In keeping with increasing social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) will be closing their offices and facilities to the public effective immediately.
“Our Cranbrook and Columbia Valley offices are close to public access,” said RDEK CAO Shawn Tomlin in a press release, “however, we remain open for business and are encouraging the public to contact us via phone or email with any inquiries, payments, questions, or applications.”
The Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena and public access to RDEK fire halls have also been closed.
This decision came following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Monday public address, in which he urged Canadians to stay at home as much as possible. The BC Provincial Health Officer also stressed the importance of social distancing in a Monday statement, while the province ordered all gatherings of over 50 people to be cancelled.
“Our priority is to protect our employees and the public while maintaining our services,” added Tomlin. “All critical services, such as water, sewer and emergency services will be our primary focus. In addition, we have been looking at creative solutions to keep things like building inspections and planning projects moving forward in this unprecedented time.”
An upcoming public information meeting for the Steamboat Jubilee Mountain Official Community Plan has been postponed and the RDEK say they expect to make an announcement in the next two days regarding other upcoming meetings and events, including Advisory Planning Commission meetings and upcoming CBT Community Initiatives public meetings.
More information on local impacts stemming from COVID-19 can be found on the emergency response information page on www.rdek.bc.ca along with links to the local, provincial and federal health authorities who are coordinating the response and public information on the virus.