COQUITLAM, B.C., Apr. 3, 2020 – As Coquitlam continues to support provincial health orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City is urging the public to do its part as well.
While B.C. local governments are not permitted to enforce directives, including physical distancing or self-isolation, Coquitlam’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers have been actively pursuing authorized activities such as monitoring businesses for compliance with public health orders, and penalizing those selling medical and cleaning supplies without a business licence.
The City’s Role
From the start of the pandemic, Coquitlam has dedicated staff and resources to fulfilling the duties it has been assigned by provincial government and health officials.
At this time, the City’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers are not legally empowered to issue fines or penalties to enforce health orders – whether at businesses, on private property or in City public spaces. They can, however, educate businesses and report non-compliance to Fraser Health.
The City’s authorized enforcement activities to date have included:
- Having bylaw enforcement officers visit restaurants, bars and personal services businesses within an hour of the closure order issued Saturday, Mar. 21, and continued monitoring;
- Educating businesses that are not complying with health orders, and reporting them to Fraser Health for enforcement, as necessary;
- Following up on reports of unauthorized supply sales and taking action, as needed, to stop these activities;
- Deploying City staff to high-traffic outdoor recreation areas to remind park and trail users of the need to maintain physical distance;
- Proactively setting up a designated Fraser Health contact to efficiently report non-compliance with Provincial Health Officer orders for enforcement;
- Ongoing information-sharing with the RCMP and City’s Emergency Operations Centre for a coordinated approach; and
- Remaining ready to provide assistance to health officers when requested.
The City is also educating the community about Public Health Officer directives and the important role each person plays in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Community’s Role
In the fight against COVID-19, each individual’s actions make a difference. Coquitlam residents are urged to do their part:
- Stay at least two metres (six feet) away from others not from your household;
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Cough or sneeze into a sleeve rather than hands;
- Avoid touching your face;
- Stay home if you are unwell; and
- Avoid going out as much as possible.
Those seeking to better understand the requirements of physical distancing and self-isolation should consult the infographic from Fraser Health available online at coquitlam.ca/covid19.
Residents are also encouraged to review Fraser Health’s online resources at www.fraserhealth.ca/covid19, including downloadable posters on topics such as talking to friends or children about COVID-19, physical distancing, self-isolation, testing, how to be a germ fighter, washing hands and managing anxiety.
There are also notices for businesses and employers to post, and translated versions in Simplified Chinese, Korean, Farsi, Hindi and Punjabi.
For up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 impacts to City facilities, programs, services and events:
Coquitlam residents are encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information.
For more information on COVID-19, including updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and translated information, please consult the following resources: