Mayor Ken Popove, chairing the March 17, 2020 council meeting, where he stated there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chilliwack. (City of Chilliwack)

Chilliwack trying to identify civic facilities that could be used for pandemic response

Isolation for the most vulnerable might be needed, so inventory of facilities is underway

The search for Chilliwack facilities that could be employed in the pandemic response if necessary was part of Mayor Ken Popove’s daily COVID-19 update for March 26.

“Today, the Province made some significant announcements about the extraordinary powers they will be using under a state of provincial emergency to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and asked for support from local government,” Mayor Popove said in the update.

“Since the beginning of this global health crisis, Chilliwack has worked diligently to closely follow directions from provincial and federal governments and we will continue to support their efforts.”

Chilliwack officials had already started an inventory of civic facilities last week that could be made available for pandemic response, and it is working with partners to complete it.

“I am happy that we were able to be proactive with our strategic emergency response planning and we will continue to work with the provincial government and health authority to work out any additional logistical details should the need arise,” he added.

“We also learned that the Province is calling on local government bylaw enforcement officers to help ensure members of the public are adhering to provincial health orders.”

City officials are awaiting details from the province on this one.

“We will deploy bylaw enforcement officers once we better understand what authority they will have to enforce orders,” he said.

Details will be forthcoming at

”Today, Minister Farnworth made it clear that social distancing is currently a recommendation, but not a health order, which means it is not enforceable at this time.

“Even though it is not enforceable, I encourage everyone in Chilliwack to follow the Province’s social distancing recommendation for the safety of our community.

On Wednesday the city cut short its burning season by a month, and on Thursday it went further.

“This was done to mitigate health concerns smoke can cause during the current health crisis. Today, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has banned open burning effective immediately.

“I am proud that Chilliwack had already made the decision to cancel outdoor burning and the Ministry’s decision reaffirms Council’s proactive approach to public safety in Chilliwack.”

It was also announced on March 26 that a new phone service for seniors is up and running.

”I am also happy to learn that the Government of B.C. has added a new service to help seniors during this difficult time. If you are a senior in our community, you can dial 211 and be connected with someone seven days a week that can assist with the delivery of groceries or medication.

”I encourage all residents to stay home if possible, respect social distancing and practice good hand hygiene. I would also like to say a special thank you to all front line workers.

“I hope you know how valued you are by everyone in Chilliwack.”

READ MORE: Mayor stood by statement about COVID-19 cases

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