If you do not have access to make payments to the RDCK through online banking, or the financial institution does not have the RDCK listed as a vendor, please make payments by cheque and either send them by mail or use the mail slots at the Nelson or Creston offices.

If you make a payment through telephone/online banking, please quote the permit number or file reference number provided to you by the RDCK so we can correctly apply your payment. If paying by cheque, please quote the permit number or file reference number in the memo line of the cheque.

It may take longer to process payments and provide services during the COVID-19 situation, and we appreciate your patience.

Fire Services

The RDCK Fire Service is currently at normal service levels and all RDCK Fire Halls are continuing to respond to emergency and 911 calls.

Through strong mutual aid agreements between fire stations, RDCK Fire has contingency plans in place to ensure response capability is maintained during COVID-19. Fire first responders are also prepared to support BC Ambulance Service with continued medical first response with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

To help prevent the exposure of Fire Services staff and volunteers to potential infection, the following measures are being implemented:

  • First responders will be limited to attending immediately life-threatening events, events that require technical rescue, and time-critical events where paramedics are delayed by more than 20 minutes. Learn more.
  • Only two first responders will attend a patient.
  • A new patient assessment model is being implemented, where the patient is assessed from a distance prior to first responders coming into close contact.
  • All non-essential face-to-face and group training for Fire Services has been cancelled.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms when you make an emergency or 911 call, please advise the dispatcher. 

Geospatial Information Services (GIS)

The Geospatial Service continues to be available to answer questions, manage addressing requests and provide paper map printing services. Please contact us by telephone at 1-800-268-7325 or by email at maps@rdck.bc.ca. We are not providing any in-person service at this time.

Parks, trails and outdoor spaces

  • Currently our Regional Parks and Trails remain open. If you feel sick or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please refrain from using our parks at this time. Please practice responsible social distancing by staying two metres away from other people, do not gather in groups, and be respectful of other park users. Our park staff are evaluating the current situation daily and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.
  • Additional signage is being posted to stress the importance of social distancing by park users.
  • All skate parks and playgrounds have been closed.

Public meetings, events and social gatherings

The RDCK will be rescheduling or cancelling non-essential public meetings and gatherings, or moving to remote meetings if possible. Commissions and Committees have ben asked to postpone their meetings, or to hold them remotely if they are necessary. Changes to planned meetings will be communicated on our website and on our social media accounts. For public meetings that do go ahead, if you are experiencing the flu-like symptoms, please stay home.

Notices of any event cancellations will be posted on the calendar on the home page of our website.

Recreation Centres and Community Complexes

All community complexes and recreation facilities and programs operated by the RDCK have been suspended as of close of business on Monday March 16. The closures will be in place until further notice.

FAQ's May 26, 2020

In addition, all Community Services offices—as with all RDCK offices—are closed to the public, as of March 20, 2020, until further notice.

All programs scheduled to run at these facilities have been cancelled, including drop-in classes, pre-registered programs and rentals. Staff will be working to process refunds and credits. Time-based memberships will be put on hold immediately. Customers do not need to take any action at this time.

All arena ice operations will be closed for the season, and all organized sporting activities are cancelled until further notice.

The closures affect the following:

Castlegar, Areas I & J
Castlegar & District Community Complex (including Castlegar Senior’s Centre)
Pioneer Arena

Creston, Areas A, B & C
Creston & District Community Complex
Skate Park and Sports Court
Rotacrest Hall
Creston Education Centre Gym
Riondel Community Centre

Nelson, Salmo and Areas E, F & G
Nelson & District Community Complex
Nelson Civic Arena
North Shore Hall
Salmo & District Fitness Centre

Area H, Silverton, New Denver
New Denver Fitness Centre

Creston PhysioWorks & More at the Creston & District Community Complex will be closed as well.

The Slocan Valley Recreation Department office is also closed. Phone messages are being monitored and people can also email staff at slocanvalleyrec@rdck.bc.ca if they need assistance.

