A Vernon charity book store has temporarily closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, citing difficulties with getting customers to follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
Alpine Centre Book Warehouse, located on Kalamalka Lake Road, announced its closure Monday, Dec. 7, on Facebook, adding it hopes to reopen in early January 2021.
The book store said it was a decision not made lightly, but some customers’ refusal to wear masks or follow other now standard shopping procedures has forced the issue.
“Over the past, while there have been challenges with people not wanting to wear a mask, not use hand sanitizer or leave their contact information. Rude comments were made to volunteers,” the store’s post reads.
The store’s volunteer staff have kept the store running to this point in the pandemic “as they know it is important to our community,” the post reads.
“However, volunteers should not be tasked with policing uncooperative people.”
The same day, the provincial health officer extended and updated B.C.’s COVID-19 restrictions on the heels of 2,020 British Columbians testing positive for the novel coronavirus over the weekend. Thirty-five people died over the weekend due to the virus.
“With the spike in COVID-19 cases in B.C. and the Okanagan the health and safety of our volunteers must take priority,” the Alpine Centre said.
The store said it may be able to look for certain books for customers and arrange a pickup, and staff will be checking Facebook messages and phone voicemail at 250-541-1646.
“Thank you for your understanding in these uncertain times.”