General News · 17th March 2020
Bill Dougan / Gorge Harbour
I feel it is important to relay some information to community about how we are dealing with Covid-19 at Gorge Harbour Marina.
Our staffs health is paramount to us and all of our staff are working by choice, we feel that our staff and community are who we answer too first and foremost.
If our staff gets to the point where they are not comfortable working they will not need to, Tammy and I will carry on if the situation came to that but we would shorten hours.
We have cancelled any tourist visits to the Resort for the next month . Our lodge, cottage and trailers that are rentable will be left empty for essential service people who may need to come over to assist with an outbreak on Cortes .
We are closing the Floathouse Restaurant until April 17th. If there is a need for the Floathouse to be open to serve the community then we will open it if staff is willing.
We cannot stop guests from just showing up, either in campers or boats, and we will deal with each arrival individually. We will use our best judgment but we feel it is imperative to keep Cortes Island Covid 19 free.
We are sanitizing the hell out of everything that people touch regularly. Door handles, gas pump, sinks, toilets our hands over and over again, the pin pad machine. Use tap please!!
If an outbreak occurs on Cortes we will remain open but we will take more extreme measures to diminish any person to person contact.
About two weeks ago we started to bring up our stock levels higher, anticipating challenges in the supply chains ahead and thank god. By the end of this week we will have increased our inventories to summer levels. This is enough food if all shipments were to stop for about 3 weeks , more than enough time to find solutions.
Our fuel tanks are completely full. Car gas is our biggest challenge. We currently hold 8000 Liters of car fuel, enough to get us through a busy week in the summer and about 2.5 weeks in the off season. We have 22 000 liters of marine mid grade gas stocked
And 10 000 liters of diesel. Both of those amounts are enough to get the island through another 6 weeks of fuel so Cortes should be good for gas. It may be prudent to stock up but please no excess purchases will be allowed.
Propane we carry 4500 liters, enough for about 4 weeks at this time of year.
We have already resupplied many of our dry goods , and this week we are bringing in large amounts of fresh meat and long lasting produce.
We will be freezing much of our meat because we worry about supply shortages down the road and by bringing in large amounts we will ensure a steady supply .
All of our frozen meat in store therefore, will be fresh from this week.
We will also have large stocks of potatoes , apples, beets, carrots , yams , etc . It may be wise to stock up on a little bit of these veggies so you ensure a steady supply as well.
I anticipate shortages of fresh vegetables down the road, if you have a garden plant it, if you have extra space invite a neighbour to share with you. Local farmers if you have fresh produce to sell we will buy it if you have an abundance.
The immediate impact is what we all need to focus on but there will be other challenges down the road that we have to be aware of.
We employ 60 people at our peak, with a payroll of close to million dollars, most of that occurs from April – October, there is going to be a potentially substantial loss of income
for many people. These people are our neighbours, our friends, our family and they may need assistance. We will open for regular business when the community feels the island is ready.
At this time we are not accepting reservations for the next month but our summer season is completely full with bookings , we will make decisions each month about the next month and how we
will proceed. The longer it takes the virus to peak in North America, the better. If that happens there will be fewer infections, less death and fewer interruptions further down the road. A slow peak takes us to sometime into late June or July.
We feel strongly that we need to make sure that the most vulnerable on our island are taken care of. People are going to experience money shortages but no one needs to experience food shortages. We will set up a donation spot in the store here at Gorge Harbour.
Feel free to donate monies and we will match whatever is donated for when the time comes and people need assistance. We will be contacting the food bank on the island to coordinate this endeavor.
I wish to invite all the food stores on the island to do the same, and help ensure that no one on Cortes goes hungry. Preparing for what is to come is paramount.
We are not perfect at Gorge Harbour and sometimes we screw up, if you have any productive criticism when it comes to how we are operating at this challenging time let us know your concerns.
We want to be an asset to the community in this time and if there’s something we can do to help , ask.