COVID-19 information

Page last updated on July 2, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

An update from Mayor Haynes on Saanich’s plan to restart.

As the situation unfolds, we will continue to monitor credible sources and will work with our provincial and regional partners. It’s important to note that Saanich is not the lead agency on COVID-19; we will take direction from the Province and the Medical Health Office.

As of March 6, we took the proactive approach to activate our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) before any impacts occur in Saanich. Saanich’s EOC is the hub for the District’s planning and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On this page you will find status updates on our facilities, resources for individuals and businesses and other information related to COVID-19 in Saanich.
 
Municipal hall and facilities  |  Parks and recreation  |  Yard and garden waste drop-off  |  Property tax  |  News releases and updates
 
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Click the images below to find information on existing and newly created programs to provide a summary of support options most relevant to families and businesses.



Saanich municipal facilities

All Saanich municipal facilities are closed to the public. Some services are available by appointment only (see below for details).

We are currently working through our business resumption planning as to when we will be able to re-open our facilities, so you can resume the activities that you enjoy. Please watch our website at saanich.ca/COVID-19 and our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) for updates. We will share more information when it is available.  

Municipal Hall public access

Public access to the municipal hall and the annex is reduced to ‘by appointment only’ for certain services. Appointments are not available for the cashier (e.g., to pay property taxes or utility bills). Staff are responding to phone and email inquiries. General contacts are available here [PDF - 149 KB]. If you need to attend the Hall, please make an appointment through the general department email or phone number. For information on how to pay your property taxes, please visit saanich.ca/tax.

Council meeting participation

All scheduled advisory committees, standing committees, board and commission meetings have also been cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Standing Committee on Finance and Governance.

Council meetings and Committee of the Whole meetings will continue via webcast only until further notice.

Public feedback on items can be emailed to council@saanich.ca.

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Recreation

Saanich residents will soon have access to more recreation services just in time for summer as the District begins to gradually reopen its four recreation centres over the coming weeks.

The first phase saw Saanich Day Camps resume on June 29 with COVID-19 protocols. Visit saanich.ca/recreation for more information and registration.

The second phase will see in-person reception services and weight rooms open at all four recreation centres July 13. Online and phone-in registration is preferred. 
 

Weight rooms

Starting July 13, a new protocol will require patrons to reserve a 90-minute time slot for weight rooms. You may reserve a time online at saanich.ca/recreation or over the phone through each centre. Time slots will be available for booking five calendar days in advance.

 Ice services

 Starting July 20, ice services will restart in the Green Arena at G.R. Pearkes.

 Aquatics

 Aquafit will reopen at Gordon Head, Jul 20, and limited aquatic programs at Saanich Commonwealth Place, Aug 4. Additional services will resume later in August and beyond.

Reopening will look different
 
Staff have been carefully planning over the past months to welcome residents back into Saanich facilities with the safety of residents and staff as the top priority. In preparation, Saanich has increased the cleaning frequency in all facilities and trained staff in new safety protocols.
 
Participation in recreation activities will look different as centres reopen. The number of people in the centres will be controlled and monitored to maintain physical distancing. This means, all services, including drop-in, will be by reservation only for the foreseeable future. You can register for activities online at saanich.ca/recreation or by calling the centre.

Saanich encourages residents to review the safety protocols for specific activities before registering.
 
Please do not visit a recreation centre if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Fever
- Chills
- New or worsening cough
- Shortness of breath
- New muscle aches or headache
- Sore throat
- Have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days
- Are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19

The recreation safety protocols were developed based on guidelines and requirements from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC, Island Health, BC Recreation and Parks Association, and the Lifesaving Society of BC. Saanich closed its four recreation centres March 17 to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Safety plans are available to the public at saanich.ca/recreation and at each facility.
 
Please watch our website at saanich.ca/COVID-19 and our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) for updates.  

 

Current Saanich Reception Hours – Phones Only

Commonwealth Place
Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cedar Hill Recreation Centre
Mon to Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sat/Sun 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Gordon Head Recreation Centre
Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. 
Sundays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Pearkes Recreation Centre
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays 8 a.m. – noon

 

Golf course

As of May 5, the Cedar Hill Golf Course will re-open. Please see the golf course page for further information.

Outdoor facilities

We have reopened some outdoor facilities. Reopening these facilities and activities will allow residents to enjoy outdoor sports in a careful and safe way.

The recreation facilities in Saanich Parks that have reopened include:

  • 35 tennis courts;
  • 11 pickleball courts;
  • 21 sports courts (e.g., basketball and street hockey); and
  • the Lambrick Skate Park.

Playgrounds

We will be reopening playgrounds beginning June 9 with all playgrounds open by June 10. Saanich has 56 playgrounds to reopen.

All playgrounds in municipal parks will reopen with new signage to indicate health and safety guidelines for play. Saanich encourages those using the playgrounds to:

  • practice safe physical distancing;
  • wash your hands before and after using the play area;
  • come back later if the area seems too busy;
  • limit your time if others are waiting; and
  • stay home if you feel sick.

If one park or playground looks crowded we have lots more. There are more than 170 parks (including natural state and undeveloped park lands) in Saanich for you to discover and explore! Use our find a park tool.

Phone services are available at all recreation centres from Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please note that in-person services are not available at this time.

Online services continue to be available. Please visit saanich.ca/recreation.

Credits for cancelled programs

Credits will be issued to anyone who has registered for activities affected by these closures. Saanich staff will automatically apply the appropriate credit to your Active Net account. There is no need to contact us to cancel.Any refund requests will be processed at a later date.

 

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Parks and Public Works garden waste drop off

The District of Saanich yard and garden waste drop off service reopened Saturday, April 25 with modified hours.

We made the decision to reopen with modified hours to accommodate appropriate physical distancing for our staff and for our residents using the service.Saanich is expanding our service hours for the yard and garden waste drop-off site.

Effective Friday May 15, our new temporary hours are:

  • Monday - 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday - 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday - closed
  • Thursday - closed
  • Friday - 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday – closed

Due to increased drop off volumes, we're having to route traffic throughout the yard, outside of the webcam view. Until drop off volumes return to the seasonal norm, the webcam will remain disabled to not mislead residents into thinking there's no line up. We're experiencing wait times of up to two hours.

Please be mindful to not block intersections and congest corridors with your vehicle while waiting to access the drop off.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Inquiries for other business can be made through publicworks@saanich.ca or by calling 250-475-5599.

Greener garbage

Our staff are working hard to ensure curbside collection service levels are maintained.

Check out our tips for guidance on what you can do to help us stay safe and healthy.

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Property tax payment methods and late penalties

Saanich Council has endorsed a plan to lessen the impact of late payment penalties on property taxes for both residential and business property owners.

While the deadline for payment of taxes and annual homeowner grant applications remains as July 2, 2020, the Alternative Tax Scheme approved by Council on April 27 includes a delayed and staggered implementation of the usual one time 10% penalty. The bylaw required to enact the plan will be come to Council in early May.

The following are ways to pay your taxes:

More information is available in our Property Tax section.

Saanich events

Following the direction from the Provincial Health Officer, Saanich has cancelled any meetings or gatherings of 50 or more. These events will remain cancelled until further direction from the Provincial Health Officer.

Prevention

The BC Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization report that hand washing is the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

A reminder to our staff and residents:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and not your hands;
  • stay home if you are sick, especially if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, to avoid spreading the illness to others; and
  • practice social distancing (e.g., keeping a two metre distance and avoid touching others).

As a preventative measure, have reviewed and adjusted our cleaning protocols. High contact surfaces in all municipal facilities are being cleaned more frequently.

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Safety plans

News releases and updates

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