People have stepped up protocols in light of COVID-19 cases showing up in Qualicum Beach.
In recent weeks, there have been several public notifications of potential exposures which is a serious concern for a town with the oldest population in Canada.
Residents say the town’s streets are quieter, the feeling is different and people are taking COVID-19 precautions much more seriously.
“Oh definitely. It’s the only thing people are talking about,” said Paul Michaud, a resident.
Island Health says the central island region has the highest number of cases on Vancouver Island.
In Qualicum Beach, there was a COVID-19 case at a hardware store, the legion remains closed after a member tested positive, a possible exposure at Kwalicum Secondary school and there may be more.
“I’m surprised that it’s changing so quickly. [It] kind of means that it’s around. I’ve heard of a lot more cases than the three you mentioned,” said Michaud.
Patrick Weber, the past-president of the Qualicum Beach Seniors Activity Centre says the recent cases have everyone on high alert.
“I think it’s made us all a lot more aware. We’re being a lot more cautious taking the necessary steps to make sure everyone is protected,” said Weber.
He says social isolation will take a toll on seniors, especially for those that are single.
“At Christmas time it’s a time where they do like to get together and do like to socialize and for those people, it’s going to become a particular challenge,” said Weber.
Qualicum Beach’s mayor says with the town’s average age above 60, the community is at particular risk.
“We all know by the stats that we’ve seen that the older you are it seems to be the more susceptible you could be to the virus,” said Brian Wiese.
Wiese says everyone needs to be extra vigilant now.
“We all got a little bit lax. There are three cases, there are four cases on the island. We don’t really have to worry but guess what it’s back and we do have to worry so pay attention and we’ll beat this thing again,” said Wiese.