If you see a pair of people walking Willows Beach in blue T-shirts, you’ve spotted one of the District of Oak Bay’s new COVID-19 Ambassador Teams.
Some staff from Oak Bay Parks and Recreation have shifted into the ambassadorial role as members of the public enjoy the warmer weather on Oak Bay beaches and parks.
“It’s for education, not enforcement,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “They’ll be there to inform what’s available in Oak Bay parks and they’re happy to collect information. Basically, as we get into busy times they’re there as a resource.”
The teams will primarily focus on the Willows park/beach and Cattle Point areas and are there to provide public education to parks visitors regarding the provincial health officer’s physical distancing guidelines.
They’re identifiable by their blue Oak Bay Parks, Recreation & Culture shirts and name tags. The first team – Evan Hinshelwood and Meghan Roberts – started Friday morning at Willows and teams will now be working seven days per week, weather dependent.
“We will approach larger groups with a gentle reminder of protocols but we are also here to say ‘hi’ and to answer questions,” Roberts said. “Nothing mean and scary.”
“Willows and Cattle Point are the biggest destinations right now, with the biggest crowds, so that’s where they’ll be,” Murdoch said, “especially as the weather improves.”
Oak Bay is reminding residents that “we all need to continue to be responsible and accountable for the contacts that we have, especially for those more vulnerable in our families and our community.”
That means a continued effort to physically distance from others, stay home if sick, wash hands frequently, and continue to keep social and familial circles small to manage the chains of transmission.