The City of Vernon has implemented several actions in response to the rapidly changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Canada.
The City is following its Pandemic Plan, which is a document that provides the Corporation with a business continuity strategy to maintain core City services amidst the possibility of a widespread illness in the community.
The City has also taken intentional steps to reduce the spread of infection in City facilities and encourage individuals to follow safe practices to help protect our employees, citizens and visitors. The following steps have been taken:
- Signage has been posted at every City facility, notifying employees and visitors:
- please do not enter the facility if you are sick, or have been in contact with someone who is sick;
- how to practice sound handwashing techniques;
- information on COVID-19, its symptoms and how to reduce the spread of infection; and
- please practice social distancing while visiting our front counter areas.
- A number of public events have been cancelled, following the March 12, 2020 direction of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer, to cancel all indoor and outdoor events of more than 250 people. Note: The direction by Dr. Henry does not apply to workplaces or educational institutions at this time.
- Additional measures are being taken to disinfect public spaces at City facilities, in particular, common touch points like light switches, door handles, counter tops, etc.
- The hot tub, sauna and steam room at the Vernon Aquatic Centre have been closed temporarily for social distancing purposes, at the advice of the Lifesaving Society of B.C./Yukon. Although our hot tub is a moderate size, the closure of the tub is being done out of an abundance of caution.
At this time, Recreation Services programs, lessons and camps are still going ahead as planned. While swimming lessons will not be impacted, Recreation Services will be limiting the number of people that are provided entry to the Aquatic Centre for public swimming in order to ensure that there are not more than 250 people in the facility at any given time. The public is reminded that if they are not feeling well, they should stay home and not choose to participate until they are feeling well again.
During a public health event in the Okanagan, Interior Health is the authority, and general community impact of the virus on residents is within their purview. The City of Vernon’s role is to ensure essential public services are delivered and operate smoothly, to keep facilities safe and to keep employees healthy.
The City is in regular contact with the Interior Health Authority and Emergency Management BC, and continues to take its directions from the B.C. Ministry of Health and Public Health Agency of Canada.
We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we continue to adapt to this changing situation.