Vernon mayor feels for those infected with COVID-19 in Kelowna

‘Social distancing outside one’s own social bubble needs to be done in a very cautious way,’ Mayor Victor Cumming says

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kelowna cluster grows, Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said it’s a time to remain diligent and follow the orders of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We need to be extremely careful and social distancing outside one’s own social bubble needs to be done in a very cautious way,” the mayor said Thursday, July 23.

“The virus can be anywhere and we have relearned this, if people have forgotten.”

Seventy-eight cases linked to the Kelowna cluster were reported Wednesday, July 22 — 66 of those are individuals from the Interior Health region, others are from Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.

One additional case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed among Kelowna General Hospital employees bringing the number of cases among health-care workers to seven.

Roughly 1,000 people are self-isolating across British Columbia after coming into contact with someone who has contracted the virus.

READ MORE: ‘Everyone needs to do better’: Kelowna Mayor on city’s rising COVID-19 numbers

“My thoughts are with those who have ended up with it in Kelowna and area,” Mayor Cumming said. “It’s not a nice to thing to have at all.”

“It’s particularly hard,” Mayor Cumming said. “We’re in the Okanagan summer at its best and it’s been a shut-in winter and spring and now we have glorious weather and people are wanting to be outside and connect with friends and new friends.”

READ MORE: Interior Health identifies COVID-19 exposure at Browns Socialhouse in Kelowna

READ MORE: Over 60 cases of COVID-19 related to Kelowna cluster

Several Kelowna restaurants and businesses have once again closed their doors to the public as staff awaits results from COVID-19 testing. Locations include Rustic Reel Brewing, Brown’s Socialhouse and the Train Station Pub.

Starbucks on Anderson Way in Vernon has also closed its doors temporarily after two staffers exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The coffee giant said it expects to reopen its doors July 31.

“Both partners were sent home and went to be tested, and we initiated a deep clean, following all recommended guidelines from public health authorities,” said Starbucks in a statement to the Morning Star.

READ MORE: Vernon Starbucks outlet temporarily closed over COVID-19 concerns

Mayor Cumming said it’s clear the tourism and hospitality sectors have been hard hit by the worldwide pandemic.

“Lots of businesses count on financially busy summers,” he said. “I really feel for them.”

B.C.’s top doctor ordered people who rent homes, houseboats and other vacation rentals to limit their guests Thursday, July 23. Details of the new order will be in effect Friday, July 24. The measure will be required for rental agreements for resorts and other vacation rentals such as AirBnB and VRBO.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Rental guests to be limited, B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry says

“It’s in my view, the view of the province and provincial health officer and ministry of health, we really have to be careful as we’re moving into these next stages as we’re freeing up our economic and social lives,” Mayor Cumming said.

That reopening will have to remain slow, he said. “If we’re going to maximize health.”


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Salmon Arm projects keep rolling thanks to taxpayers’ early payments

‘Speed hump’ to go on Okanagan Avenue adjacent to Fletcher Park

Sicamous arena upgrade project grows, funding approval needed

An additional $100,000 needed to complete expanded project

Sicamous asks people to use face masks, not police others

Face masks recommended for any indoor public place where physical distancing isn’t possible

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Okanagan COVID-19 case count growth slows

BCCDC data shows a stark contrast between Okanagan-specific numbers released in July and August

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

UPDATE: Fire in Lake Country a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Most Read