There are no firm dates on when businesses can open up again, but it could be soon according to B.C.’s provincial health officer. The province’s reopening plan could start as early as May 19 and local stores and restaurants are gearing up to welcome guests again.
Petting zoos are also now getting ready to reopen, but not all of them will be welcoming guests. The Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary in Lake Country will not be opening. Operator Annie Monod said it’s to protect herself and the sanctuary’s volunteers.
“We won’t be opening, at least not yet. My husband and I are seniors and we’re the primary caregivers of all the animals here. So if something happens to us, there are volunteers that can step in but it’s one thing for a volunteer to step in one day a week and help out, but it’s another thing to have to do this every single day,” she said. “In order to protect the animals, we have to protect ourselves.”
Monod added they want to protect volunteers, which will, in turn, protect their families.
“Right now, I just don’t see how we can properly protect everybody if we open. There are just way too many unknowns for us to open right now.”
Kangaroo Creek Farm, which used to be located in Lake Country, is planning to open its doors on May 31.
Kangaroo Creek Farm owner and operator Caroline MacPherson said the plan is to limit the number of people coming into the farm so everyone can effectively practice physical distancing.
“We are working on a safe operating plan for WorkSafeBC with regards to how we will keep our employees as safe as possible, as well as the visiting public,” she said.
MacPherson said they will have a plexiglass screen installed at the payment gates, with a debit and credit machine to minimize contact.
“There will be numerous opportunities for people to wash their hands. We will ask visitors to wash their hands as they come into the farm, and before they enter a pasture. Visitors can use hand sanitizer if they are not in an animal enclosure.”
“There will even be handwashing stations out in the pastures, at the gates and the picnic area,” MacPherson added.
She said certain equipment will either be removed or taped off, such as the playground. More information on the safety protocols will be posted on their website as opening day gets closer.
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