This sign is displayed in the window at the AVI Courtenay office at 355 6th St. The contract for the Overdose Prevention Service, which was to close in March, has been extended to June 15. File photo

Overdose prevention service contract extended in Courtenay

Threatened service to continue until mid-June while long-term plan developed

Courtenay’s threatened overdose prevention site has got a reprieve.

The Overdose Prevention Service (OPS), which was due to be discontinued March 31, will continue to operate at the Courtenay office of AIDS Vancouver Island on Sixth Street until June 15.

Island Heath, and AVI Health and Community Services (AVI) made the announcement Monday morning.

“During this time, Island Health will develop a new model of overdose safety services in the Comox Valley that provides individuals with a safe location where they can use substances going forward,” a news release states. “This will be done in collaboration with stakeholders, which include community organizations and people with lived experience. The new model will also broaden the service to encourage more people to access overdose prevention services and other supports.”

Last month, Island Health announced the OPS will no longer be available in Courtenay because AVI lost its contract. The authority said it would continue to “define options for the provision of those services” after March 31.

The OPS began to operate in Courtenay in March 2017. Since then, AVI says the number of clients accessing harm reduction services has more than doubled.

An awareness march about the closure, which had been planned for Tuesday in Courtenay, has been cancelled.

The OPS continues to operate at 355 6th St. Monday to Thursday from 9-11:30 a.m. and from 1-3:30 p.m. It also runs from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Life mimics art for Island students who performed play about Spanish flu pandemic

Performing arts students see parallels between story from Unity 1918 and current health crisis

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Food safety a good practice amid COVID-19 concerns

BC Centre for Disease Control offers useful food safe information for households

Mitchell’s Musings: Parking tickets in a pandemic

Despite COVID-19 crisis, paid parking police is still going to get you

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Saanich councillor named one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25

Coun. Ned Taylor, three other young environmentalists from Greater Victoria on the list

Most Read