Lax attitudes to COVID-19 triggers call for use of masks in Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Directors echo recommendations of B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

  • Jul. 22, 2020 2:00 p.m.

Concerned people are not heeding recommendations related to COVID-19, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board wants to see more masks on faces in busy spaces.

At their July 16 regular meeting, the board’s directors discussed concerns that citizens were becoming too lax with public health recommendations designed to keep transmission rates of the virus low. Though masks have not yet been made mandatory in the province, directors noted there has been a strong, repeated recommendation from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to wear them, particularly in situations where maintaining a two-metre distance from others is difficult.

“Dr. Henry has noted that masks add an extra layer of protection against transmission of the virus by acting as a barrier to help stop droplets from spreading,” stated the CSRD in a related media release.

In a Tuesday, July 21 joint statement, Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, referred to a recent spike of 30 new cases in the province, and commented on how a few missteps have led the curve of active cases to trend upwards.

Read more: Columbia Shuswap Regional District warns ‘dock hogs’ to follow time limits

Read more: North Shuswap health centre pleads for government funding

“Many of the new cases are a result of community transmission from an increase in social interactions this summer. This trend is a concern, but we can turn this trend around… ,” said Henry and Dix.

“We can stop transmission by seeing fewer people, only spending time with people we know, keeping a safe distance from others and using a mask when that is difficult. Let’s continue to follow these rules for safe social interactions.”

In addition to wearing masks, the CSRD stressed the importance following all other public health directives including the frequent washing of hands or use of an alcohol-based sanitizer,maintaining a two-metre distance, not touching one’s face, staying home if you are feeling unwell, and contacting 811 if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough or a loss of smell or taste.

More information and a self-assessment tool is also available online at: bc.thrive.health.

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