COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Health and Non-Health Related FAQs

Where can I find the latest COVID-19 related information and updates?

COVID-19 is a health matter, overseen by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, including how and when they communicate and share information. Below are some helpful links to help you stay up-to-date with the latest information:

Official Twitter Accounts can often be the fastest way to get the latest information:

Trusted Health Authorities: 

City of Nanaimo: 

The City of Nanaimo will continue to provide updates to the City’s Response to COVID-19 page as well. These updates are also posted regularly to the City's homepage, on the City's website, as well as the City's Facebook and Twitter platforms.

I have COVID-19 related questions, who can I call?  

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada has created a toll-free phone number (1-833-784-4397) to answer questions from Canadians about COVID-19.
  • The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical info about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. at 1-888-COVID19.
  • The BC Ministry of Health has s a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available via HealthLinkBC (8-1-1).

For the latest updates and information regarding COVID-19 please go to the BCCDC's website

I am a senior and need support during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Who can I call?

For the elderly living at home, the province has launched a new phone line and website to support you. Please call 2-1-1 and you will be connected with people who can offer support, which will include meal delivery, help with cooking, delivery of groceries and medications, and more. More information is available on the BC 211 website:

I think I may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?   

According to the BC Ministry of Health, if you are experiencing the following symptoms: a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing you are strongly urged to to self-isolate for 14 days. You can check your symptoms online through the BC Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool found here:

Island Health has opened a COVID-19 screening clinic in Nanaimo. The clinic is open for those who have been referred by their primary health provider or by an 8-1-1 nurse.

What do I do to stop the spread of COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eye, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough using the bend of your elbow or a tissue.
  • Practice social distancing. 
  • If you have to go out, avoid crowded places and close contact with anyone, especially if they have a fever or cough.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  • If you feel sick, check your symptoms online using the BC Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool.
  • You can also download a COVID-19 app with a built-in self-assessment tool, the latest updates, trusted resources and alerts from the App Store or  Google Play. If you don't have a smart phone, you can use the web version of the app.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Are there any cases of COVID-19 in Nanaimo? 

The BC Ministry of Health and the Provincial Medical Health Officer are not releasing that information.

Provincial Orders & Notices

Where do I go to find Orders and Notices from the province? 

You can go to the BC Government's page on Orders & Notices:

    With the ban on gatherings of 50 people or more, can I still go for a walk in the park?

    On March 16, 2020, the Provincial Medical Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued an Order on Mass Gatherings, which banned all gatherings of 50 people or more. Dr. Henry has noted in her press conferences that if people have to go outside that they must do so with their immediate family, or with the people they live with, and practice both social and physical distancing.

    With the ban on gatherings of 50 people or more, what does this mean for businesses? Is the City monitoring business activities around this?

    On March 17, 2020, BC’s Medical Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, declared a Public Health Emergency. With this declaration, bars and nightclubs were ordered to close too. Restaurants and cafes must maintain social distancing or provide service only through delivery and pick up. Other businesses must incorporate measures to maintain social distancing for the health of their workers and patrons. 

    Monitoring private business activities is not within the City’s jurisdiction. The City has closed its facilities to the public for the health of the community. 

    What qualifies as an essential services under the Emergency Program Act? 

    You can find the list of the essential services on the BC government's COVID-19 Provincial Support page here:  

    Government Support for Businesses and Workers 

    Where do I go to find information for employers, employees, and others impacted by COVID-19?

    Below are some resources that businesses, employees, and others may find helpful.

    Local: Provincial: Federal:

    Business with the City

    Is the City still open for business?

    Yes, all City services will remain operational and staff will conduct business online, via conference calls, virtually or, where necessary, by appointment only. Online services and MyCity are available on the City website. As well, residents may call our general line at 250-754-4251, Public Works at 250-758-5222 or Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-756-5200 to speak to someone, during regular business hours. 

    Public Works

    Will my garbage and recycling still be picked up?

    Yes, City services are operating as normal. This includes garbage/recycling collection, water supply, sewer, drainage, roads, etc.

    Please help keep sanitation workers safe by throwing the following items in the garbage:

    • Disposable wipes
    • Used Kleenex
    • Any other paper soiled with human fluids or disinfectants/cleaners

    These are challenging times, and we recognize your household’s curbside waste volumes may be affected. All households are encouraged to follow good waste management practices: properly sorting recyclables and organics, rinsing recyclable containers so they are free of food residue and saving space by flattening cardboard boxes and other bulky recyclables. Everyone should follow Safe Waste procedures: Bag all used tissues, disposable wipes and any other personal hygiene items, and always dispose these items in the garbage.

    Use the tools available on the Nanaimo Recycles app available for free download from the App Store and Google Play as well on the Garbage and Recycling Calendar page on the City website.

    Please note: We are not taking any new cart exchange requests at this time. When our front counter services resume normal operations, we will begin accepting cart exchange forms and payments. We will continue deliveries to newly occupied homes that do not have an existing set of carts. Our apologies for inconvenience this may cause.

    Are recycling depots open?

    Some recycling depots within Nanaimo are closed, or may be operating with limited services. Please call the depot before you visit. In the case of depot closures, please store your recyclables until further notice, and practice good recycling standards of rinsing containers, and flattening boxes and other bulky recyclables.

    Please do not put refundable beverage containers into curbside waste collection carts. If you do not have room to hold onto your beverage container recyclables, there are many Empties 4 Food donation bins across Nanaimo, including some outside the Regional Recycling Hayes Road location. Visit the Loaves & Fishes website for more information.

    The "What Goes Where" tool on the Nanaimo Recycles App has up to date information on which depots are open. Download the free app from the App Store or Google Play. If you don't have a smart phone, you can find the information on the Garbage and Recycling Calendar page on the City website.


    Is the landfill still open?


    Yes, the regional landfill on Cedar Road remains open with regular operating hours. Do not visit the landfill or other depots if you are in quarantine or self-isolation related to COVID-19. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep staff and public safe, avoid using cash when possible and consider delaying your visit to the landfill and recycling depots, unless absolutely necessary. 


    Parks, Recreation and Culture

    What Parks, Recreation & Culture programs have been cancelled? 

    All registered programs, drop-in programs, events and facility rentals are cancelled, until further notice.

    Which City of Nanaimo facilities are closed?

    All City of Nanaimo-operated facilities are closed.

    Are City of Nanaimo parks and trails closed?

    At this time most parks and trails will remain open with the exception of playgrounds, sport courts (hockey, lacrosse, pickle ball, volleyball, basketball, tennis), skateboard parks, Steve Smith Bike park and four gated dog parks - Beban, Wardopper, St. George Ravine and Northfield dog parks. Washroom facilities in City parks are open and maintained by staff. Please practice physical distancing should you or you and your immediate family use any of our parks.

    Are City of Nanaimo playgrounds closed?


    Yes, playgrounds in City of Nanaimo parks are closed. 


    Are sports fields open?

    All sports field rentals are cancelled, however fields remain open for casual use, as long as you follow the public health Orders

    When will the City Recreation facilities re-open?
    Following direction from the BC Medical Health Officer, recreation facilities are closed until further notice. City personnel are monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it continues to evolve.  As this is a health matter, overseen by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, we will continue follow recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Health Authority and respond accordingly.

    Will I receive a refund for any registered programs?

    Yes, credits and refunds will be processed as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.

    Will I receive a refund for the facility rental I booked?

    Yes, credits and refunds will be processed as soon as possible.

    Will I receive a refund for my ActivePass?

    We will be refunding 12 month and 1 month passes. Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture staff will be contacting pass holders regarding your pass. We appreciate your patience. 

    Emergency Notification System

    COVID-19 is a public health matter that falls under the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada and provinces. In BC, the province is taking the lead on communicating information related to this public health emergency in order to ensure that there is a centralized approach for coordinating this matter as well as for message consistency. As a result, municipalities are relying on the BC Government to continue to share and disseminate COVID-19 information with British Columbians. Below are some helpful links to help you stay up-to-date with the latest information:

    Official Twitter Accounts can often be the fastest way to get the latest information:

    If an emergency condition emerges, within the City of Nanaimo’s boundaries, where this alert system is required, it will be deployed. The City continues to encourage residents to sign up for Voyent Alert and ensure we have the most updated information on how to reach you.

    Last updated: March 31, 2020

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