Communities such as Duncan, North Cowichan, and Ladysmith, as well as the Cowichan Regional District face an enormous challenge in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples says in the past week they had to rapidly scale back operations without cutting important services.

She says city staff needed to create and implement a plan and work with the emergency operations team of the regional district on “how to scale back operations,” and how to keep people safe.

Mayor Staples says the leadership group in the Cowichan region is meeting today to determine the next steps, and to see what else is needed and what gaps have to be filled.

Staples also says there are “a lot of community organizations and community groups that are filling in and coming together so beautifully to take care of people who are isolated or vulnerable, taking care of each other really.”

Staples says they’re trying to keep the community updated daily as things change.

She says municipal leaders across the province are keeping in close contact with the provincial government regarding the needs of communities.