District of Squamish remains vigilant in the response to COVID-19

The District of Squamish continues to follow the expert advice of British Columbia’s Ministry of Health in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. The health of Squamish residents and District employees is of paramount concern, and the District is following Ministry of Health recommendations to protect individuals and support prevention of the spread of the virus.  

“It is understandable that residents are increasingly concerned as many different sources of information from well-meaning individuals and media outlets, both here and abroad, is spreading quickly across social media channels. In the face of this, I urge residents to stay calm and remain confident in the advice of our experts here in British Columbia,” says Mayor Karen Elliott. “British Columbia’s public health community is among the best in the world, and I am extremely confident in their recommendations and approach to manage this pandemic.”

The BC Centre for Disease Control reminds British Columbians that, while this is a new disease, outbreaks can be managed with the right response, and that the vast majority of infected people will recover. 


COVID-19 in Squamish

The District and community is now aware that there are COVID-19 positive cases in Squamish, based on individuals who have shared their diagnoses on social media. The Ministry of Health’s current policy is not to release community-specific case information. Public health officials within Vancouver Coastal Health work closely with those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to get a list of people they have been in contact with and then public health reaches out to inform those who have been in close contact with that individual.

“The approach to containment of the virus remains the same, in that sick people should stay home, and everyone else should practice good hygiene and social distancing,” continues the Mayor. “We are aware that we will not be informed by Vancouver Coastal Health of individual cases of the virus in Squamish, unless there is a situation where that person attended a larger meeting or event or a busy facility that would make it difficult for public health to contact individuals who may be affected. In this case, a broader public statement would be issued to alert other citizens who may have been in the same location at the same time.” 

The recommended approach to manage the spread of this virus in Squamish and elsewhere is as follows: Wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and stay home when you're sick. Apply a low threshold to any symptoms you may have. If in doubt, be cautious and stay home. 

Current information suggests that older people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are at higher risk of developing more severe illness or complications from COVID-19. For residents at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, follow general preventative strategies against infection, and seek medical help early if symptoms arise. Anyone concerned about exposure to COVID-19 or symptoms they are experiencing can call 8.1.1.


Daily review of new information

The District of Squamish Emergency Operations Team, including the Chief Administrator, is meeting daily and is poised to make any changes necessary in its operations. The District activated its Emergency Operations Centre late last week, and is focussed on the health and safety of employees, and ensuring that critical services to the community remain in place. 

“The experienced team at the District will continue to be professional and measured in their approach to this pandemic, and the community is in good hands as we ensure that essential services such as emergency response, utilities and operations remain in place,” continues Elliott. "We are consistently in contact with Vancouver Coastal Health, staff across the Sea to Sky region are collaborating on best practices, and mayors in the region are also staying connected."

Currently, District facilities including Brennan Park Recreation Centre, The 55 Activity Centre, Squamish Public Library and Squamish Adventure Centre remain open, under the understanding that anyone feeling ill should stay away, and that residents practice diligent prevention methods. Increased cleaning of high touch surfaces has been adopted.  

The current advice from the Ministry of Health indicates that recreation centres do not need to close, and the District will continue to follow that guidance. Decisions are being reviewed daily, and a change in course will take place if advised by the Ministry. 


Stock piling food and other supplies

The Ministry of Health has reported to British Columbians that they have been assured by retail supply-chain providers that they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly. There is no need to stockpile. 


Focus on facts

The BC Centre for Disease Control website continues to be an important first point for the latest information on topics such as: self-isolating and the health and care of family members, employer and business questions, and prevention tips: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

Anyone concerned about exposure to COVID-19 or symptoms they are experiencing can call 8.1.1. 

“This is an unprecedented situation that impacts every single one of us, and through a calm, proactive approach, we will protect our most vulnerable and work to manage the impact on our health services,” Elliott says. “On that note, my final comment today is to express gratitude to all our front line medical workers as we rely on them to be professional and responsive. We cannot thank them enough.”



BC Centre for Disease Control

Vancouver Coastal Health

Public Health Agency of Canada


March 15, 2020

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  • Benjiman Richardson Apr 16, 2020, 8:31 AM (3 years ago)

    I and a number of residence of Squamish are asking what the number is of the affected by the covid 19 virus?? Please can u inform me?.I will keep it to myself..thank you..very concerned about it..

  • Kerri Currier Mar 15, 2020, 9:11 PM (4 years ago)

    The majority of cities surrounding Squamish have now closed their public recreation facilities and libraries. In fact many provinces have done so. They have not waited for public health to direct them but acted with integrity and common sense to protect their communities. Mayor Karen Elliot has the accountability to do so and her community is indeed demanding this. While the role of Mayor is undoubtedly very challenging right now, this community deserves better.

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