Vehicles are parked along Main Street once again as businesses in Summerland have reopened. Earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in numerous business closures and reductions of hours. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Precautions urged to prevent surge in COVID-19 numbers in Summerland

Chamber manager concerned about possible increase in new daily cases

As the last long weekend of the summer approaches, the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce is urging residents and visitors to follow precautions to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The business community and the economy cannot sustain another major shutdown. The only way we can avoid this is to be ever vigilant,” said chamber manager David Hull.

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In mid-March, numerous businesses and community services closed their doors as a result of the pandemic, resulting in layoffs and financial losses.

In the months following, a reopening process has begun, but since mid-July, the daily numbers of new cases of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has been increasing.

While the Okanagan and the rest of the B.C. Interior have had relatively few cases of COVID-19, Hull is concerned about the potential effects of rising numbers in the region.

Interior Health (IH) reported an additional eight cases of COVID-19 on Aug. 24.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, IH has had a total of 425 cases of the virus — 21 of which are currently active and in isolation. Hospitalizations remain at zero for the health region.

There have been more than 5,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, with the majority in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and the Fraser Health region.

More than 200 deaths have been recorded provincewide.

“It’s a dire situation. This is a pandemic and we need everyone to do their part,” Hull said.

He added that there are concerns COVID-19 case numbers could increase this fall.

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