Vernon mayor says city ready for gradual reopening of economy - InfoNews

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Vernon mayor says city ready for gradual reopening of economy

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Vernon
May 05, 2020 - 10:05 AM

Vernon's mayor has written an open letter to the B.C. government saying the city is ready for a gradual return to open up the economy again.

In the open letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Mayor Victor Cumming says his city is ready to support a "gradual and managed return" to a more "normal social and business environment."

Cumming praises the work of the provincial government and "thoughtful leadership" which has contained the spread of the virus, prevented chaos within the health care system and reduced the loss of life.

"I concur with your comment last week that the return will not be a 'flick of a switch' and appreciate your government's 'methodical approach' in order to avoid the second wave that Dr. Henry references and is widely recognized by the scientific community," reads the letter.

"Like many, our council and business community are anxious to enter the recovery phase; expanding the types of businesses that can open successfully, allowing personal services under strict directions and opening adjacent (pseudo-municipal) provincial parks to day use only," he said. "We look forward to the direction of your government, as laid out in a business and social recovery plan which we understand you will release later this week."

Cumming agrees with Dr. Henry that we do not want to see a significant second wave of COVID-19 and lose what gains have made collectively.

The letter says the Vernon opened an Emergency Operations Centre Mar. 13, and the City has remained open for business with the implementations issued by the province.

"Our parks, public washrooms, public hand washing stations all remain open. We have created an 'Ambassador' team of staff, using otherwise laid off recreation staff, who circulate in our parks on weekends to monitor and politely encourage social distancing and gatherings limited to family and household members. Our Ambassadors monitor tennis courts, basketball courts, the skateboard park, our beaches and picnic areas. Our commitment is to a safe, healthy recreation experience within the guidelines set by Dr. Henry," reads the letter.

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