Mayor comments on COVID-19 cases in Kelowna

July 14, 2020

I’ve had a number of requests to comment on the 8 cases of COVID-19 detected in Kelowna, so I’ll take this opportunity to offer some thoughts.

The City continues to follow all orders and recommendations of Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The province has not implemented travel restrictions within Canada, so we know people are going to come to Kelowna.

However, Dr. Henry has asked that people coming to our communities from outside regions to use their “travel manners” and respect the physical distancing rules and proper hygiene orders.

If people don’t do that, the risk of COVID transmission is going to increase… so everyone needs to continue to take this health risk seriously and take the necessary precautions.

Knowing that people are going to come to Kelowna on vacation, the City has helped local businesses comply with public health orders and Worksafe BC requirements by expanding commercial space onto sidewalks and streets in business centres so that safe physical distancing can be maintained. 

Businesses must have an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan and WorkSafe BC is responsible for enforcing these safety protocols.

Our Bylaw Enforcement staff and RCMP bike patrols are visiting parks and beaches to educate people on the need to physical distance when they see crowding in one area.

Once again, Dr. Henry has said that outdoor activities with adequate physical distancing are permitted.

She has also said that if people can’t maintain the level of responsibility that helped us have one of the best responses to limit COVID transmission in North America, then we may need to go back to the Phase 2 level of public health orders.

So, it’s pretty simple… keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands, stay home if you feel sick and consider wearing a mask in small indoor spaces where physical distancing isn’t possible. 

We need to remain vigilant, because we’ve seen how quickly a few lapses in judgement can turn into a serious problem.  It’s my hope that with every one doing their part we all can enjoy Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley – just two metres apart.