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City crews to remind beach, park users of COVID-19 risks, says mayor of Kelowna

A view of a boat launch in Kelowna and Okanagan Lake on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
A view of a boat launch in Kelowna and Okanagan Lake on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Global News

The mayor of Kelowna says the city will be taking a more proactive approach regarding coronavirus physical-distancing recommendations, and if they’re being followed in popular public places.

On Thursday, Mayor Colin Basran announced that starting next week, “a city team will beaches, boat launches, parks, recreation facilities and other areas where people gather to remind everyone to take the proper precautions and be respectful of others’ possible health risks.”

The news came after B.C. health officials announced 30 new COVID-19 cases across the province. The announcement marked the fifth time in six days that 30 or more cases had been reported in 24 hours.

Read more: New vacation rental rules in B.C., as active COVID-19 cases top 300

Further, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced another death, the province’s 190th.

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The province also announced 11 new cases for the Interior Health region, which had its overall total pushed to 315. On July 17th, there were 235 cases in the Interior Health region.

“Summer is a social time of year, especially in Kelowna, but we need everyone to be as careful now as we were in Phase 1 of our response to COVID-19,” said Basran.

“This sudden increase of cases in Kelowna shows us how quickly things can change.”

B.C. reports 30 new cases of COVID-19, one additional death
B.C. reports 30 new cases of COVID-19, one additional death

Specifically, Basran pointed a physical-distancing finger at millennials and younger people.

“I will again stress that we need everyone — and particularly this age group of people in their 20s and 30s — to keep themselves and the people they love safe by maintaining a safe physical distance, washing hands frequently, staying home if they feel sick and wearing a mask in places where physical distancing isn’t always possible,” said Basran.

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The mayor also said city bylaw services will join WorkSafeBC, B.C. Liquor Enforcement and Interior Health to make sure area businesses are following provincial health orders.

“We are seeing some encouraging signs around economic recovery,” said Basran, stating real estate values are holding steady and even increasing compared to 2019.

“I’m encouraged by these positive economic indicators. Let’s not take a step backward by ignoring the risks.”