Kelowna ambassadors spreading COVID-19 safety and education practices at public beaches - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Haze
23.7°C

Kelowna ambassadors spreading COVID-19 safety and education practices at public beaches

Kelowna Safety Education Ambassadors Cara Mikoliunas (left) and Cheryl Browne answer questions during their patrol downtown.
July 31, 2020 - 5:31 PM

It’s the second day Kelowna's Safety Education Ambassadors are spreading awareness for COVID-19 social distancing procedures at parks, beaches and sports fields and so far, people seem to be taking social distancing seriously.

“Honestly, (they've been) warm and welcoming to know that we’re here, our goal is to educate and really promote access to many rather than all at one beach and one space. We’re just making sure everyone is feeling comfortable and safe,” said Cheryl Browne, as she patrolled City Park, Friday, July 31.

The city program takes 10 previous would-be laid off active living and culture staff and turned them into safety ambassadors for the summer, said Lance Kayfish, risk manager with the city.

Cara Mikoliunas, a Kelowna Safety Education Ambassador, walks through City Park.
Cara Mikoliunas, a Kelowna Safety Education Ambassador, walks through City Park.

“We’re getting out into the parks and sports fields and on Bernard Avenue and reminding people what it means to be safe during the pandemic,” he said. “Physical distancing, not gathering in groups and sticking to your bubble. We’re just try to reinforce a lot of good behaviour.”

The city also has a hidden gem map so residents can discover lesser-known beaches.

With the long weekend ahead, the program was launched July 30 in preparation for an expected surge in visitors and residents.

READ MORE: Education, not enforcement, focus of Kelowna’s new COVID-19 patrols

While the ambassadors won’t be enforcing social distancing regulations, they can contact bylaw services which have been responding to complaints and enforcing provincial health orders since March, Kayfish said.

“I think once people have been given reminders, they quickly adjust their behaviour, and the rules in bars have changed in some respects, so I think the important thing is that we keep the conversation going and that’s what these ambassadors are doing.”

The team is also keeping track of trends and activities happening around the city and adjusting their schedules for busier times of the day.

Kelowna Saftey Education Ambassadors talk to residents and visitors at City Park as they patrol the area.
Kelowna Saftey Education Ambassadors talk to residents and visitors at City Park as they patrol the area.

The success of the program will be determined based on the public’s feedback, feedback from the ambassadors and hopefully as long as Kelowna doesn’t experience another surge in COVID-19 cases, Kayfish said.

“But certainly, it’s not all on these 10 folks to stop that from happening, everyone has to take that personal responsibility," he said.

Nine new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Interior Health since yesterday, July 30. That brings the total cases connected to parties in the city in early July to 137.

You can find the ambassadors with their bright blue shirts at beaches, parks and sports fields this summer.

 - With files from Rob Munro

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile