Image for COVID-19 Updates as of March 14

Thank you for visiting our COVID-19 Informational Page. This page was created to help guide you to sources of information to assist you with your COVID-19 health and non-health related inquiries. Please see the links to important information and trusted sources below.

On this page:

COVID-19 Information

Get Daily Updates from the Government of Canada, BC Government and Health Authorities

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: 

Contact Trusted Authorities

  • 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 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:

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

Stop the Spread! 

  • 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.

What the City of Nanaimo is doing

COVID-19 is a health matter, overseen by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. This means that the City takes its direction from the Government of Canada, BC Government, and the BC Medical Health Officer; and, any measures taken by the City will be aligned with their Orders, directions, and recommendations.

To stay up-to-date on what the City is doing, please review the “Updates from the City of Nanaimo” section below which has the latest messages from the Mayor, statements, news releases, and more.

The City recognizes that during these unprecedented times, many in the community have questions and may not know who they need to contact to get the information they need. To help with this, the City created a COVID-19 FAQ page that we encourage you to read. Our COVID-19 FAQ page might have the answer to a question you have or the link to the government body that you have been looking for; especially if you are a business owner or someone who has been laid off. It also has answers to the most common Public Works and Parks, Recreation, and Culture related questions. 

In an effort to support social distancing and for the health of City employees and residents, the City has moved to doing business online or via conference calls.

City online services are available on the City website at

Please take the time to read through this page and our COVID-19 FAQ page. Should you still have questions, please call our General Line at 250-754-4251, public works at 250-758-5222 or Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-756-5200.

Summary of Actions, Including Closures 

  • On March 11, 2020, City staff took a proactive approach and initiated operational readiness meetings, which evolved to the activation of the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) at a level 1 on March 12, 2020 so that key staff could begin identifying and planning for the various stages of the City’s response to COVID-19. Members of the Senior Management team also updated Council of the efforts being made in the planning process on March 12, 2020.
  • On March 16, 2020 all recreation facilities were closed due to the Provincial Medical Health Officer's Order to cancel all gatherings of 50 or more people. As a result of this new Order, the City moved from a level 1 ECC to a Level 2.
  • As a measure to “flatten the curve” hoops from basketball courts have been removed and the following amenities have also been closed:
    • Sport courts (hockey, lacrosse, pickle ball, volleyball, basketball, tennis)
    • Skateboard parks
    • Steve Smith bike park
    • Four gated dog parks - Beban, Wardopper, St. George Ravine, Northfield
    • Recreation facilities
    • Playgrounds

Monitoring and Preparedness

  • The City continues to communicate with Health Emergency Management British Columbia (HEMBC) as well as other community partners.  
  • Staff are reviewing and updating the City’s comprehensive business continuity plans specific to this evolving situation.
  • As well, the City has a Pandemic Plan and an Emergency Response Plan that would become operational, if required. 

Burning Ban in Effect 

City of Nanaimo Fire Rescue will not be issuing any backyard burning permits this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Permits are normally issued to residents with properties greater then one acre and on Protection Island in April to dispose of large amounts of organic waste. Any that have already been issued are rescinded.

Small cooking fires such as camp fires will still be permitted on private property so residents can spend time outdoors. For full regulations on cooking fires, visit the Burning Regulations page.

Regular Fire Inspections Suspended 

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Nanaimo Fire Rescue has suspended regular fire inspections of businesses as a measure to help reduce potential the spread of the virus; however, Fire Inspectors will continue to investigate any reported fire hazards.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue would like to remind business and building owners that it is your responsibility to carry out the provisions of the BC Fire Code.

This Inspection Checklist has been provided to help you and your staff comply with fire safety regulations for the days and months ahead.

Updates from the City of Nanaimo

[Status of Large Gatherings at all City-Owned / Co-Managed Facilities following the Provincial Health Officer's Directive given on March 12, 2020]

The City of Nanaimo is currently reviewing all events and programs. Spring Break Camps and recreational classes run by the City will continue at this time as the number of participants are less than 250. This also means that arenas and swimming pools will be limited to a capacity of 250 at any one time. However, all gatherings with 250 or more people will be cancelled or postponed, as per the provincial health officer’s direction. 

City owned and co-managed facilities include:

  • Beban Park Recreation Centre
  • Bowen Park Complex
  • Nanaimo Ice Centre
  • Nanaimo Art Gallery
  • Nanaimo Aquatic Centre
  • Nanaimo Art Gallery
  • Oliver Woods Community Centre
  • Port Theatre
  • Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Please note that there are no changes to City operations and we will continue monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 and adjust our services and programming as needed. 


The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve.  The City of Nanaimo is monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 globally, nationally, locally and is proactively preparing for potential impacts on City operations and to our community. The City continues to communicate with Health Emergency Management British Columbia (HEMBC) as well as other community partners and will adjust our response based upon advice from public health officials.

Please note: The City of Nanaimo appreciates how overwhelming it can be with the amount of information circulating regarding COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a health matter which is overseen by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Any health related questions and comments should be directed to provincial health authorities such as the ones noted on this page. 

Last updated: March 31, 2020

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