At United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV), the health and safety of our communities is our priority.

We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as the World Health Organization is now terming it a pandemic.

Given that social distancing is being advised wherever possible to help contain the spread of this virus, many people will be spending more time in self isolation, telecommuting, and choosing to stay home away from large crowds.

We know you may have questions about what we are doing to keep our community healthy, and we want to share the actions we’re taking to help.

Right now we are working to provide consistent practices, messaging, and responses on the pandemic to the social services sector.

Office Closure

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 and support efforts to promote social distancing, United Way’s office will be closed to the public effective March 17, 2020, until further notice.

As a duty of care organization, we recognize our role in ensuring all citizens in the Greater Victoria area get the support they need during this critical time. As such, most United Way team members will be working remotely and will continue to be available by email, phone, or virtually.

Events

United Way public events scheduled for March and April have been cancelled, postponed, or will be accommodated online. Events scheduled for May or later will be determined in the coming weeks.

Social Isolation – You Aren’t Alone

During this time of social isolation, it could lead to feelings of disconnection so here are some ways to stay in touch with family and friends while keeping yourself and your community safe.

Now is a good time to start a contact phone list in your community of folks that need extra support. Consider starting a Facebook group to share information and resources. Feeling connected is vital to our well-being.

Reach out and let people know you’re thinking about them.

This can be as simple as:

  • Making time with friends for real time phone conversations
  • If you’re online use Skype or Zoom to check in
  • Send messages of support through social media
  • Check in over text
  • Get some fresh air and invite a neighbour along. Getting outside is still safe and encouraged.
  • Go to trusted news sources for information

Concerns surrounding COVID-19 are at an unprecedented level across the globe. Please get your information from the following:

For everyone

bc211 http://www.bc211.ca/

Self-assessment tool https://covid19.thrive.health/

Island Health information https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/diseases-conditions/novel-coronavirus-information

Updates from BC Housing https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19

HealthLink BC https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19

BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/

Government of Canada, being prepared https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html?topic=tilelink

Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/bulletin/20200320/covid-19stress-management.pdf

Government of BC Preparedness Response https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support

For service providers

Updates from BC Housing https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19

Government of BC’s Childcare Response https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/covid-19-information 

For employers

WorkSafe BC https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/health-and-safety/what-employers-should-do

World Health Organization, Getting your workplace ready https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf

Government of Canada, advice for workplaces https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html?topic=tilelink#a5

Our Greater Victoria community has proven countless times that we are strongest during our most difficult times. Pulling together and supporting one another is what we do. Please take care of yourself. And thank you for taking care of one another!