Jesse Ketler, left, pictured during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event, has been elected chair of a regional emergency operations centre. File photo

Comox Valley EOC says no local state of emergency for now

The provincial government has activated a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, calling on all levels of government to maintain critical supply lines and infrastructure. On Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry activated her public health emergency authority.

Some Canadian municipalities have declared a state of emergency to protect the health and safety of individuals, families, vulnerable populations and businesses.

In the Comox Valley, elected officials have opted to establish a regional emergency operations centre (EOC) to support public health and Island Health. The centre will help centralize messages to the public and support the direction of the Health Ministry. Work within the EOC will be completed remotely.

READ: Comox Valley governments…

“The advice we’re receiving is not to declare a state of local emergency, and to rely on the province’s declaration,” said Jesse Ketler, chair of the Comox Valley Regional District board who was elected EOC chair at a Friday meeting. “We do review that every day with Emergency Management B.C. That could change from day to day.”

The EOC will enable co-ordinated messaging between different levels of governments in the Valley, and provide a place for staff to collaborate.

“And really a supporting role for Island Health, because they are the ones who are leading this,” Ketler said. “They have the authority.”

Emergency Management B.C. has provided officials with a task number.

“We have some funding to run the EOC,” Ketler said.


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