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Posted: May 28, 2020

Please help us by doing your part

District of Invermere Mayor Allen Miller May 27 issued a message to the community on social media.

We could certainly all use some fresh air, warmer days and some sunshine. I hope everyone finds ways to get outside this week. Let’s make sure we continue to do it safely. Take personal responsibility by taking all the necessary precautions.

Dr. Gareth Mannheimer, Chief of Staff of Invermere and District Hospital and all health care workers have been working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens in our community. Thank you for updating us and providing guidance on COVID 19.

Dr. Mannheimer is reminding everyone as the Columbia Valley begins to reopen to “stay vigilant and to stay safe.”

As we get ready for warmer weather, we expect to see an influx of people downtown, at our local parks and at Kinsmen Beach. This is continuing to be a real concern for members of council and myself. Although Kinsmen Beach is currently open, our staff continue to work on a safe plan to deal with the influx of people in the coming weeks. It is very important to keep in mind that physical distancing starts in the parking lot. If the parking lot is full, the beach is most likely full.

Plan an alternate location where you can enjoy your day and come back when the beach is not busy. The same goes for our skateboard park and other outdoor facilities. We are going to need your help. Please help us by doing your part to keep yourself and others safe.

The District of Invermere will be hiring staff as part of a Community Ambassador Program. This program has been encouraged as B.C. moves into new phases of pandemic response that encourage an expansion of social connections and rebuilding of the local economy. Ambassadors will ensure people remain informed and diligent in following the principles laid out in B.C.’s restart plan. Community Ambassadors will encourage physical distancing and general safety guidelines while promoting the safe use and enjoyment of our local amenities. We look forward to having a Community Ambassador present in our local parks, ready to educate and to provide awareness to the public.

We continue to take a regional approach on reopening our outdoor facilities. As of June 1, we will be reopening our playgrounds, play structures and the Rotary Splash Park. Please know that these play structures and the splash park will not be cleaned by our staff. Everyone is to use their best judgement to assess and determine if they feel safe to use these self-regulated amenities.

People are to take precautions themselves such as bringing hand sanitizer and/or washing hands before and after using these outdoor amenities.

Plans are also being developed with new protocols to reopen our Municipal Office, CPR Lodge, the Columbia Valley Centre and Invermere Public Library. Staff continue to monitor and adjust to new information. As with the provincial reopening plan, there are no strict timelines to do so. We will open these spaces when plans are in place, our staff are ready and feel safe to reopen these public facilities.
Thank you again everyone for your kindness, caring and all of the sacrifices that you are making.

Lead image: A quiet Kinsmen Beach in Invermere. Photo courtesy Lisa Ede

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