Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)

Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Red Cross volunteers are continuing to campaign door-to-door, and are currently in Chilliwack and the surrounding area.

Several residents in the Eastern Hillsides expressed concern on local Facebook groups regarding the canvassing. Some weren’t sure if those asking for donations were legitimate, while others questioned the safety of door knocking during COVID-19.

The Progress reached out to the Canadian Red Cross, who confirmed they are indeed in this area collecting donations.

But they said nobody should feel pressured to have visitors at the door.

“We are aware that everyone may not be comfortable with visitors at this time and completely understand,” a communications representative wrote. “If you are uncomfortable with our canvassers’ presence, you may kindly decline further interaction and ask that they continue to the next home.”

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They are also using personal protective equipment including masks and sanitizer, for those who do wish to interact and donate.

In addition, canvassers are prohibited from handing out marketing leaflets or physically exchanging items with residents, they added.

It’s “vital” for Red Cross to continue canvassing, they said, because the organization has rolled out such a vast array of programs and services in response to the pandemic.

And they are heeding the guidelines of the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, when it comes to working in this health region.

“All the canvassers travel only within the Fraser Valley Health Region, or the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, but don’t cross into the other, so depending where the team is based that’s where they stay,” the representative said. They are also working in smaller teams and physically distancing from each other.

You can identify a Canadian Red Cross canvasser by their prominently displayed Canadian Red Cross ID, and they will be in a vest, coat or a golf shirt identified with a Canadian Red Cross logo. They will not ask for or accept cash, but may use electronic tablets and ask for banking information or a credit card number to set up monthly donations.

Anyone with questions or concerns about canvassing, including encounters where a canvasser is not following precautions, is asked to contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-418-1111 or email WeCare@redcross.ca.

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