Contact information for all recreation facilities can be found here.

Recycling and waste (Resource Recovery – Landfills and transfer stations)


BEFORE YOU GO TO AN RDCK WASTE OR RECYCLING FACILITY

  • Do NOT visit a facility if you are feeling unwell, experiencing flu-like symptoms or have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus.
  • If you have access to curbside collection, please use that service and do not come to our facilities. Rural residents dropping off household garbage, our municipal curbside collection partners, and commercial collectors take priority right now.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT AN RDCK WASTE OR RECYCLING FACILITY

  • Regular payment and the acceptance of all regularly accepted material types has resumed at all of our Resouce Recovery facilities. 
  • Users at all sites can expect to see delays due to the new protective measures and processes put in place.  At non-scaled sites, users are asked to remain in their vehicle and await instruction from the site attendant.  Once your load has been assessed the attendant will direct you towards the new payment transaction area.  Users are reminded to not attempt to pay the attendant until you are in the designated area. In order to maintain proper physical distancing safety measures, users are reminded to maintain a minimum of six feet distance from staff and other site users at all times. 
  • Commercial loads will continue as per normal. We will still accept all material types and charges will placed on accounts. If you wish to set up a commercial account, please contact the RDCK.
  • Site staff have the right to refuse any load that contains prohibited items.
  • Site staff will use social distancing protocols to allow 6 feet of distance between themselves, their colleagues and the public. This will include restricting the number of users on site.
  • Please keep a minimum of 6 feet away from other customers and staff when dropping off waste.
  • Reuse facilities (commonly called “Free Stores”) are closed.
  • Other measures will be taken to adapt staff duties as needed.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about waste disposal. This page will be updated with more questions as the situation unfolds.

Customers are reminded to follow the direction of staff at RDCK facilities. These measures may result in longer lineups and delays at the facilities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Regular disposal services and operating hours at all facilities will continue according to their regular schedules. Hours of operation can be found here.

Transit

The RDCK and BC Transit are working together to protect the health and safety of West Kootenay Transit ridership. The BC Center for Disease Control and the Government of Canada are providing our partnership with regular updates regarding best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

At the current time the risk to West Kootenay Transit users is low. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with authorities at the federal, provincial, and local government levels to prevent the spread of the disease.

To ensure our fleet is as safe as possible vehicles are cleaned daily. Advisory information will be posted onboard shortly.

On March 20, BC Transit announced the following:

  • They are 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.
  • Customers will not be required to pay fares in all BC Transit communities for 30 days for all systems including conventional, community, and handyDART.
  • Read the full announcement here: https://www.bctransit.com/media/releases-and-advisories?nid=1529708577504

Water

We want to reassure you that there is no evidence the COVID-19 virus can survive the disinfection process for water treatment. Your water is SAFE TO CONSUME unless your system is under an existing Boil Water Notice or Water Quality Advisory (Denver Siding, Woodbury, Sanca and Burton). Please continue to follow protocol if your water system falls into these categories.

Our staff are prepared and have plans in place to face the potential challenges the coming weeks might bring. As an essential water service provider, we continue to monitor our water systems closely, and our utility technicians remain ready to respond and support. In the case of supply chain disruptions, the Regional District has secured a minimum 6-month supply of chemicals and filters for our water systems that implement treatment.

Our operational staff working in the field will continue regularly scheduled work to ensure we’re able to deliver the water service you rely on every day. They are adhering to the recommended procedures for social distancing and will be working away from our public offices.

We want to assure you that the RDCK is prepared and committed to continue delivering highquality, uninterrupted water service.

General guidelines

Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/hand-washing 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • When coughing or sneezing cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
  • Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Elbow or toe tap instead of shaking hands
  • Consider social distancing (1m personal space)
  • Limit contact with anyone who is unwell

Resources

Learn more about protecting yourself and your family members from the following resources:

Past Updates

The content on this page was last updated May 26 2020 at 2:34 PM