The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives will limit public access to special visitors for research purposes, it said Monday, March 16, 2020. It will close to the general public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (File)

Centres, stores, pubs, facilities close Vernon amid COVID-19

Several local organizations and businesses are feeling the pressures of the novel coronavirus

Doors are closed to several local businesses and organizations amid the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Marten Brewing Co., Eatology, Expressions of Time, the Hot Bread Shoppe, Mary Ann’s Closet, the Upper Room Mission Boutique, Cineplex, casinos, gyms, schools, recereation centres, pubs and the library have all closed until further notice.

The annual Shoparama has also been cancelled and organizer Ingrid Baron said her head is spinning.

As for the Farmers’ Market Friday, March 20, Baron said it may still go ahead, but more planning is required. She said the market definitely won’t take place indoors.

View this post on Instagram

To our friends and family in Vernon, Based on guidance from the federal and provincial governments, we will be postponing our annual St Patrick's Day Celebrations scheduled for tomorrow. We will be serving green beer and smiles to the 50 people in each section of the building. We have implemented staggered tables for "social distancing" in an effort to allow our guests distance from neighboring tables. We have implemented procedures to disinfect menus and tables, as well as removing, and disinfecting, salt and pepper shakers tables. We are thinking of all who are affected by this, and hope we can provide a little joy when we can. Once this is all over, we will be scheduling a "Late St Patrick's Celebration" and celebrating St Patrick's Day the way it should be. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope to see you soon.

A post shared by Vernon Kelly O`Bryan's (@vernonkellyobryans) on

Meanwhile, places such as the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, the Vernon Courthouse, the Upper Room Mission, Turning Point Collaborative Society, several restaurants, cafes and service providers have adjusted hours of operation or limited service to appointment only to curb the spread of the rapidly spreading infection.

The museum announced it will be closed to the regular public, but researchers are encouraged to continue visiting, by appointment only, as long as they are healthy.

The Vernon and District branch of Canadian Mental Health Association said it will transition many of its services online or phone.

“Everything we stand for is about connecting people to community,” executive director Julia Payson said. “The circumstance we are facing will not stop us from doing that, but it will change the way we do things for now.”

Take-out lunches will be provided to participants of the Kitchen and Nutrition program while online or phone support will be available will be available in place of drop-in and group activities.

Clubs have also felt the squeeze of the novel coronavirus.

The Eagles have put a stop to their Friday night suppers and weekend meat draws until further notice.

The Elks have also cancelled Friday night suppers until at least April 10, when the organization will re-evaluate the situation.

The Schubert Centre, Vernon’s volunteer-run senior’s activity centre, announced its doors will close Wednesday, March 18, until otherwise advised.

As of March 16, there were 103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, five cases were listed as resolved and four fatalities.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon Irish pub to pour green beer for 50

READ MORE: B.C. launches online COVID-19 self-assessment tool


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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