Beachgoers relax in the sun at Kal Lake Beach in Coldstream on July 23, 2020. (Justin Ketterer - Contributed)

Beachgoers relax in the sun at Kal Lake Beach in Coldstream on July 23, 2020. (Justin Ketterer - Contributed)

COVID-19: Keep distance on Vernon beaches, mayor says

Mayor Victor Cumming hopes people are cautious while using public spaces to prevent wider spread

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming is reminding those seeking relief from the hot North Okanagan summer to continue maintaining appropriate physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had incidents in the North Okanagan where people have shown pictures of Kal Lake Beach where people are obviously not social distancing,” Mayor Cumming said Thursday, July 23. “People need to tighten that up and get that message.”

It’s not just Kal Lake though, he said, noting crowding at other parks and beaches such as Paddlewheel Park.

A post made to a Kelowna Reddit forum July 21 claimed an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 a week prior had visited Coldstream’s Kal Beach. Although this incident cannot be confirmed by Interior Health for confidentiality reasons, the post was shared to several local community forums on Facebook and sparked reactions from hundreds.

Friend with Covid from r/kelowna

Vernon’s mayor said photos of crowding on lake shores have also been shared.

“Hang on folks,” he said. “You’re much too close to many people who I suspect aren’t in your family bubble.”

“The virus can be anywhere and we have relearned that,” the mayor said of the growing number of cases in the Interior Health region.

“I hope people can be more cautious, or as cautious, or we could end up with a wider spread.”

In April, over the Easter long weekend, the City of Vernon had six park ambassadors, donning bright green T-shirts, reminding hundreds of park users to maintain the two-metre physical distancing as ordered by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Although the program has since been stopped, the mayor said it could be reinstated.

READ MORE: COVID-19: City of Vernon Ambassadors speak to hundreds over Easter weekend

READ MORE: No mandatory masks, temperature checks for now: City of Kelowna


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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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