COVID-19 information

Page last updated on September 4 at 9:20 a.m.

Please read the update from Mayor Haynes on Saanich’s plan to restart. Visit our facilities and services page to find out what has reopened and restarted and to view our safety plans. 

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.

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 Provincial Health Officer.

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 and services, 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.



Municipal Hall public access

As of August 4, the municipal hall and annex reopened to the public with counter services in the areas of Planning, Engineering, Building Inspections, Finance, Reception, Legislative Services, Recreation, Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety and the Mayor’s Office.

Public access is on a first-come first-serve basis via the parking lot entrance of the municipal hall. Visitors are limited to a maximum of 11 people at a time and will be required to use hand sanitizer and wear a visitor badge when entering the facility. We encourage the public to continue to access online services or make appointments if possible. General contacts are available here for appointments [PDF - 149 KB].

 Plexi-glas protective barriers and other measures such as advisory and directional signage have been installed in all public areas and at all service counters for the health and safety of staff and the public. Saanich asks that you do not visit a municipal facility 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

More details can be found here.

Council meeting participation

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

Advisory committees, standing committees, board and commission meetings have restarted although the public is not able to attend in person at this time. 

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

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Recreation

Staff have been carefully planning over the past months to welcome residents back into Saanich recreation centres 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 is 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. 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.
 

Golf course

The Cedar Hill Golf Course reopened May 5. 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

Saanich's 56 playgrounds reopened June 10. 

All playgrounds in municipal parks reopened 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.

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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 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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

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 following are ways to pay your taxes:

More information is available at saanich.ca/tax

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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News releases and updates

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