B.C. released a list of essential services on Thursday, with many delivery services on the list.
“The need for our work is high, and it’s great to be able to work in this time, but it’s hard to keep staff willing to work,” said Paul Sheikh, who runs Time Courier Services, a small local courier company.
Shiekh has noticed a difference in how he and his drivers, who are taking all the necessary social distancing precautions, are treated by the public.
The many companies he delivers for continue to rely on his services, but as staff become more wary about travelling to various locations, it's becoming harder to keep his services operating, which includes delivering medication.
His company also delivers supplies to BC Hydro and groceries. Other services that deliver groceries, food, and goods to businesses and residences are deemed essential.
“What we do is very important and I wouldn’t want to shut down. But it’s difficult and we’ve had to reduce staff,” said Shiekh. "I just ask that people be more caring for the people out delivering at this time."
Both public and private mail services are deemed essential, and for the most part continue as normal.
Canada Post has reduced hours at local post offices and asks people to follow social distancing.
Companies such as Purolator are still delivering to drop-off locations and around town. Trail Leclerc said there are still five trucks operating in Fort St. John, but pick-ups and drop-offs are being done out the back door of its building.
“We’ve reduced hours, and everyone involved is limiting contact with others and exposure, but people are still able to receive their packages as normal."
The province has also deemed private transportation services as essential.
Cold Shot, the bus service that travels to and from Grande Prairie, has had to drop down to just two days a week instead of five. There's been a drop in the number of people taking the bus to Fort St. John, but the normal number departing, Leclerc said.
Here is a list and description of the delivery services deemed essential:
manufacturers and distributors (to include service centres and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations;
truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and municipal and provincial services;
postal services, including both public and private mailing, shipping, logistics, courier, delivery services and post office boxes;
local, regional, and provincial delivery services, including but not limited to businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to business and residences and mailing and shipping services;
services to support and enable transportation, including highway, road, bridge maintenance and repair;
services that facilitate the transportation of essential supplies, personnel and services, including port/waterfront operations, road, air and rail operations;
facilities supporting interprovincial and intra-provincial delivery of goods, including truck scales, commercial vehicle inspection stations, brokerages, truck towing and repair services, commercial cardlock fuel providers, truck and rest stops;
private transportation services, such as taxis, ride-hailing, helicopter, aircraft and marine vessels;
public transportation services under rules for physical distancing or other recommendations from the PHO;
businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services, such as clearing snow, response to collisions and completing needed repairs to transportation systems;
food processing, manufacturing, storage and distribution of foods, feed products and beverages.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.