City of Kelowna - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) response

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We take COVID-19 (Coronavirus) seriously and are following the direction of the Provincial Health Ministry to deal with the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia. Our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of the public and our employees. We are focusing on maintaining essential services that our citizens rely upon. We agree with the health experts’ direction to exercise an abundance of caution in dealing with this virus, so that we can curb its spread in our community.

What the City is doing
City facilities

Indoor recreation facilities remain closed to the public, along with the Community policing offices on KLO and in Rutland. 

All other City facilities, including City Hall and the RCMP detachment office, are open during regular business hours. 

The public is asked not to make non-essential visits to City facilities and encouraged to do business with the City online or by phone whenever possible. Visit our contact directory or the numbers below: 

  • Development Services and Building Permits 250-469-8960 or email developmentservicesinfo@kelowna.ca
  • Planning 250-469-8626 or email planninginfo@kelowna.ca
  • Business Licensing 250-469-8617 
  • Bylaw Services 250-469-8686. 
  • Fire Hall 1 (Enterprise) 250-469-8801. 
  • City Yards 250-469-8600. 
  • Human Resources 250-469-8528. 
  • Purchasing 250-469-8530 or email purchasing@kelowna.ca
  • Parks offices 250-469-8503. 
  • Infrastructure 250-469-8559. 
  • Memorial Park Cemetery office 250-862-5518.  

City Council meetings and public hearings will be streamed online at kelowna.ca/council. Direct links to the live video feed will be tweeted from the City’s Twitter channel (@CityofKelowna) prior to the start of the meeting.

Public safety measures  

  • Online options for many services 
  • Enhanced daily cleaning/disinfection of high traffic and high touch areas 
  • Public entrance monitor limiting indoor occupancy 
  • Separate entrance and exit doors  
  • Physical distancing cues and signage  
  • Hand sanitizer readily available to visitors 
  • Plexiglass barriers installed at customer service points.  

Staff safety measures 

  • Portion of staff working from home and gradual reintroduction to work locations 
  • Separate staff areas and entrances 
  • Virtual meetings, appointments encouraged whenever possible 
  • Staff requested to stay home when ill 

The city has created a detailed safety plan for the public and staff. The full plan can be requested at ask@kelowna.ca

Parks, recreation and cultural facilities

A phased reopening plan is underway for parks and recreation spaces in Kelowna in alignment with Provincial recommendations.

The following spaces are open for casual use: 

  • Beaches
  • Parks and trails
  • Sportsfields
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Volleyball courts (Gyro & City Park)
  • Skate parks
  • BMX bike park
  • Disc golf course
  • Apple Bowl
  • Mission artificial turf 
  • Pickleball courts
    Note: Pickleball courts at Parkinson Recreation Centre are available through online bookings only.   

Various safety considerations will be in place at spaces as they reopen. These spaces are open for casual use only (no formal programming, club bookings or lessons at this time). Please adhere to all posted signage and direction at each facility and keep a physical distance of 2-metres (6 feet) from others while using public spaces.

The following spaces are closed until further notice:

  • Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment (set to reopen on June 1, 2020
  • Waterparks
  • Indoor recreation & cultural facilities including:
    • Parkinson Recreation Centre
    • Kelowna Community Theatre 
    • Blackbox Theatre
    • Rutland Arena
    • Memorial Arena
    • Rutland Activity Centre
    • Parkinson Activity Centre
    • Okanagan Mission Activity Centre
    • Kinsmen Fieldhouse Hall
    • Kinsmen Media Centre

City staff are working with provincial agencies on facility reopening plans to ensure recreation centres, theatres and arenas can open safely.

Compliance

At the end of March the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued a series of ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency. Key among these for municipalities was enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings under the Public Health Act.

Questions or concerns from the public regarding businesses not following proper safety protocols can be directed to  WorkSafeBC at 1-888-621-7233. 

There are NO public health Orders addressed to the general public requiring them to maintain physical distancing outside their own homes, with the exception of inside food premises. The public has been provided with strong recommendations and guidance in this regard and is expected to voluntarily comply without the need for law enforcement intervention.

Bylaw Enforcement officers will assist Interior Health by:

  • notifying businesses and members of the public who may be contravening the Public Health Orders,
  • issuing formal warnings when warranted,
  • contact Interior Health when ongoing non-compliance is occurring, and;
  • accompany Health Officers to deliver orders or tickets to those who refuse to comply with public health orders, if needed. 

Bylaw Services are not expected to monitor individual behaviour or have a role in situations regarding individuals and self-isolation.  Bylaw Services will not address complaints against individuals who are not self-isolating. 

Public can report non-compliance of Public Health Orders by members of the public by calling 250-469-8686 between 6 a.m. and midnight or by emailing bylaw@kelowna.ca. Significant and urgent concerns that arise beyond these hours can be directed to the RCMP non-emergency line, 250-762-3300.

