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Posted: March 23, 2020

Service BC centres remain open

To align with recommendations from the provincial health officer, Service BC is taking action to limit the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus for citizens and staff.

Service BC centres are remaining open throughout the province to connect people to core services and supports during this uncertain time. In order to ensure people’s health and safety, staff at Service BC centres are taking extra steps to regularly sanitize public and office spaces, and are modifying reception areas to support social distancing.

During the first hour of business, vulnerable citizens – including 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.

Many government organizations are modifying their face-to-face supports due to the pandemic. Service BC is working closely with its partner agencies to identify the core programs and services that will continue to be available at Service BC centres, which includes locations in Cranbrook, Fernie and Invermere, as well as Creston and Golden.

These include:

* income assistance and disability assistance;

* residential tenancy;

* BC Services Card;

* drivers’ licensing;

* Affordable Child Care Benefit;

* Medical Services Plan (MSP); and

* forest-worker support programs.

A full list of available services at each Service BC centre is available online, along with information on hours of operation at each site. In addition to physical offices around the province, Service BC supports citizens through online, telephone and text channels.

People are asked to call a Service BC centre, rather than coming into an office, if:

* they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, including coughing, shortness of breath and fever;

* they have a sick family member or have been around someone who is sick; and/or

* 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):
* Phone (toll-free) – 1 800 663-7867 (available in 110 languages)

* SMS text – 604 660-6421 (English only)

* 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:
* Phone (toll-free) – 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) (available in 110 languages)

* SMS text – 604 603-0300 (English only).

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