Kelowna business closed due to COVID followed safety plan to the letter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna business closed due to COVID followed safety plan to the letter

Kelowna Toyota
Image Credit: YOUTUBE
May 11, 2021 - 11:20 AM

A third Kelowna business has been ordered closed by Interior Health due to COVID-19 in less than a week.

The accounting firm Thalheimer & Company was ordered to close its office yesterday, May 10. The firm will be closed until May 20. It joins OK Tire on Dilworth Drive and the parts and service department of Kelowna Toyota.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they were violating COVID safety rules, the general manager of Kelowna Toyota told

“It’s just unlucky timing,” Jamie Kaban said.

READ MORE: Two Kelowna automotive businesses closed because of COVID transmission

Kaban voluntarily closed the parts and service department on Friday after hearing from Interior Health that a staff member had tested positive for COVID.

Because of privacy issues, he was not told who or how many staff were infected, just that the whole department had to self-isolate. The order to shut down wasn't issued until Saturday.

“I made the decision, before getting the order, thinking: ‘If this is going to happen, let’s close down to be safe,’” he said. “I don’t want customers walking through the doors and us having to say: ‘By the way, we have an active case.’ All it’s going to do is scare people off.”

It was a tough decision to make because it meant cancelling 500 appointments.

“Some people won’t rebook but most were very kind about it,” Kaban said. “They understood why we were doing what we were doing.”

The safety plan the company has in place is just fine, he was told. All he has to do is wait for the workers to finish their isolation period before re-opening.

“I just asked them (Interior Health) if there’s anything differently I should do right now and they said: ‘No. Leave the contact tracing up to us. We’ll take care of that and you guys keep following your COVID plan to a T and there will be no other changes,’” Kaban said.

Still, he’s brought in an industrial disinfecting fogger to disinfect the entire dealership a number of times.

This brings the number of businesses closed in the Interior Health region to six since new health orders were issued in April allowing health authorities to temporarily close businesses if there are active cases associated with them.

Two others are in Summerland and one in Williams Lake.

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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