Port Renfrew is asking the public not to visit the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File contributed/Portrenfrew.com)

Port Renfrew aims to keep visitors away to avoid spread of COVID-19

Gas station and store have reduced access while beaches, marinas and campground are closed

Weeks after Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation first asked non-residents to postpone visiting, the region has taken further steps to ensure residents’ safety.

Kyle Van Delft, emergency program coordinator for the Pacheedaht Nation, said the gas station in Port Renfrew has restricted access to the convenience store and is only serving propane and gas. The San Juan Market has also moved to a delivery and take-out style of service, rather than having people come in to the store.

“As unfortunate as it sounds, right now there is really no need for people to come and visit the area,” said Van Delft, adding that the campground, beaches, marinas, Soul Creek Lodge and all other accommodations and businesses are closed as well.

“Not only have we asked that non-residents don’t visit the region, but we also are asking our residents to try not to leave the community,” said Van Delft. “Should the virus start transmission within the community, the effects would be devastating, especially for such a small population. We are just trying to keep the public safe and healthy.”

ALSO READ: Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht Nation close communities to visitors amidst COVID-19 fears

Van Delft said as part of the COVID-19 response, groceries are being delivered biweekly to residents to try to discourage community members from going to town.

Port Renfrew has a population of 140 people, while the Pacheedaht Nation is around 200, with one general store and a small volunteer firefighter department of 16 people.

Mike Hicks, CRD director for the Juan de Fuca electoral district, explained that right now, everyone is in survival mode trying to wait out the storm that the pandemic has created.

He noted the community has put up signs indicating they will only serve locals, and have been very sincere about practicing social distancing.

“With a situation like this you can either fight against the waves or you can hunker down and wait,” said Hicks. “And that is what Port Renfrew has done. They’ve thrown down their anchor and they are waiting for the storm to pass.”

Both Van Delft and Hicks said they are working closely with the provincial and federal government and are taking things day by day, but for the foreseeable future, these measures will remain in place.

“We are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best,” said Hicks.

For further information on COVID-19 in Canada, please visit canada.ca.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read