Vernon residents will soon need to mask up before entering city-operated facilities.
Starting Monday, Nov 16, non-medical masks will be required in public spaces operated by the city, including the reception and lobby areas of city hall, the community services building, operations building, Vernon Water Reclamation Centre, Vernon Regional Airport, bylaw compliance office, Fire Station 1, the community safety office and the RCMP detachment.
People will also be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose while in the lobbies, hallways, concourses and change rooms of all Greater Vernon Recreation facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be dynamic and it requires us to regularly review and update our processes as necessary,” said Mayor Victor Cumming.
“Over the last several months, Dr. Henry – B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer – has talked about the layers of protection we can use to reduce the spread of infection and keep ourselves, each other, and our communities safe. The use of face masks is one of these layers of protection.”
Some may notice staff not wearing masks while standing behind plexiglass barriers at a city-operated facility, but that’s not an indication that masks are optional for the general public.
“The City has an expectation that staff wear masks when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained or when they are moving through, or working within, a publicly accessible space such as a lobby,” Cumming explained. “However, where physical distancing can be achieved and a protective barrier such as plexiglass is in place, they will not be required to wear a mask in staff areas. This is an example of us using the layers of protection.”
The city already has made a number of changes in its facilities to improve public safety, including:
- The installation of plexiglass windows at reception counters
- Physical distancing markers for queuing
- Hand sanitizer and / or hand washing stations at facility entrances
- Facility / room occupancy limits
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
The city will continue to provide updates on its response to the pandemic as they become available. For more information on the city’s response to date, visit www.vernon.ca/covid-19.