Noel Gill, of Checkmate Cabs, helps a customer into a car. (Jen Zielinski, Black Press Media)

Noel Gill, of Checkmate Cabs, helps a customer into a car. (Jen Zielinski, Black Press Media)

COVID-19 concerns cause spike in cab requests to Kelowna health care facilities

Checkmate cabs is getting 200 calls daily from people worried about being infected

Amid concern over the COVID-19 pandemic a cab company in Kelowna is reporting a significant increase in calls for service to and from health care facilities.

Checkmate Cabs director of operations Rory Anderson said his business has received double the amount of calls compared to usual for this time of year.

Anderson said daily cab calls have increased from 100 to 200 to take people to and from Interior Health facilities and doctors’ offices in Kelowna.

Interior Health has set up specific clinics to test for coronavirus in Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon.

READ MORE: COVID-19 forces cancellation of two Penticton events

Anderson said there’s one demographic that’s been calling the most about COVID-19.

“Many seniors living in seniors’ homes are on extremely high alert from the COVID-19 situation,” said Anderson.

“As soon as they start coughing or sneezing, they think they might have COVID-19 and are requesting to go to the doctor’s office.”

Despite the increase in calls to go to Kelowna health care facilities, Anderson said his business overall has received a drop in the number of calls following the announcement, this week (March 11), that COVID-19 is now considered a pandemic.

“We’re seeing a drop in passengers going to and from Kelowna International Airport, Prospera Place and any public event,” said Anderson.

“Overall, business is down.”

Anderson said his cab drivers are taking extra precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Whenever our cab drivers are waiting for passengers, they’re always wiping down their seats, dashes, door handles and any other places that people might’ve touched,” said Anderson.

“Our cab drivers are going above and beyond in this situation.”

The B.C. government recently placed a ban on all events with more than 250 people in the province due to the growing concerns of COVID-19.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

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