CRD shuts Jordan River campground, saying it can't meet contact-tracing requirements

The Capital Regional ­District closed Jordan River Regional Park campground on ­Wednesday, saying it can’t meet contact tracing requirements laid out in a public health order.

The oceanside campground west of Sooke, part of a 187-hectare regional park, is a popular place for surfers and campers on the South Island and is usually open all year.

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The CRD said the campground is “closed until further notice.”

Last week, Island Health issued an order saying all owners of campgrounds and RV parks must collect names and phone numbers of campsite users for contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Many of the campsites are filled with snowbirds from other parts of Canada who would have normally travelled to the southern U.S. or Mexico for the winter.

Island Health chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick, who issued the order on Nov. 13, said the information must be kept for 30 days.

“We need to do everything we can to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and we know effective contact tracing plays a significant role,” Stanwick said in a statement. “I ­appreciate the support of Tourism Vancouver Island in our collective efforts to help protect our families, friends and those who may be most at risk of contracting the ­COVID-19 virus during the ­winter months.”

Anthony Everett, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, said his members are educating visitors to follow public health orders and guidelines.

“We hope to see ­Vancouver Island strike a balance between health and safety and ­supporting the survival of our tourism industry, which is vital to Islanders,” said Everett.

Gethsemane Luttrell, director of public health protection and assessment with Island Health, said environmental health officers are visiting RV sites and campgrounds to ensure compliance with the order.

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