Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The City of New Westminster has taken further precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by declaring a local state of emergency.

This action enables the City to act faster and access critical resources to help respond more efficiently to the ever-changing situation. The community should not see this as a cause for concern, but rather a proactive step to ensure citizens are being looked after with all available resources.

  • Closures

    View all City facility and amenity closures.

    The Belmont Street Parklet is closed.

    All dog parks and artificial turf fields are closed.
     
    All City playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, skate and all-wheel parks will close until further notice. Public washrooms will remain open to the public and are being cleaned with increased frequency. 
     
    City Hall is closed to the public and essential services will be provided by appointment only.
     
    Registered Spring Break camps at our recreation facilities and Anvil Centre have been cancelled.
     
    All community centres and public facilities, including the City Recycling Depot, New Westminster Public Library, Anvil Centre, New Westminster Police Department front counter, Animal Shelter, and Irving House are closed to the public.
     

    Exceptions:

    • All licensed childcare programs will continue to operate. Modifications and enhanced preventative measures to reduce the risk to participants and staff, including social distancing, increased cleaning and personal hygiene protocol will be implemented.
       
    • New Westminster Police Department and fire halls will remain operational. 


    Refunds will be provided for activities or rentals affected by the closure, and library due dates will be suspended until the end of April. For questions related to parks and recreation programs, please email  or call 604-526-4281. 

  • City Services

    Essential City Hall services are being made on an appointment basis. Please call City Hall at 604-521-3711 and you will be directed to the appropriate department.

    All inquiries and primary communication regarding building permits must be made by phone (604-527-4580) or email (). In person face-to-face meeting will be pre-arranged by appointment only. Inspections will continue, subject to site safety. 

    All advisory committee meetings have been cancelled until further notice. This includes the Advisory Planning Commission, New Westminster Design Panel, Community Heritage Commission, Board of Variance and Land Use and Planning Committee.

    Council has cancelled the March 30th public hearings, and will not be setting any new Public Hearings or Opportunities to be Heard until further notice.

    All City utilities, including water, sewer, waste collection and electrical operations will be maintained with appropriate staffing and service levels.

    City staff will continue to work and will be accessible by phone or email. The City will also continue to provide core public services that are essential to the health, safety and stability of the community. Police, fire and emergency services will continue and will not be compromised.

    The Q to Q ferry service suspended operations effective end of service day (8:00 pm) on Friday, March 20, 2020.

    Residents are encouraged to utilize the City’s e-government services. For more information, please visit www.newwestcity.ca/onlineservices

  • Compliance

    A COVID-19 compliance hotline and email have now been launched.

    The public can call 604-636-4343 or email  to report a concern about compliance with the latest public health orders, such as individuals using a city park feature that is now closed.

    Both the email and phone number will be monitored Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

  • Parks and Recreation Programs & Services

    All Parks and Recreation community centres and facilities are closed. Refunds are being processed for purchased services cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Some park features are also closed.

    All City parks and trails remain open to the public with signage to remind everyone to maintain social distance. Public washrooms will also remain open to the public and are being cleaned with increased frequency.


    CLOSURES

    Following the direction of provincial health authorities, New Westminster Parks and Recreation has closed the following areas to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is unknown when these areas will be permitted to reopen: 

    • recreation facilities and community centres
    • artificial turf fields
    • basketball and volleyball courts
    • dog parks
    • park playgrounds
    • skate and all-wheel parks 
    • Belmont Parklet 
       

    Cancellations & refunds

    Registered Programs – all registered programs, day camps, lessons, outtrips and workshops from March 30 to June 29 are cancelled and staff are processing refunds.

    Time Based Memberships – the Active 30, 90 and 365 passes have been extended by Parks and Recreation meaning the ‘time’ remaining on your pass will be preserved and available to you once the recreation centers have re-opened. During the Coronavirus closure period, all time based memberships are available for a prorated refund upon request.

    Rental Bookings – if you have any space bookings, please work with the recreation centre you booked the space through to re-schedule your booking or to request a refund.

    For questions related to Parks and Recreation programs, please email  or call 604.526.4281. 

     

  • Large Gatherings at City-run facilities

    All City-organized events with more than 50 people, or events that could potentially exceed 50 people, have been suspended as per the provincial health officer.
    This includes events organized by other organizations at our facilities or parks. This suspension will remain in place until May 30, 2020.
  • What the City of New Westminster is Doing

    The City has implemented our Pandemic Response Plan.

