COVID-19 is causing lock downs, quarantines and cancellations around the world. Here’s a list of cancellations and precautionary actions in Ladysmith. This list will be updated daily with more information as it becomes available.
Playgrounds now closed
The Town of Ladysmith has now closed all local playgrounds in municipal parks.
The decision was made in accordance with recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer to promote safe social distancing.
Playground closures apply to Transfer Beach Park, Harbourview Park, Brown Drive Park, Davis Road School, Root Street Park, Frank Jameson Community Centre Skatepark, Forrest Field, and Aggie Hall nature playground.
“We understand that many parents and caregivers are self-isolating at home with children as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19; Visiting the local playground and getting outside provides a source of activity and healthy break in the day,” The Town said in a press release.
The parks themselves will remain open – it is only the playgrounds that have been closed.
Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has encouraged the public to spend time outside as long as the individuals are practicing social social distancing, in groups of one or two people at most, and staying a minimum of two metres apart – arms outstretched without being able to touch fingertip to fingertip.
This means finding activities such as hiking, walking, or biking where families and individuals, in small groups, can stay active outside in open spaces.
Activities that involve using equipment such as a Frisbee, basketball, or football should only be played among immediate family members and not groups of friends.
Residents can visit the Town’s dedicated COVID-19 page on our website for useful information and links to trusted sources of information: https://www.ladysmith.ca/public-safety/public-health/co-vid-19-information
First confirmed case in Ladysmith
7-Eleven Canada has notified the Ladysmith community of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the 434 Esplanade Avenue store.
“The health and safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve is the top priority for 7-Eleven Canada. We have temporarily closed the store to thoroughly clean and sanitize the location, and we will re-open the store on April 2, 2020,” the company said in a press release.
Store staff are being asked to self-isolate with pay for 14 days as per the B.C. provincial health guidelines. Any customers who may have visited the store between March 5 to March 11 are being asked to monitor their health, and contact a health care provider at 811.
7-Eleven Canada has connected with local health authorities to determine next steps and will provide further updates whenever possible.
School closures now in effect
British Columbia is suspending K-12 classes for an unknown time period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier John Horgan said Tuesday, March 17.
Students were expected to return to school March 30 at the end of spring break. Students who are on track to progress to the next grade, or graduate, will do so. As well, arrangements will be made to help provide school meals for at-risk students.
School districts are being asked to start planning for how learning will continue in the absence of in-class time, according to Fleming. Charlene McKay, Nanaimo school board chairwoman, said while the district is happy to comply for the time being, it is too early to talk about how it will proceed.
Town of Ladysmith
Town staff have entered a precautionary two-week isolation period to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Essential services will be maintained.
The Town of Ladysmith is now closing all public offices and facilities until further notice.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, Town-run facilities including Frank Jameson Community Centre, Aggie Hall and Forrest Field will be closed to the public.
In addition to closed facilities, the Town is also suspending all spring break day camps, and classes, as well as cancelling all rentals at Aggie Hall and Forrest Field until further notice.
“These measures are meant to safeguard the public health of our residents and were approved by Ladysmith Council at a special meeting on Monday, in accordance with the latest recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry to limit public gatherings to 50 people,” a Town press release stated.
All essential services such as utilities, garbage collection, communications, finance, and governance will continue. City Hall, Development Services, and Infrastructure Services Staff will be available during regular business hours of 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. The Town requests residents use email or phone as the primary method of communication with town offices.
The regular meeting of council for March 17 has been postponed. The meeting will be held online next week.
Future public notices from the Town of Ladysmith will be posted at the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association, 49th Parallel Grocery Store, Save-On-Foods, Guardian Hillside Family Pharmacy, Ladysmith Pharmasave, RX Drug Mart and the Canada Post office.
LRCA suspends non-essential programming
In an effort to encourage ‘social distancing’ the LRCA is suspending all non-essential programming.
The Food Bank will remain open with full services, but will be using social distancing and increased hygiene measures.
The Cold Weather Shelter will remain open with social distancing and increased hygiene measures as well.
Seniors’ Medical Transportation is available, also with social distancing and increased hygiene measures. Individuals using the service should call in advance.
Housing support services are available, also with social distancing and increased hygiene measures. Individuals using the service should call in advance.
The Income Tax Program is available if people call in advance. Intake is being done over the phone and paperwork required should be dropped off.
Seniors’ Services are available, individuals should call in advance for an appointment.
49th Parallel Phones are available. Call on Wednesdays to place orders.
Volunteer Counselling, and Family and Youth Support Services are available. Sessions offered by phone and video conference only. Call the LRCA for more information.
Victim services are available. Call in advance for an appointment.
