People in Victoria need to stop flushing sanitary wipes down the toilet, according to mayor Lisa Helps.

During her daily COVID-19 announcement, mayor Helps addressed an issue that is affecting front line public works staff who are working to keep the city clean: toilets.

Helps says the city’s sewage system is starting to get clogged up due to people flushing sanitary wipes down their toilets.

“I cannot be any clearer in the message I’m about to deliver: Do not flush any type of wipe except toilet paper down the toilet,” said Helps.

She points out that a clogged sewer system creates an unsanitary environment that could pose a risk of COVID-19 transmission for frontline public works staff.

During her briefing, mayor Helps also applauded federal and provincial financial assistance packages announced earlier today, including measures like moratorium on evictions and a freeze on rent hikes.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

According to the latest update, there are now 659 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 47 on Vancouver Island.

The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic. This was followed by a $5 billion relief package announced by the B.C. provincial government.

This includes a $2,000/month package for four months for all Canadians who have lost income due to COVID-19, and $500/month assistance package for renters in B.C..

The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C., closure of all bars and restaurants, and a moratorium on evictions among other steps to enforce social distancing measures.

Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.

U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada has been temporarily banned as of March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 464,683.

Over 20,900 people have died from the illness and 113,802 have made a full recovery.