The City of Williams Lake will be opening its emergency operations centre at the Williams Lake Fire Hall. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

City of Williams Lake activating emergency operations centre to prepare for COVID-19 response

Citizens encouraged to stay at home

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Williams Lake is activating its emergency operations centre (EOC) on Tuesday, March 24, but at a low risk level.

“As of today there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Williams Lake that the City has been made aware of,” corporate engagement officer Guillermo Angel told the Tribune Monday.

Public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday there are now 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health.

“Interior Health Authority (IH) would be the local agency that would be made aware of where confirmed cases are and the City and IH have a good working relationship and positive communication channels,” Angel said.

However, Angel added the City encourages all residents to practice self-isolation and social distancing methods, to leave home only if absolutely necessary and practice effective hygiene.

On Friday, March 20, the City closed all playgrounds.

Read more: COVID-19: Williams Lake closes playgrounds, while trails, public parks remain open

Activating the EOC is a proactive means of making sure there will be appropriate resources and a co-ordinated local plan to support B.C.’s response plan and to ensure essential services continue in the City.

Staffing levels have been reduced as a safety precaution and all available staff has been encouraged to work from home where possible.

Upon activation of the EOC there will be a dedicated phone line for residents to call with operational or non-medical related questions. City staff will provide answers and direction toward available resources. This phone line is 250-392-2364.

As well, the public can call 1-888-COVID 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for any non-emergency questions/concerns re: COVID. The 1-888-COVID19 line (1-888-268-4319) is to provide non-medical information or help people decide if they should seek testing. It also accepts text messages to 604-630-0300.

The Health Link 811 number is active, but callers may experience some delays.

The City will update its residents as soon as any developments occur. For up-to-date information regarding the local response to the COVID-19 situation, with relevant links to current information, visit

As of Monday evening, Angel confirmed the City does not intend to declare a state of emergency at this point.

Tuesday evening’s regular council meeting, March 24, will proceed but the public will only be able to tune in online.

The livestream of council meetings begin at 6 p.m.

Read more: Williams Lake regular council meetings to go live streamed beginning Oct. 22

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