Seniors’ Drop-in Coffee, and Dad’s drop-in are both suspended until further notice.
Born Healthy is available, services will be offered by phone and video conference. Group sessions are cancelled until further notice.
Adventures in Early Literacy, Mother Goose, and Triple P are all on spring hiatus and cancelled until further notice.
Soup Kitchen and Restorative Justice services have yet to be determined.
Boys and Girls Club programs closed
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island will close all pre-school, school-based, before and after school, evening, and day camp programs effective March, 17 at 6:00 pm. The programs will be closed up to and including Friday, March 27.
The closure was announced two days after BGCCVI emailed parents of the Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club warning them of a possible COVID-19 exposure.
VIRL branches close
Vancouver Island Regional Library will close all of its library branches to the public on March 16 at 8 p.m. due to the COVID-19 situation and recommendations put forward today by the province’s chief medical health officer.
As a result of the closures, VIRL has extended all due dates by six weeks and asks customers not to return any library materials until branches have reopened to the public.
Island Health facilities now only open for essential visits
The decision by the Island’s health authority has been made to support the provincial health officer’s directions around social distancing and to protect residents, patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19.
Essential visits will be considered for patients who are critically ill, receiving end-of-life care or who are frail and need an escort or family member for safety.
Visitors who are eligible must pass important screening criteria, meaning they cannot have a cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath and they cannot have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days.
Dentists across B.C. will no longer be performing elective or non-essential procedures, the profession’s regulatory body announced Monday afternoon.
The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia said the move was in line with recommendations from B.C. and federal officials.
The move comes in effort to limit possible exposure to COVID-19 after a person with the virus attended a Vancouver dental conference.
This means that Orca Family Dental, Ladysmith Dental, Dr Suzanne Otterson Family Dentistry, Dr Holly Blaikie’s office, Dr. Matthew McMillan’s office, High Street Dental, and Dr. Hunter’s office, are all closed until further notice.
Uforik Computers, Roberts Street Pizza, Forget Me Not, Nancy’s Fashion, Neck of the Woods, Red’s Emporium, are now closed.
The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre’s physical office on Roberts Street is temporarily closed, however they continue to offer services online at: ladysmithchamberofc.com, and through their social media channels. They can also be reached at email@example.com, or by phone at 250-245-2112 during regular business hours of 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Ladysmith Pharmasave is encouraging patrons to use their prescription delivery service.
Bouma Meats, For Pet Sake, and the Ladysmith Health Food Store remain open.
In a statement on Friday, March 20, the provincial government banned all dine in guests at restaurants across the province. Some Ladysmith restaurants will be remain open for takeout. Call ahead before ordering from any restaurants.
CrossFit Ladysmith shifts to online
CrossFit Ladysmith will be closed as a precaution against COVID-19. They will be offering members online classes, as well as free daily workouts for the community on their public facebook page.
Resident Alien filming postponed
The production for Resident Alien has opted to shut down for a two-week hiatus as they assess how to deal with COVID-19. Resident Alien was scheduled to return for filming in Ladysmith from March 13 to March 17.
Filming was scheduled to take place at the First Avenue and High Street intersection on Sunday, and in the general area of First Avenue from Roberts Street to Gatacre Street, as well as Roberts Street from the Trans Canada Highway up to First Avenue. Night filming was also scheduled to occur on Sunday and Monday.
Without any film crews occupying parking lots and streets, everything will be open as normal.
At this time there is no information on when Resident Alien will return for filming.
Ladysmith Constituency Day Cancelled
Paul Manly’s one-day constituency office at the LRCA has been cancelled. The Nanaimo constituency office will still be staffed. Anyone in need of assistance with federal services can still call Paul Manly’s office at 250-734-6400.
Little Theatre closes
Ladysmith Little Theatre has cancelled the rest of the shows planned for Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun. They have also cancelled the upcoming Vancouver Island Vixens Burlesque show. The Vixens are looking to reschedule for a date in the fall.
Ladysmith Healthcare Auxillary closes stores
Both the Ladysmith Thrift Store and the gift shop at the Ladysmith Community Health Centre are closed until further notice.
Legion now closed
All Legion activities are cancelled and the Legion has been closed until further notice.
Camera Club cancelled
The Ladysmith Camera Club has cancelled its March 24th meeting.
Ladysmith Downtown Business Association
The Ladysmith Downtown Business Association has cancelled its upcoming AGM.
The Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery is closed until further notice. In a post on their Facebook page, they encouraged people to stay home and do art. They will have a skeleton staff in the office to answer questions by phone or email.
“Read your newsletter, and remember we have an online show you can participate in. When this is over we will have a party,” their post said.