On March 10 the District of Saanich enacted level two of the EOC amid COVID-19. (Mike Burgess / Twitter)

Saanich amps up to Emergency Operations Centre level two amid COVID-19

The district switched to a level two Emergency Operations Centre to proactively address the virus

Amid coronavirus concerns, the District of Saanich has amped up the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to a level two. Megan Catalano, communications director for Saanich District and information officer for the EOC says that although COVID-19 circumstances change daily, facilities have not been closed and meetings will continue as scheduled.

The District entered into a level two EOC on March 6. A full staff has been hired to run the EOC and according to Catalano they are adding more staff daily to continue COVID-19 preparation efforts.

The EOC acts as a communications hub for the District in preparation for future closures, social distancing and any public advisories that need to be shared. Catalano says the EOC’s information is directed to them from the province and that decisions regarding public safety procedures around COVID-19 are not under municipal jurisdiction. The EOC was first enacted in January for Saanich.

ALSO READ: Take COVID-19 seriously, says B.C. doctor

Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood, of Saanich Fire Department says the EOC plan for COVID-19 is a pandemic plan consistent with what was in place for the 2007 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS ) pandemic.

Wood says EOC level one was enacted to established a consistent hub where communications and planning will happen, and level two is staffing the communications hub. He says that although they are planning for the worst, the public should rest assure that the District is keeping on top of it and following the direction of the province.

ALSO READ: Baby boy among the latest COVID-19 cases, as Canadian cases rise to almost 150

sarah.schuchard@saanichnews.com


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