COVID-19 update: Please wear masks in City-operated public spaces

News

The City of Vernon continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia and follow the directives and guidance of health authorities, senior levels of government, and WorkSafe BC in its response to the local impacts of the global pandemic.

Effective Monday, November 16, the City of Vernon requests that a non-medical mask to cover your mouth and nose be worn in publicly accessible portions of City-operated facilities. This includes the reception and lobby areas of: City Hall, the Community Services Building, Operations Building, Vernon Water Reclamation Centre, Vernon Regional Airport, Bylaw Compliance Office, Fire Station 1, the Community Safety Office, and the RCMP Building.

Additionally, everyone is asked to wear a mask in lobbies, hallways, concourses and change rooms of all Greater Vernon Recreation facilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be dynamic and it requires us to regularly review and update our processes as necessary,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Over the last several months, Dr. Henry – B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer – has talked about the layers of protection we can use to reduce the spread of infection and keep ourselves, each other, and our communities safe. The use of face masks is one of these layers of protection.”

To maintain a healthy and safe environment for our citizens, visitors and employees, the City of Vernon has implemented a number of changes in our facilities to promote physical distancing, provide protective barriers for the public and our staff, and increase cleaning. Some of these changes include:

  • The installation of plexiglass windows at reception counters
  • Physical distancing markers for queuing
  • Hand sanitizer and / or hand washing stations at facility entrances
  • Facility / room occupancy limits
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols

“When you visit one of our facilities, such as the cashiers’ desk at City Hall, you may notice the staff member behind the plexiglass barrier is not wearing a mask,” said Mayor Cumming. “We understand and appreciate this can create some confusion around the expectation of when and where masks are to be worn in our buildings.

“The City has an expectation that staff wear masks when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained or when they are moving through, or working within, a publicly accessible space such as a lobby. However, where physical distancing can be achieved and a protective barrier such as plexiglass is in place, they will not be required to wear a mask in staff areas. This is an example of us using the layers of protection.”

The City of Vernon has an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our community and will continue to review and adjust its safe operation and risk mitigation plans as necessary to align with the direction and guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, senior levels of government, WorkSafe BC, viaSport, and the BC Recreation and Parks Association.

The City appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding as we all navigate the impacts and changes required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. For more information on the City’s response and community resources, please visit: www.vernon.ca/covid-19.

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