    This plan provides guidelines and actions to manage infection disease outbreaks. Containing the spread of the virus is a priority, and City maintenance staff have increased their cleaning protocols to ensure that high touch surfaces (door knobs, hand rails etc.) are being cleaned and disinfected frequently. Additionally, we will be providing hand sanitizer stations in our facilities.

    Signage promoting handwashing and precautions to prevent the spread of the virus are being posted in strategic locations within city facilities and open spaces.

    The City of New Westminster will continue to monitor and share information with the public through its various communication channels as the situation changes.

  • What You Can Do

    If you are not working as an essential service provider or front line response worker, please stay home. If you must leave your home, practice proper social distancing by avoiding crowds and staying 2 metres away from other people.

    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

    Learn more about what you can do to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

    If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, call 8-1-1 for an assessment. The Public Health Agency of Canada has created a toll-free phone number (1-833-784-4397) to answer questions from Canadians about novel coronavirus. 

    Visit the health agency websites listed below for accurate and up-to-date information. They also offer the information translated into other languages. please visit the following websites:

    BC Centre for Disease Control

    Fraser Health Authority

    Health Canada

    Translated information is available on the Fraser Health Website and the Healthlinkbc website.

  • Weekly Mayor's Message

    Read Mayor Coté's personal messages to the community.
    • Dear New Westminster,

      This past week has been one of the most trying weeks this community has ever faced. The COVID-19 crisis has affected people in many different ways, but it has affected us all. I have received countless emails, social media messages and phone calls since the crisis began and I have and will continue to read them all. This is the only way, during this period of physical distancing that I can stay in close connection with our community and truly understand the myriad of impacts the crisis is having. Please be patient and kind as I work to connect with all of you individually, but please continue to connect.

      During this past week the entire city operation has shifted towards maintaining essential services and responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We have and will continue to take our direction from the provincial health officer. It is not our job as a city to be the provincial health officer, but it is our job to educate the community and help enforce the directives that come from Dr. Bonnie Henry. Staff from police, fire, bylaws, parking, communications and parks will be working hard to ensure our community is educated, understands and is following the orders from the provincial health officer.

      Our focus right now has to be the health crisis and we are going to need everyone’s help. I need everyone to stay home as much as possible and limit trips out to only essential trips for work and shopping. Getting some fresh air for a walk in the neighbourhood is still important for our mental and physical health, but please practice safe social distancing and avoid busy locations and coming together in groups.

      I know there are some expectations in the community for me to puff out my chest and act like “Super Man”, but that is not my leadership style. My goal and intention is to bring out the best in our council, city staff and community. We have so many diverse skills in our community and we are going to need to tap into all of them to get us through this. I want our city's response to this crisis to be thoughtful, compassionate, and effective. Together we can do this. Together we will get through this.

      Love,

      Jonathan Cote

    • Dear New Westminster,

      I wanted to take an opportunity to connect with the community during these difficult times. I know there is a lot of anxiety and situations are changing daily. As a City, we are working hard to continue to provide essential services and support those most in need, with our focus on seniors and vulnerable populations. The majority of our community is at low risk, but the danger lies in how the virus spreads and how it can affect seniors and some of our more vulnerable populations. This is who we need to protect.

      A few months ago, very few of us knew terms such as “social distancing”, “self isolation”, and “flattening the curve”. Now these need to become a part of our daily lives. Each of us have a role to play in supporting the community to get through this, each one of us needs to do our part.

      This is difficult for me to say, but I do not have all of the answers and I don’t know exactly where this is going to go. I have been inspired by signs of support and the generosity that I am seeing in our community. These many acts are filling me with pride and hope. Our current focus needs to be on the immediate health crisis, but we know there are going to be longer term consequences.

      I am concerned about the local businesses in our community. I encourage people, while practicing social distancing, to find ways to continue to support our local businesses. This will be even more important when we move out of this crisis. 

      All levels of government will be releasing information to the public on a regular basis. Stay informed, as things are changing very quickly. Please take care of yourselves, stay vigilant, and strictly follow the guidance from health officials. Show love and support to those around you. If we can do this, I know our community can get through this, together.

      Love,

      Mayor Jonathan Coté