In light of the uncertainty we all face with the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to let you know about the steps Ocean Wise is taking to ensure we are prepared.
The Ocean Wise head-office is located at the Vancouver Aquarium in B.C., Canada. The Government of Canada has urged all Canadians to stay home as much as possible. Following this direction, and with the health and safety of our staff, guests and animals top of mind, the Vancouver Aquarium will temporarily close to the general public and pause all other public programming and activities. We understand that our temporary closure has effects on Vancouver Aquarium visitors, members, staff and volunteers. We are taking steps to minimize the impacts as much as possible. Read more on vanaqua.org.
Our staff will continue to carry out our mission to care for marine life and inspire the global community to discover and explore our oceans. As Ocean Wise is a global organization many staff already work remotely. All staff who are set up to work from home have been asked to do so to allow essential animal care, building operation and security staff to stay on site at our headquarters.
The wellbeing and care of our animals will remain a top priority for us, and our incredible animal care team will provide extra enrichment activities daily. You can continue to keep an eye on them virtually through our live cams.
What you can do
There are proven actions that can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we encourage everyone to follow these steps as recommended by Health Canada:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Practice social distancing
- If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, or have traveled from a high-risk area, please call 811 and follow self-isolation recommendations.
As a self-supporting, non-profit association, we are dependent on the revenue generated from Vancouver Aquarium and the generosity of our donors to remain financially sustainable. We do not yet know the full implications this temporary closure will have on us. If you have the means to do so and would like to support us during this uncertain time, you can support our mission and work online.
As a science-based organization ourselves, we encourage everyone to refer to science-based sources of information on this virus. For additional information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 please visit the Government of Canada’s website. For more background information about COVID-19, please visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s website.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they available.
This remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation, and one that reminds us all of our responsibility to look out and care for our collective community. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we navigate this together.
Updated: March 16, 2020, 5 p.m.