Village of Sayward Emergency Preparedness Committee Update April 21, 2020

Village of Sayward

Emergency Preparedness Committee

Dear Residents of Sayward,

The Sayward Emergency Preparedness Committee has met via tele-conference on Sunday nights at 6:00pm, to discuss and coordinate a unified approach to dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our group is comprised of the following departments of The Village of Sayward and The Sayward Valley: SRD EOC, Sayward EPC, ESS, Public Works, Fire Department, RCMP, BC Ambulance Service and the Sayward Primary Healthcare Clinic.

The Sayward Emergency Preparedness Committee has agreed to meet via tele-conference on a weekly basis as current information is rapid and evolving. In addition, we are in constant e-mail communication as a group to share and disseminate direction and information for the benefit of all our Village and Valley residents.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with local information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from the Sayward Emergency Planning Committee.


The detachment is closed to the public, until further notice. All front counter services including but not limited to; Civilian Fingerprinting Services, Criminal Record or Police Information Checks and found property will not be conducted until further notice.

These changes are being taken as a preventative measure and do not affect 9-1-1 service or calls to out to the non-emergency police line 250-282-5522 (listen to the prompts). Both of these services continue to be offered as per usual.

For the protection of the RCMP members, you may see that they will be responding to your calls for service donning Personal Protective Equipment, which consist of glasses/goggles, 3M mask with filters and gloves. B.C RCMP Website:

Fire Department

Within the Village of Sayward municipal boundaries open burning of garden waste and other materials is not permitted at any time of the year. A small campfire solely for the purpose of cooking or keeping warm is allowed, but please be respectful of your neighbours and keep smoke to a minimum. If you reside in the Valley your area is governed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources which has now restricted open burning in areas under its jurisdiction.

If the Fire Dept. does have to attend to a call at your property, please ensure you keep at least 2 metres away from any firefighter and give them plenty of extra room to work.

Useful information and best practices for safe burning is also available on our website:

BC Ambulance

We will respond to 911 calls in the event of medical emergency with full Personal Protective Equipment. However, if you are having any of the listed COVID-19 symptoms, please utilize other resources unless you are having trouble breathing. Be aware that you will be asked several screening questions prior to an ambulance coming to your home.

In some cases, response may be delayed, or alternatives to ambulance care may be presented. Please do NOT come to the ambulance station as we are closed to the public.

Village Public Works

The Village of Sayward has an adequate supply of water treatment chemicals. We also have arranged alternate water treatment staff in place if our works department suffers an illness or must self-isolate.

In conjunction with the EPC and the Sayward Emergency Preparedness Committee, we have decided to close the Playground, Campground and Outdoor Fitness Area until further notice to protect the public from accidental exposure.

We have also taken proactive steps to safeguard our public works staff by limiting our exposure to each other in our workplace environment.

Health Clinic

Some prescription refills can be filled by pharmacists without you seeing your primary care provider. This is only for some routine medications that you are on. All other prescriptions must be filled by your primary care provider. The clinic is doing many of these appointments with patients over the telephone during this time. You can call the clinic and book a telephone appointment to speak to the nurse practitioner or physician.

We have re-arranged the clinic to promote social distancing. Please be mindful when coming into the clinic to keep 2 meters away from other members of the public. If you are sick with any respiratory symptoms, please call the clinic and arrange an appointment time. Do not just come in. We will book you in when it is not busy, to avoid potential contact with other people.

Lab days are still every Monday morning from 9-1130. We ask that you only come in for labs if it is urgent, INR testing, all cancer patients receiving treatment, therapeutic mediation levels (eg epilepsy medication or digoxin) or your provider has asked you to come in at this time. The laboratories in the hospital are very busy at this time, so we would like to help reduce this by not doing your routine screening at this time. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.

Clinic website:


Provincial Hotlines that the Public Can Call:


Service providers at this hotline will help answer non-medical questions about travel, social distancing, and what kind of support, resources and assistance is available from provincial and federal governments. The hotline will be open from 7:30am-8:00pm. People with health related issues should still call 811


Is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in BC. This number is operated by HealthLink BC. You can speak to a health service navigator, who can help you find health information and service; or connect you directly with a registered nurse, registered dietitian, or qualified exercise professional or pharmacist.

BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

This tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else if they are unable to.

Emergency Program Coordinator

In the event that this Pandemic has had a negative effect on your family and/or household budget, both Government and Corporate Industry have put in place programs to aid and assist folks in this time of crisis.

Below is a list of government and private programs that you or your family can take advantage of;

Government of Canada

  1. The Federal Government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Effective March 30, 2020, all Provincial and federal student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended, without interest, until September 30, 2020.

BC Government

  1. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is establishing an Emergency Relief Support Fund for children and youth with special needs and their families. The fund will provide a direct payment of $225 per month to eligible families over the next three months (to June 30, 2020).

  2. The BC Government instituted an emergency payment program called the, “BC Emergency Benefit for Workers”. This program will provide up to $1000 in emergency funding.

  3. A ban on evictions for non-payment of rent in BC Housing-funded buildings.


  1. ICBC insurance transactions available by phone during COVID-19 outbreak

  2. ICBC instituted a 90 day deferral program for those who cannot afford to pay for their vehicle insurance currently on the monthly payment plan.


  1. No Disconnections for Non-Payment

  2. Flexible Payment and Billing Terms

  3. Can apply for $600 under the newly created “Customer Crisis Fund” for anyone with an overdue balance owing.

Financial Corporations

  1. Canada’s Big 6 Banks and some Credit Unions will allow deferral of mortgage payments during Covid-19 Pandemic.

  2. Shaw has a multitude of programs to offer.

  3. Telus has a multitude of programs to offer.

  4. Telus is offering Babylon Health as a Free mobile phone app on their network.

Fuel Providers

Columbia Fuels:

  1. Offer increased payment flexibility.

  2. Waive all NSF fees.

  3. Waive interest charges on all overdue accounts.

  4. Suspend third party collection-related activities on home heating accounts.

Superior Propane:

  1. No Financial Incentives offered at this current time.

Fortis BC

  1. Fortis is ensuring no client is disconnected for non-payment in addition to flexible payment terms.

If you cannot access these programs or need help completing any of these forms, please either contact the Village Office or the EPC directly and we will find a method to assist you.

Media Contact:

Wes Cragg

Councillor, Emergency Program Coordinator

Tel: 250-282-5512 (Office) 250-201-0604 (Cell)

Shaun Koopman VA7MTJ

Protective Services Coordinator

Tel: 250.830.6702

Toll free: 1.877.830.2990