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 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

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read