The B.C. government says it is keeping Service BC centres open amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“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,” reads a statement. “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.”
Service BC has identified the core programs and services that will continue to be available at the centres. 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 in to 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) and 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) and SMS text - 604 603-0300 (English only)
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