The COVID-19 virus is making an impact on life in the Shuswap from the cancellation of events to the disappearance of toilet paper and other supplies from store shelves. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm)

The spread of COVID-19 virus making its mark in Salmon Arm

Efforts to curtail the virus include the cancellation of hockey games and more

The COVID-19 virus’ global spread is being felt locally in everything from the cancellation of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks’ playoff run to the swift disappearance of toilet paper from store shelves.

Local organizations including the City of Salmon Arm, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) and School District #83 say they are closely monitoring the situation.

Read More: Canada to close borders to most foreigners, but not to U.S., to slow spread of COVID-19

Read More: ‘Formal announcement’ on B.C. school openings or closures amid COVID-19 expected Tuesday

Salmon Arm Council has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, March 18, where it will discuss the impact that COVID-19 will have on city facilities.

The CSRD is not currently planning to close any of its facilities; a regional district representative said the organization is taking its cues from the Ministry of Health, which is not advising closures at this point.

A statement from Superintendent of Schools Peter Jory said the district would be using information from Interior Health and Health Canada to help it make decisions that will keep students and staff safe. The school district has not decided to close schools yet, while some jurisdictions including those in Ontario and Alberta have. As students are presently away on spring break, parents are being advised to stay up-to-ate on new developments in case school will not be resuming as planned on March 30.

Local grocery stores have seen shelves empty as people stock up as a precaution against possible quarantines or supply disruptions. A particular target of Salmon Arm shoppers has been toilet paper and hand sanitizer, with some stores having their stocks nearly depleted.

Read More: Number of COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region remains at two

Read More: COVID 19: Salmon Arm schedules meeting to plan future for city facilities

The number of people who have tested positive for the virus in B.C. has exceeded 100; the majority of cases have been located in the Lower Mainland but only two as of early this week were detected in the Interior Health region.

Travellers coming to or returning to Canada are advised to isolate themselves for 14 days following their arrival. Concerns over international travel led the School District #83 board to cancel a school trip planned for Eagle River Secondary students over the school’s spring break, even before the federal regulations restricting international travel came in.

Health Canada recommends social distancing and careful attention to hygiene in order to slow the spread of the virus. The health service says it is more important than ever that people practice regular handwashing and avoid touching their eyes nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Interior Health suggests that anyone who is concerned they might have been exposed to the virus should contact their primary care provider or call 8-1-1 to discuss whether COVID-19 testing is required. There is also a COVID-19 telephone information line available at 1-833-784-4397.

Read More: Revelstoke Mountain Resort closing due to COVID-19 fears

Read More: Canada’s main stock index hits 52-week low amid COVID-19 worries, drop in crude oil prices

Taking cues from the NHL and other pro leagues, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks’ playoff run was halted along with the rest of the BCHL season, just as the team finished celebrating its first-round win. Salmon Arm Minor Hockey announced an abrupt end to its teams’ seasons as well. The KIJHL also suspended its playoffs.

While many groups which had booked space at the Salmon Arm Rec Centre have cancelled, Salmon Arm Recreation General Manager Darby Boyd said there are currently no plans to close the facilities and in-house programs haven’t been suspended. The Shaw Centre was an emptier place than expected over the weekend with the Silverbacks’ home playoff games cancelled and the provincial ringette championships, which were expected to bring 450 athletes to Salmon Arm from March 13 to 15, were also cancelled.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for most Canadians but noted that it could change. Those 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions are at risk of more severe outcomes as the virus spreads.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boating Safety Week a chance to take stock of hazards on Shuswap Lake

Submerged logs, cold water and intoxicated captains are all safety concerns

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Columbia Shuswap Regional District office to begin phased reopening

Office will be open for four-hour days beginning next week

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

‘Alarmed:’ Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read