Masks and temperature checks at each business won’t be mandatory in the City of Kelowna yet, according to Mayor Colin Basran.
During a press conference on Thursday (July 23) afternoon, Basran said the city is taking cues from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and will be following what she recommends.
“There hasn’t been any discussion, at least amongst council, for (mandatory masks). Municipalities across the province have been taking direction from Dr. Henry and we for the most part, compared to other provinces, have fared well as a result of following her advice,” he said.
“And as of now, her recommendation is if you can’t adhere to the physical distancing requirements, she recommends that you wear a mask but the city is not making it mandatory.”
As for temperature checks at businesses, Basran said it’s a similar decision to making masks mandatory: the answer is not right now.
“It’s not a requirement of the provincial medical health officer. So until such time that it is, it’s not something we will be considering. We’ll be taking our directions from Dr. Bonnie Henry, who’s done a great job of leading us thus far.”
Basran addressed rental vacation homes, saying it’s too early to tell what her orders will look like exactly, but it’s an announcement the city welcomes as it will help limit the number of visitors as well as the possibility of COVID-19 transmission.
“Certainly, we know that there have been some properties that have been utilized for parties or gatherings larger than the recommendation by Dr. Henry, which is six people. So, I’m really glad that this is something that she’s considering not only for vacation rental properties but for houseboats (as well),” he said.
“It’s too early still to give my reaction, because I haven’t yet seen the order but I would say from a very high level, it’s something we welcome and again, I appreciate her guidance.”
During her media address on July 23, Henry advised those who rent houses, houseboats and other vacation rentals to limit their guests, but there were no specific orders. Details of the rental restrictions are still being worked on and will be in place by July 24.
Starting next week, Basran said a city team will visit beaches, boat launches, parks, recreation facilities and other areas where people tend to gather to remind residents to take proper precautions.