Too much information?
To help sort out local details, here is a compilation and update of some Salmon Arm closures and other COVID-19 developments in the city as of March 21, the third day of spring.
First, your weekend weather forecast for Salmon Arm to help guide any outdoor activities you might be planning: Mainly sunny Saturday with wind becoming northwest 20 km/h in the afternoon, a temperature high of 9C. Saturday night clear, increasing cloud before Sunday morning, low minus 6, minus 8 with wind chill. On Sunday, March 22, mainly cloudy with a high of 8C.
All Columbia Shuswap Regional District disposal facilities including landfills, transfer stations and recycling depots remain open, which includes the Salmon Arm landfill. Regarding closures, on March 20, the CSRD closed its office in Salmon Arm, but staff will continue to respond to emails and phone messages.
CSRD trails are open to the public, with a request to maintain social distancing.
On March 19 and 20, several city owned, operated or leased facilities were closed.
• Shaw Centre arena
• SASCU Recreation Centre
• Little Mountain Fieldhouse
• Memorial Arena Indoor Sports Complex
• fire halls – campfire permits are not currently required. See details. As always, fire crews remain ready to fight fires when needed.
• public works yard
• city hall – closed to the public but staff continue to provide city services. The public can use telephone and email to send in requests, ask questions and submit applications and paperwork. There is also a drop box at the front door of city hall.
• Salmon Arm Arts Centre
• 5th Avenue Seniors Activity Centre
• Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre on Hudson Avenue NE
• Salmon Arm Curling Club
• R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum
• lawn bowling facility
• horseshoe pits
• Salmon Arm tennis courts.
Salmon Arm Recreation programs and services were cancelled March 19 until further notice. Refunds may be issued at a later date; contact 250-832-4044 with questions.
Council meetings: The March 23 council meeting will go ahead as scheduled, open to the public to a maximum of 50, but residents are encouraged to watch the video that will be posted online afterwards. Livestreaming is not available.
• Salmon Arm library branch and all others in the Okanagan Regional Library system. All book drops are closed. You won’t be charged fines or penalties for the books you have out. All online resources are available 24/7 and can be accessed remotely using your library pass. Visit orl.bc.ca.
The city’s stated focus throughout the pandemic will be to keep residents safe and maintain essential services, which are defined as: the sewage treatment plant, the water treatment plant, the fire department and the RCMP.
Mayor Alan Harrison provided a video update on March 20.
Harrison also answered a couple of questions:
Why hasn’t the city closed non-essential businesses? Because the province has that power, not the city.
Harrison also said that although the province has determined that 50 is the threshold or maximum number of people who should meet in a group, he believes it should be two.
He said people can still go for walks; he and his spouse Debbie go together, but even when they pass someone walking, everyone maintains the two-metre distance.
The Shuswap Emergency Program suggests calling: 811 or 1-888-COVID19 for more information on COVID-19. Those who prefer to get information via text can use the number 604-630-0300. Online information and a self-screening tool are available at the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.