Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Aug. 24, 2020. (B.C. government)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Aug. 24, 2020. (B.C. government)

‘Back to basics’ on COVID-response: Fernie Chamber of Commerce

Recent shut-down orders from the B.C. government are a reminder that the road out of COVID-19 won’t be easy

Recently announced shut-down orders imposed on specific B.C. businesses are more proof that future pandemic-related directives from Victoria will be narrowly targeted, according to Brad Parsell of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce.

Responding to questions on the step backwards from the provincial government when it came to opening everything back up, Parsell, who is the executive director of the chamber said that he didn’t think it was likely the province would go to wider shutdowns, or provincial mask mandates.

“I think if they did put us back into lock-down ,it would be the absolute worst case,” he said, adding that the announcement from the provincial chief health officer that nightclubs and banquet halls had to close was more like “a shot across the bow” at specific parts of the economy where contact tracing was difficult.

According to the B.C. government, nightclubs and banquet halls are to shut down, and there are new limits of late-night alcohol sales at bars.

Dr. Henry said that she was not considering shutting down dine-in service at bars and restaurants altogether.

READ MORE: B.C. to shut down nightclubs, banquet halls; limit late-night alcohol sales at bars

“I think they’re trying to set up the health community to have really really strong contact tracing,” said Parsell.

Parsell said he believed the order from Dr. Henry was in line with what she had been saying towards the end of summer as the holidays ended, the weather turned and kids went back to school.

“It’s a good time to go back to the basics.”

Even so, with a handful of Fernie businesses impacted, Parsell said the order from Dr. Henry was “a reminder to everybody that (the pandemic) is still going on.”

Given that COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period, health authorities, local governments and the business community were waiting to see what came next.

“Everybody is really interested to see what the numbers are going to look like two to three weeks from now,” said Parsell, explaining that the combination of the end of summer holidays, the Labour Day long weekend, and B.C. kids going back to school was going to make for some anxiety.

“I recognize now many business owners and staff are parents. (Any numbers including) the back to school weeks will have huge implications on the future.”

The most recent numbers from Interior Health (IH) were that there had been a cumulative 462 cases in the region, including an additional two cases between Sep. 8 and Sep. 9.

Of those, only 16 cases were active, and no-one was in hospital. No cases from the outbreak at Teck Resources’ Fording River water treatment operations are residents of IH.

The numbers are less rosy B.C.-wide, with the provincial government reporting 100 new cases on Sep. 10, bringing the provincial total to 6,691 since the beginning of the pandemic. 1,378 cases are active within the province, with the vast majority shared between the Vancouver Coastal Health region and the Fraser Health region.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases reported at Teck site in Elk Valley
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The cost of British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam has grown to $16 billion and the completion has been moved up a year to 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BC Liberal energy critic blasts ‘lack of transparency’ on Site C

MLA Tom Shypitka says Site C going ahead is a ‘good thing’, blames NDP for mismanagement

Volunteers from the Elk River Alliance cleared 14 car batteries from the Elk River near Elkford this week. (Photo contributed)
Elk River Alliance to move to more holistic environmental monitoring

The details of the ERA’s 2021 program will be discussed at the AGM next month

The Kitimat RCMP responded to false alarms, an apartment fire and more between Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Sparwood backs campaign to study Surrey RCMP impact

The City of Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in the province

Brent Bidston is the president of Angel Flight East Kootenay. Black Press file photo.
RDEK ponders funding for Angel Flight East Kootenay

The district is considering funding for operations or to eventually help acquire a larger plane

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read