 

Additional measures
  • The utility department is deferring any non-urgent, indoor residential water meter repairs and replacements until further notice. 
    • This policy does not apply to new construction meter installations, actively leaking water meteres, commercial buildings, or any oudoor meter services. Visit the City utility billing page for more information. 
  • Working with event organizers and accepting cancellations or postponements of gatherings with over 50 people in attendance
  • Kelowna International Airport is open as usual. However, we continue to assess public health direction as new information becomes available. If you’re travelling or welcoming visitors, always check ylw.kelowna.ca for updated information
  • Maintaining essential services and operations and monitoring those services to determine if further actions are needed in the days and weeks ahead.
Property taxes, utility bills and other fees
  • The 10 per cent penalty for late payment of property taxes is moved to Sept. 1, although those who can meet the current property tax due date of July 2 are urged to do so to maintain the City’s cash flow for essential services
  • Property tax customers on monthly payment plans (PAWS) can request auto-withdrawals be put on hold starting April 7 until Aug. 31
    • If you are registered for PAWS for property taxes and need to stop your payment(s), please contact revenue@kelowna.ca a minimum of 5 business days prior to the payment date
  • Waive interest rate charges on utility bills starting April 7 until Aug. 31, and customers on monthly payment plans can request a hold on auto-withdrawals during this same period.
    • If you are registered in a pre-authorized payment program (PAWS) for your utility account and need to stop your payment(s), please contact utilitybilling@kelowna.ca a minimum of 5 business days prior to your next bill due date.
  • Interest charges on Accounts Receivable accounts (i.e. permits, licenses, rents) are waived as of April 7 until Aug. 31
  • Collection agency efforts on outstanding accounts receivable customers as well as parking tickets are suspended between April 7 and Aug. 31


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Video updates from Mayor Basran
May 21

Mayor Basran's update to the media on the City of Kelowna's phased re-opening plans.

May 13

Mayor Basran's statement to the media on the City of Kelowna's phased re-opening plans.

April 20

Mayor Basran's statement on the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

April 15

A recording of the online news conference on the Central Okanagan's economic response to COVID-19 held on April 15, 2020.

April 9

A message from Mayor Basran as we head into the Easter long weekend.

April 6

Mayor Basran's opening statement at the Monday, April 6, 2020 regular Council meeting. 

"A couple of things related to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community before we get to Council business, which will include a late report for Council’s consideration on how we can provide financial relief to our citizens who need it while continuing to provide essential services.   

Council will consider deferring the property tax penalty date from July 2 to September 1, 2020 for those who really need to do that. Otherwise, if you can pay please do so, as it will help the City maintain essential services.  

Other financial practice changes will include temporarily waiving interest charges on utilities and accounts receivables; 

suspending collection agency efforts on all receivables; and waiving NSF charges until August 31, 2020. 

We encourage citizens to look into the province’s current property tax deferment program offering low-interest loans for those who qualify. You may qualify if you are 55 or older during the current year, a surviving spouse of any age, a person with disabilities or if you are a parent, step-parent or financially supporting a child.  

For the final budget, our immediate focus is on cost reductions. Details of those decisions will be available when the final budget is presented the end of April or early May. 

I want to thank everyone who is abiding by Dr. Bonnie Henry’s orders to wash your hands often, keep a physical distance, stay home if you can, and limit your trips in public places.   

Unfortunately, we are still receiving concerns about the lack of physical distancing in some of our more popular areas like Knox Mountain Park and the waterfront promenade. If we want to to keep these community jewels open, everyone must practice physical distancing or we’ll have no choice but to close these areas.  

Bylaw Officers and RCMP are not empowered to enforce physical distancing, since it’s not an order from the Medical Health Officer, but they will continue to educate residents and businesses as part of our day-to-day interactions with people. 

Bylaw Enforcement Officers are fully engaged in monitoring and reacting to complaints about non-compliance with public health orders.  

They can issue warnings to those who continue to defy public health orders, and they will report repeated cases on non-compliance to Interior Health for follow-up. 

Today is the first Council meeting we are broadcasting live on the City website at kelowna.ca/council. Castanet and Shaw Cable will now use this stream for broadcasts. 

This system also includes an option effective March 27 to choose individual items on past agendas to watch, in case, for some strange reason, you don’t want to watch the entire Council meeting… Just click on the agenda item from past meetings and you can watch the presentation and discussion on that one item. 

This system will help us move to meetings that are closed to the public physically, but still open for viewing by the public, in accordance with the special considerations granted under the provincial state of emergency. 

We want to make Council decisions as transparent as we can for citizens in the middle of all this disruption, particularly as decisions are made about the City budget and service levels. 

Finally, I want to once again thank everyone working on the frontlines to keep essential service and supply chains going. Council and our citizens really do appreciate your work, as we can see from the growing displays of appreciation with messages in our windows and friendly (and sometimes noisy) drive-by visits to healthcare workers and first responders.   

Together we will get through this and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever."

April 3

A thank you to our frontline workers and update from Mayor Basran. 

What you can do

You can help prevent the spread of all viruses, including coronavirus, and other infectious illnesses with just a few simple habits:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
  • maintaining social distancing and avoiding large groups
Helpful resources

The public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available and residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date by regularly visiting these links:

If you are ill or feel like you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call:

  • Government of Canada Information Line: 1-833-784-4397
  • HealthLink BC: 8-1-1
  • Kelowna Urgent & Primary Care Centre: 250-469-6985
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