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Haida Gwaii COVID-19 Response

Haida Gwaii COVID-19 Response


On March 23, 2020, the Haida declared a local state of emergency for Haida Gwaii. This is a historic and critical measure to reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in our communities and is supported by Haida Gwaii's healthcare practitioners and all-island leadership.


We are continuing to offer essential services, and are taking a proactive role in helping citizens to heed the advice of the Provincial Health Officer to practice social distancing. By taking these keys steps early, we are all doing what we can to keep everyone safe, especially those who are at greater risk. We are all in this together.


Recommended Public Health Measures in Effect:




People who are not working in essential services should stay home and shelter in place.

Only those who live in the same household should have physical contact with each other (each person observing health and social distancing measures).

Persons with any sign of illness should self-isolate from other members of their household for 14 days and monitor their symptoms.




When leaving home for essential services, it is recommended to do so alone or with other members of your household only.

People must be in good health and must respect the following:

Wear a mask;

Social distancing;

Wash hands thoroughly;

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth;

Cough or sneeze into your arm sleeve or a tissue (immediately dispose of tissue and wash your hands); and

Essential services that remain open to the public must ensure social distancing is maintained at all times.




Areas that typically attract larger groups of people where social distancing cannot be maintained are closed to the public (including gyms, libraries, playgrounds, etc.)




Children under 12 should be supervised or within communication distance of an adult when outside.



It is recommended to avoid all non-essential travel between local communities. Those who must travel should do so carefully and efficiently and must practice social distancing and hand hygiene measures.

Residents should not travel off-island unless for essential services.

Non-resident and all leisure travel to Haida Gwaii is not permitted.




All residents returning to Haida Gwaii from any location are urged to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning. Those coming to Haida Gwaii to conduct essential service work are exempt if self-isolation is not possible and they do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Essential service workers must follow social distancing measures and hygiene guidelines.




Remove hand and arm jewellery and wet your hands with warm (not hot) running water.

Add soap, and then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Do this for at least 30 seconds, being careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.

Rinse your hands well under warm running water, using a rubbing motion.

Wipe and dry hands gently with paper towel. Rubbing vigorously with paper towels can damage the skin.

Turn off tap using paper towel so that you do not re-contaminate your hands.


Helping Residents and Businesses Access Supports




Employment Insurance & Emergency Care Benefit


If you are sick or are forced to stay home, the federal government has waived the one-week waiting period for EI and has also waived the requirement for a doctor’s note. For more information about how to apply, call 1-800-531-7555.

Starting in early April, the federal government will launch the Emergency Care Benefit to provide you with up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. When applications are made available in the coming

weeks, they will be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency. To make yourself ready, it is strongly recommended if you have already to create a My CRA online account.


Other Programs


Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide up to $2,000 a month for up to 4 months for individuals affected by COVID-19.  Pause on repayments of Canada Student Loan and Canada

Apprentice Loan debt with no interest accruing until September 30th, 2020.

CMHC mortgage deferral options (contact your lender for more information).

Income tax payment deferral amounts owing (until August 2020).

Increased Childcare Benefit Amount.

BC Hydro Customer Assistance: Allows you to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call 1-800-224-9376 for further information.


For more information on these programs, type the names into the search bars of the Federal and Provincial websites at canada.gc.ca and gov.bc.ca.




Deferred Business Tax Filing


The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all business to defer, until after August 31st, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.


Federal Wage Subsidy


The federal government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three (3) months.


Business Credit Availability Program


The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.


The following provincial taxes have also been deferred, delayed or reduced:


Deferred tax payments for businesses

Delayed PST budget 2020 tax changes

Delayed carbon tax increases

Reduced school tax for businesses

For more information on all of these supports, go to canada.gc.ca.


Village and Regional District Essential Service Provisions


Residents should check in with their community's online website for information on essential services within the community:


North Coast Regional District (www.ncrdbc.com)

Village of Masset (www.massetbc.com)

Village of Queen Charlotte (www.queencharlotte.ca)

Village of Port Clements (www.portclements.ca)

Council of the Haida Nation (www.haidanation.ca)

Skidegate Band Council (www.skidegate.ca)

Old Massett Village Council (oldmassettvillagecouncil.com)


What is Social Distancing?


Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:


Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings

Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes

Limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)

Keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 meters) from others, as much as possible


What is an Essential Service?


The Province of B.C. has defined an essential service as related to:


1.   Direct-to-public health services

2.   Health service providers

3.   Law enforcement, public safety, first responders, emergency response personnel

4.   Vulnerable population service providers

5.   Critical infrastructure service providers

6.   Food and agriculture service providers

7.   Transportation, infrastructure and manufacturing

8.   Sanitation

9.   Communications, information sharing and information technology (IT)

10. Non-health essential service providers


Further information is available online:  



COVID-19 Questions?


Northern Health (www.northernhealth.ca)

First Nations Health Authority (www.fnha.ca)

HealthLink BC (www.healthlinkbc.ca)

BC Centre for Disease Control (www.bccdc.ca)

Health Canada (www.canada.ca)

World Health Organization (www.who.int)