The public is urged to conduct all business with the Cowichan Valley Regional District over the phone or online to avoid in-person visits until further notice.

It comes after last week’s announcement from Dr. Bonnie Henry about the mandatory wearing of masks.

“I’ve asked the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to issue a requirement for the wearing of masks for all indoor public and retail spaces for staff and customers, except where eating or drinking,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry. “I have, for many, many weeks made clear the importance of wearing masks, particularly now, as one of the measures we have that can prevent transmission.”

CVRD Communications Manager  Kris Schumacher said this doesn’t change what the regional district was already doing to protect staff and the public.

“Instead of it (wearing masks) being recommended, it’s required to enter a CVRD building, whether that’s our offices at Ingram Street or any of our facilities, like our recreation centres,” said Schumacher.

Schumacher said anyone without a mask will be given one.

“We’re going to have disposable masks available at the entrance to our facilities, so anybody who comes to do business with us and doesn’t have a mask, will be provided with one, but it will be a requirement in order  to enter the facility and conduct business,” Schumacher said.

He said staff members who are able to work from home are not only being encouraged, but accommodated to do so.

The regional district said mask requirements surrounding physical activity at recreation centres is still being clarified.