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

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

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

(RCMP)
RCMP searching for missing Kelowna man

Nathan David Copp was last seen this morning, Oct. 28

(Kerkhoff Construction)
Large Glenmore rental development given greenlight by Kelowna council

The development will contain 238 rental apartment units across four five-storey buildings

Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
UPDATE: Natural gas leak on KLO Road

KLO Road is down to one lane alternating traffic while emergency crews are on scene

Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Liberal Party needs youth, urban presence: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick

The Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect also said he will not vie for party leadership

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

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

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A boat moored at Turtle Bay Marina was reported stolen Oct. 1 and remains under investigation. (Contributed)
North Okanagan crimes remain unsolved

Boat stolen from marina, theft of siding and vehicle break and enter

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Most Read