Prince George residents, healthcare workers and hospital staff are getting a break on parking fees at the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC).
In conjunction with the B.C. government’s announcement today (March 30), Northern Health is temporarily offering free parking at the hospital as another effort in reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 in the city, region and the province.
There are now 14 positive cases in the authority, as per Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest update, with two new ones confirmed since Saturday (March 28).
“Pay parking machines require people to touch screens and buttons that may have been touched by someone previously,” Northern Health explains in a news release.
“Discontinuing the use of pay parking machines reduces the risk of potential spread of infection and also supports physical distancing measures that have been mandated by the Provincial Health Officer.”
On a regular basis, UHNBC parking fees are $0.50 per hour, three days for $18 or one week for $30; more options appear for visitors on the screen should they need to stay longer.
Northern Health says its working with Impark, the company that oversees the hospital's paid lot, to immediately start this suspension.
While this could be a factor in stopping the spread, the authority is reminding residents to practice proper crisis-prevention etiquette, such as washing your hands frequently, maintain at least a two-metre distance between others, to limit shopping for just the essentials and to stay home if you’re sick.
B.C. is nearing 1,000 cases of COVID-19 with a new total of 970 announced today.
- with files from Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters