Service BC offices remain open across the province with measures in place to ensure social distancing. Residents are encouraged to use online services. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Service BC offices remain open with social distancing measures, first hours of business for vulnerable

The first hour priority service given to seniors and people who have underlying health conditions

Service BC offices will remain open across the province with reception areas modified to support social distancing and the first hour of business set aside for vulnerable citizens as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds.

Seniors and people who have underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems — will now receive priority service by calling their local Service BC centre to make an appointment, the Ministry of Citizens’ Services noted Monday, adding many government organizations are modifying their face-to-face supports due to the pandemic.

A full list of available services at each Service BC centre is available online, along with information on hours of operation at each site.

Read more: COVID-19 World Update, March 23: Foreigners barred in Hong Kong

In addition to physical offices around the province, Service BC supports citizens through online, telephone and text channels, the ministry noted.

People are asked to call a Service BC centre, rather than coming in to an office, if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, including coughing, shortness of breath and fever; if they have a sick family member or have been around someone who is sick; and/or if they have not yet completed the 14-day isolation period after traveling abroad.

Adapting its approach will help Service BC support its employees, while also ensuring that citizens throughout B.C. – especially those most vulnerable – continue to have access to the core services they need most.

Citizens can get help and access government services through Service BC’s Provincial Contact Centre from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time), Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) by Phone (toll-free) – 1 800 663-7867 (available in 110 languages), by SMS text – 604 660-6421 (English only) and by telephone device for the deaf – 711

New non-medical COVID-19 telephone and text lines help people connect to community supports, as well as programs and services from the provincial and federal governments. These options are available from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week by phone (toll-free) – 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) (available in 110 languages) or by SMS text – 604 603-0300 (English only).

Read more: Feds launch ad campaign urging social distancing, hygiene during COVID-19 crisis



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