The Cities of Williams Lake and Quesnel have activated their Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to Level 1.
The EOCs were activated Tuesday morning to coordinate a local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As this thing evolves and we heard an announcement of funding to United Way, an announcement of funding to Better at Home, we’ve had ongoing conversations with our shelter providers and our housing providers,” Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said referring to B.C’s $5-billion Covid-19 Action Plan announced Monday. “So rather than have that occur on a haggily peggly basis we want to be able to coordinate it more and that’s what an emergency operations centre level 1 allows us to do.”
In Quesnel, all playgrounds as well as the city’s tennis courts, pickleball courts, dog park, and skate park are now closed.
Simpson said the city is not considering declaring a local state of emergency.
“We are going to an emergency operations centre level 1 that allows us to engage with agencies in a coordinated response,” Simpson said. “But you’ll see over the next little while that most of those local states of emergency will be rescinded and we’ll all operate under the provincial state of emergency that gives us everything we need at this time.”
In Williams Lake, Corporate Engagement Officer Guillermo Angel said the city has also further reduced its staffing level as a safety precaution following the recommendation of the Provincial Health Officer and has encouraged all available staff to work remotely where possible
As of March 23, 30 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Interior Health Authority and five in Northern Health.