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Coronavirus: Regional District of North Okanagan implements measures to reduce virus spread

Portable toilets have been removed from some parks in Vernon.
Portable toilets have been removed from some parks in Vernon. Global News

The Region District of North Okanagan has taken another step to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Portable toilets have been removed from the Kickwillie entrance to the Okanagan Rail Trail, in Coldstream.

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“We do not make decisions like this lightly, but we are absolutely focused on taking actions for the health of our community,” said Mike Fox, RDNO’s general manager of community services.

Fox says the portable toilets were removed because they were deemed as a risk for virus transmission.

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“The RDNO is following the direction of the province, and after B.C. Parks closed the washrooms at the Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, we felt it was appropriate to do the same at Kickwillie,” said Fox.

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Other portable washrooms that would normally be placed at N’Kwala Park, BX Ranch Dog Park and three other community gardens will not be delivered.

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The facility at the Greater Vernon Athletic Park is also closed.

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Along with the removal of the portable washrooms, the RDNO has also postponed the grand opening of the Greater Vernon Community Gardens located in West Vernon, East Hill and Okanagan College.

The opening was set for April 5th, 2020, but RDNO staff say “the proximity of the garden beds is too close to allow for proper social distancing of two metres.”

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The Regional District of South Okanagan’s staff told Global News they don’t have any public washrooms open at this time and are currently talks of what to do when the washrooms open in April.

However, the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s staff say they haven’t closed any public washrooms yet.

“At this point, they [public washrooms] continue to remain open,” said Murray Kopp, RDCO’s director of park services.

“We’re following direction from the provincial health officer and Interior Health Authority.”

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Although the RDCO’s public washrooms haven’t been closed, Murray says staff have increased their cleaning measures.

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“Staff are disinfecting the washrooms multiple times a day,” said Murray.

Some older portable toilets have been replaced with newer models that have better hand washing stations.

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