Vernon mayor feels for those infected with COVID-19 in Kelowna

‘Social distancing outside one’s own social bubble needs to be done in a very cautious way,’ Mayor Victor Cumming says

Vernon mayor feels for those infected with COVID-19 in Kelowna

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kelowna cluster grows, Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said it’s a time to remain diligent and follow the orders of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We need to be extremely careful and social distancing outside one’s own social bubble needs to be done in a very cautious way,” the mayor said Thursday, July 23.

“The virus can be anywhere and we have relearned this, if people have forgotten.”

Seventy-eight cases linked to the Kelowna cluster were reported Wednesday, July 22 — 66 of those are individuals from the Interior Health region, others are from Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.

One additional case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed among Kelowna General Hospital employees bringing the number of cases among health-care workers to seven.

Roughly 1,000 people are self-isolating across British Columbia after coming into contact with someone who has contracted the virus.

READ MORE: ‘Everyone needs to do better’: Kelowna Mayor on city’s rising COVID-19 numbers

“My thoughts are with those who have ended up with it in Kelowna and area,” Mayor Cumming said. “It’s not a nice to thing to have at all.”

“It’s particularly hard,” Mayor Cumming said. “We’re in the Okanagan summer at its best and it’s been a shut-in winter and spring and now we have glorious weather and people are wanting to be outside and connect with friends and new friends.”

READ MORE: Interior Health identifies COVID-19 exposure at Browns Socialhouse in Kelowna

READ MORE: Over 60 cases of COVID-19 related to Kelowna cluster

Several Kelowna restaurants and businesses have once again closed their doors to the public as staff awaits results from COVID-19 testing. Locations include Rustic Reel Brewing, Brown’s Socialhouse and the Train Station Pub.

Starbucks on Anderson Way in Vernon has also closed its doors temporarily after two staffers exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The coffee giant said it expects to reopen its doors July 31.

“Both partners were sent home and went to be tested, and we initiated a deep clean, following all recommended guidelines from public health authorities,” said Starbucks in a statement to the Morning Star.

READ MORE: Vernon Starbucks outlet temporarily closed over COVID-19 concerns

Mayor Cumming said it’s clear the tourism and hospitality sectors have been hard hit by the worldwide pandemic.

“Lots of businesses count on financially busy summers,” he said. “I really feel for them.”

B.C.’s top doctor ordered people who rent homes, houseboats and other vacation rentals to limit their guests Thursday, July 23. Details of the new order will be in effect Friday, July 24. The measure will be required for rental agreements for resorts and other vacation rentals such as AirBnB and VRBO.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Rental guests to be limited, B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry says

“It’s in my view, the view of the province and provincial health officer and ministry of health, we really have to be careful as we’re moving into these next stages as we’re freeing up our economic and social lives,” Mayor Cumming said.

That reopening will have to remain slow, he said. “If we’re going to maximize health.”


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ed taking a break during the Christie Mountain Fire in the summer of 2020 to walk one of evacuated dogs (Photo contributed by ALERT).
ALERT spotlights two team members for National Volunteer Week

Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) spotlights two volunteers for National Volunteer week

Windsurfers enjoying a windstorm on Skaha Lake in Penticton on March 28, 2021. (Sandy Steck Photography)
Wind warning issued for Okanagan Valley

Boaters are being warned of gusts up to 70 km/h by late afternoon on Sunday

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Ellison Elementary School in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Two more Kelowna schools record COVID-19 exposures

Interior Health is confirming COVID-19 exposures at two schools in Kelowna

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

A North Okanagan man in his late 20s was flown to hospital by air ambulance Saturday, April 17, shortly after 6:30 p.m. after allegedly crashing on his longboard on a Spallumcheen roadway. (File photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Okanagan sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over North Okanagan cliff

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon Vipers goalie Roan Clarke celebrates his team’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Most Read