This is what the streets are supposed to look like now, says Mayor Spencer Coyne.

This is what the streets are supposed to look like now, says Mayor Spencer Coyne.

Some people still ignoring public health orders

‘We know who they are, and where they are, and if push comes to shove they can be fined,’ says mayor

As of Sunday March 29 there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Princeton, according to Mayor Spencer Coyne.

And everyone would like to keep it that way.

“To my knowledge there are no confirmed cases, but here is the caveat, we have to assume that it’s here. It is so important to keep our distance from each other and that we don’t do the things we would normally do.”

There are numerous reports of some residents flouting public health orders that forbid large gatherings, and require social distancing, that are frustrating both municipal officials and RCMP.

“These are not options, these are orders from the government,” said Coyne in an interview with The Spotlight. “If we don’t all do our parts this is not going to go away.”

Coyne receives complaints on a daily basis – along with a multitude of virus-related questions – from about 8 a.m. in the morning to midnight.

People are still “everywhere, literally. There are kids riding their bikes downtown and there are people in playgrounds.”

Related: Princeton closes parks and mayor launches ‘virtual walk’ Facebook group

Over the weekend he was made aware of several large parties held in the area.

“We know who they are, and where they are, and if push comes to shove they can be fined.”

Under recent orders from the provincial health officer, those endangering others by disregarding public health orders can be fined up to $25,000 and even imprisoned.

Related: Princeton mayor urges calm amid fears of food and supply shortages

Municipal bylaw enforcement was given the green light last week to enforce public health orders.

RCMP Sergeant Robert Hughes is also fielding complaints about parties and other infractions. Those reports are being forwarded to the provincial health office, and police are, for now, trying to educate offenders.

Over the weekend there were several reports of “houses full of teenagers,” he said.

“There’s a percentage of a certain age group that feels everybody is overreacting.”

Related: 10% of COVID-19 patients in hospital are under the age of 40: Canada’s top doctor

Another call to police alleged that a couple that has recently returned from out of the country is not complying with the rule of 14-days self isolation.

“It’s still sad that some people don’t get it and the death count keeps rising. “

As of Monday there were 7,288 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada. In B.C. there were 884 confirmed cases, 17 deaths, and 396 patients recovered.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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