“Social distancing” has become the new buzzword around Victoria’s high-tech sector, according to the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council.
Robert Bennett, program director at VIATEC, said events have been cancelled and postponed while tech firms are having workers meet virtually and telecommute.
“Working from home is being strongly encouraged amongst most organizations, including VIATEC,” he said. “Tech workers are learning how to use technology to interact with their co-workers, customers and suppliers as the primary way of meeting with people, as opposed to a secondary approach.
“This may introduce a fundamental shift with how business meetings take place in the future.”
Tech conferences around North America have been cancelled in the wake of the spread of COVID-19.
— Andrew A. Duffy
Municipal councils eye spacing between seats
Municipal councils around the region are paying close attention to COVID-19 and whatever preventive measures can be taken.
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said meetings there will feature spacing between seats in council chambers.
“We’re now looking at, in the district, what we need to do to best protect our staff and the residents at large,” he said. “We, of course, are fully aware of the recommendations of our health officers to have frequent washing, avoid handshaking and contact, keep one to two metres distant.
“At the same time, we want to reassure our residents there’s no need to panic.”
In Oak Bay, council meetings are still being held as scheduled and members of the public are allowed to attend, but they are encouraged to instead watch meetings online via livestream and provide comments to council via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Likewise, Victoria hasn’t cancelled or rescheduled any council meetings, while Central Saanich is also going ahead as per usual.
Staff is looking at the situation, said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor.
“On the municipal side, obviously, we want to make sure our services are available to our residents.”
— Jeff Bell