An Okanagan business is causing a stir in Kelowna by banning vaccinated people and the wearing of masks inside the store.
“We would rather not be exposed to people who have been vaccinated and who could shed the virus,” said Steve Merrill, Sun City Silver and Gold Exchange’s owner.
Merrill says the ban on vaccinated people is to protect his clients and himself.
“Shedding is real, it’s a problem now and it is going to be a bigger problem as more and more people line up for these experimental vaccines,’” said Merrill.
Interior Health’s chief medical officer addressed the ‘shedding of the virus’ narrative, saying it holds no scientific backing when talking about COVID-19 vaccines.
“We do have some viruses that are in the vaccine we give to people; it’s called a live vaccine. So technically you can shed the virus after you take a vaccine. Luckily, the COVID vaccine is not a live vaccine, so it is not possible to shed the virus through the vaccine,” said Dr. Albert de Villiers.
Signs outside Sun City Silver and Gold Exchange tell patrons no masks are allowed inside and the same goes for anybody that is vaccinated.
The city says it is working closely with Interior Health to see what action they may take against Sun City Silver and Gold Exchange.
“It would appear that he is operating in contravention of public health orders, so of course the city is not supportive of those actions or those attitudes,” said Lance Kayfish, City of Kelowna’s risk manager.
“However, I can also let you know that the business is operating without a current Kelowna business licence and has been fined for continuing to operate without a business licence.”
Sun City Silver and Gold exchange is the second private business in Kelowna to defy public health orders.
Global News reported on an unlicensed gym, Flow Academy, that has similar anti-public health order policies.
Interior health has issued a closure order for that business.