Update August 25, 2021
As of Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season.
A new order from the provincial health officer will require people 12 and older to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. These settings include:
- malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
- liquor and drug stores;
- airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
- restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated);
- on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
- areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided;
- common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity;
- common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations; and
- inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4-12.
This temporary order will be reassessed as the B.C. vaccine card requirement is fully implemented in certain social and recreational settings, as announced on Aug. 23.
“As transmission of COVID-19 increases in B.C., primarily among unvaccinated people and in part due to the Delta variant, it’s important to take this extra temporary step to make indoor public spaces safer for everyone,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We need to continue doing the things that protect us, including wearing masks in indoor, public areas, practising hand hygiene regularly, staying away if we are sick and keeping a respectful distance from people. And most important of all, every person should get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
For the purposes of this order, a mask or face covering is defined as a medical or non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, as there is an opening below the mouth.
Update Step 3 starts July 1, 2021
Yeah!! What does this mean for Aquariums West? Well, all of the staff will still be wearing masks until 14 days after they have received their second vaccinations and we will be allowing more and more people to shop in the store at one time. Mask wearing is recommended by Public Health for everyone 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.
Update Monday March 22, 2021
We are resuming instore shopping and store hours 12-6 daily. Everyone in the store is healthy! Phew! A representative for the Ministry of Health for British Columbia commended Aquariums West for our handling of the positive Covid 19 test result in the store and said they wished every small business would do what we did.
We had a positive Covid 19 result in the store on March 12.
What did we do?
We closed for instore shopping for 10 days. This was to ensure that the remainder of staff, who all tested negative on March 13, 2021 did not developed any symptoms.
Update Friday March 19, 2021
The weekend will continue with online and curb side pick up between the hours of 12-5. We will be back to the New Normal on Monday, March 22 open 12-6 for in store and online shopping. It may seem to some that we are being overly cautious. Better safe than sorry. It is far more important to have a healthy staff than risk everyone's health for some sales. Just not worth it in our opinion.
Update Monday March 15, 2021
The rest of the staff have now been tested and the results are all negative. We will continue to offer online shopping as per usual. Call 604-669-9249 to arrange for pick-up at either the front or back of the store. We are planning to allow in store shopping next Monday March 22/2021.
Stay tuned for updates.
Update Saturday March 13, 2021:
In spite of our best efforts, intentions and protocols we have just learned that there has been a positive Covid-19 exposure in our store. The last day the employee worked was Wednesday March 10. The rest of the staff are being tested today March 13. Although this closure has not been mandated by the BC Health Department, we believe that it is more important to be safe than sorry. We expect to offer curb side pick on Monday, March 15 and will announce this once the test results are in.
To protect ourselves and our customers we require that you must wear a mask while shopping in the store. If you don't have one, we have some disposable masks available.
At Aquariums West we are taking every precaution to protect our customers and ourselves from the virus that is circulating our world. Our goal is to keep EVERYONE safe, simple as that! This may mean taking a little bit longer to do your shopping. We apologize if your wait is long. Most of you are understanding and appreciative of the lengths that we have taken to keep everyone safe. Thank you so much! But there are those very few who insist on not wearing a mask or monopolizing the staff regardless of the people waiting in line and are offended if asked to wear a mask or to move along. It is extremely stressful for the staff to maintain their cool throughout the day. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to go back to the way it was. We don't like this just as much as you don't like shopping this way.
We remain focused on continuing with the best possible care for all the fish, plants, reptiles and small animals that currently live at Aquariums West. Being designated as an essential service means we are open from 12-6 daily so that you can take care of your animals too. Our pets are oblivious to the situation that the world is experiencing, and no one wants to see them suffer.
Payment accepted will be by tap only.
Things might look a little different in the store. We have put new procedures in place to keep everyone safe. Please wait until it is your turn and a staff member will welcome you into the store. We are currently managing the number of people in the shop (6) to ensure everyone has enough space to feel comfortable. We will use our discretion when allowing small family units in and may consider them as 1 customer.
For your safety and ours, we are wearing masks and require that you do too. If you arrive without a mask, we have them for you.
Here are some guidelines:
- 6 Customer groups will be permitted at one time
- Please don't arrive in large groups
- Masks are required
- If you do not feel well, please come back when you are better
- Use the hand sanitizer as soon as you enter
- Respect distancing and maintain 2 meters between yourself and others
- Please limit the things you touch to the things you buy
- Keep your visit to no more than 30 minutes
- Have your questions prepared beforehand and be aware that others are waiting to enter the store. This may not be the time for 1,001 questions!
- Exit by elevator, 2 people or one family group at one time only.
To make your shopping experience safe we have installed plastic shields around the cash register. We clean and sanitize all touch surfaces such as the door handles, stair hand rails, counters and pin pad several times a day.