Businesses identified early in Kelowna’s COVID-19 exposures get thumbs up from WorkSafeBC | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Businesses identified early in Kelowna’s COVID-19 exposures get thumbs up from WorkSafeBC

Kelowna's Cactus Club was identified as a possible location for COVID-19.
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July 27, 2020 - 7:00 PM

When it comes to deciding if businesses are operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the onus is on WorkSafeBC. It issues the guidelines for each industry and carries out inspections to make sure individual businesses follow those rules.

So, when Kelowna’s Cactus Club and Pace Spin Studio were identified as sites where people infected with COVID-19 might have spread the disease, WorkSafeBC followed up with inspections.

READ MORE: COVID-19 exposure possible at Kelowna's Cactus Club and Pace Spin Studio

An inspection was done at the Cactus Club on July 17 after the owner was notified by Interior Health that someone had tested positive for COVID-19. The name is redacted in the report and there is no mention of whether it was an employee or a customer.

“The employer immediately completed a deep clean and sanitization of the establishment,” the inspection report states. “The employer posted a notice on their employee sign in program alerting the workers of the exposure at the workplace. The employer added more questions to the worker pre-shift questionnaire to ensure that workers are following public health guidelines for physical distancing when not at work.”

On July 24, a similar inspection was held at Pace Spin Studio after they were told a person, whose name was redacted, had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Pace immediately ceased operations and performed a deep clean of the entire studio,” the inspection report states. “Once the deep clean was completed, a representative from Interior Health provided the approval for the re-opening. Pace also took measures over and above the recommendations of Interior Health.”

This report goes into extensive detail about how businesses need to create safety plans and outlines what steps Pace has taken to make sure they’re operating safely. Those included reducing the number of bikes from 34 to 19, keeping all riders two metres apart and three metres from the instructor. Each rider has to sign a waiver and provide contact information. All bikes and touch surfaces are cleaned between riders.

Under a section called “It is to be noted that:” the report points out that all workers have the “right to refuse unsafe work if they believe it presents an undue hazard.”

“Mental health is just as important as physical health and it is important to take measures to support mental well-being,” it continues. “Workers in the workplace may also be affected by the anxiety and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation.”

The inspector for the Cactus Club recorded that inspection took half an hour. The Pace Spin Club inspection was recorded as two hours.

Boyce Gyro Beach Lodge and Discovery Bay Resort were identified by Interior Health earlier this month as possible places were COVID-19 may have been spread.

WorkSafeBC did not inspect those sites because they are “private properties that are not under WorkSafeBC’s jurisdiction,” states an email from WorkSafeBC.

Interior Health has now created a web page that lists other businesses where COVID-19 might have been spread, including Fossello’s and Browns Socialhouse in Kelowna along with Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. in Oliver.

READ MORE: Resource to track COVID-19 exposure in Interior Health

Interior Health does show on its web page that it issued an order to Krazy Cherry but it does not state what that order is.

As of July 17, WorkSafeBC has conducted 13,846 COVID-related inspections in B.C. and 382 orders have been issued. The WorkSafeBC website does not give details of the orders and only lists them by sector.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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