Invermere mayor urges residents and visitors to stay home
Like everywhere, the District Invermere and the rest of the Columbia Valley are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Local businesses have been forced to close, people have lost jobs, families have lost income, and demand on the local food bank continues to soar. These are the tremendous sacrifices local residents are making to protect their own health and the health of fellow Canadians, to help stop the potential spread of this deadly virus and take pressure off the health care system.
“Staying home, practicing social distancing when leaving the house for groceries or exercise, and frequent handwashing are critical measures for flattening the curve,” said Invermere mayor Al Miller. “These precautions are even more important in a small community like ours if you consider our local hospital has just one respirator and a handful of beds. We simply don’t have the health capacity to handle an outbreak.”
It’s for this reason the District of Invermere is reiterating the “stay home” orders coming from federal and provincial governments across Canada.
“Invermere and our neighbouring communities rely on tourists, visitors and second-home owners to keep our local economy vibrant and functioning. Asking people not to come here absolutely contradicts our local values and way of life. We all have to remember this is a temporary situation that will be over the quicker we comply with the orders and recommendations coming from our top health officers.”
Both British Columbia and Alberta have declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and health officials for both provinces issued a joint statement today (April 9) ahead of the long weekend, urging travellers not to cross the border between the two provinces. All BC Parks have closed until further notice.
“Everyone understands the huge economic impact this will have on businesses and we are concerned what will happen in the future, but right now the main concern is health. People could bring the virus to the valley or people could contract the virus from the valley and bring it back to their own communities.”
There have been reported cases of COVID-19 in Invermere through community spread, something local residents are keenly aware of and working to eliminate.
“The request not to travel is not only for people visiting the valley but for residents who live full time in the valley as well. Locals need to stay home, just as we’re asking visitors to. The virus does not move; people move the virus.”
Lead image: Mount Nelson, towering over Invermere and the valley. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW file photo
District of Invermere