Victoria dentists, physiotherapists and restaurants prepare to open their doors
VICTORIA -- Dr. Stefan Picard is gearing up to reopen his downtown Victoria dental office soon, and is taking no chances keeping his staff and patients safe.
“We’re supposed to get guidelines in the coming week, but we’re trying to get before the curve, were trying to get ready for that,” he told CTV News Vancouver Island Thursday.
On top of Plexiglas in the waiting room and protective equipment like masks, gowns and face shields, he’s going to be installing zip-up screens in each room to prevent spread of the coronavirus. He will also be using vacuum machines to keep the rooms free of germs and the virus.
He hopes to have his protective gear in place and be ready to open by May 19, but says finding enough protective equipment remains a challenge.
“That’s a rare commodity right now; it’s hard to find all the masks and gowns and protective equipment we need,” he says.
Sandy Wilson is the owner of Arbutus Physiotherapy & Health Centre in Oak Bay. She also says getting enough protective masks to be worn by staff and patients is a challenge.
The masks are also an extra expense that will reduce profits once the office gets back to operation, but Wilson too is keen to open her doors by mid-May.
“It’s going to be different, but its going to be great,” she says. “Like I said, we’re thrilled to be able to help patients in the way we used top help them.”
And, although the province announced that restaurants can open for in-house dining by mid-May, most likely won’t be ready until June 1, according to Ian Tostensen, the CEO of the B.C Restaurant Association.
Tostenson thinks it would be a good idea to convert outdoor locations in downtown Victoria – like Bastion Square – into patio space, to help with physical distancing requirements and allow restaurants to stay afloat.
“I mean, Government Street would be great,” he says. “It’s quiet right now, it’s a great time to put some patios out. Patios don’t have to be attached to restaurants, necessarily. They could be on the sidewalk, or across the restaurants on the streets.”
The iconic Munro’s Books has been doing delivery and pickup only, but will be shifting to in store purchases by the end of the month.
Jessica Walker is the store’s managing partner. She says changes will be coming to how you shop there, including plans to ensure browsing is coordinated by appointment only.
“It’s not quite the same as popping into the grocery store as finding a book to read, so we want to give people time and also space,” Walker said.