The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in so many ways, and it is an on-going learning process as we navigate the road to recovery and the new normal. Although COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available and mean better days ahead, the safety of our community and its residents continues to be the number one priority for all of us.

On March 29, the Province of B.C. released new Provincial wide restrictions which will be in effect until April 19. By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer the following new, or extended, orders include:

  • For restaurants, bars and pubs, all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios. People dining on patios should do so with their immediate household or core bubble.
  • Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are also paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only i.e., one-on-one personal training.
  • The previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services under the current variance may continue.
  • Travel continues to be limited to essential travel, work, or medical reasons only. For those who have travelled outside their health region, if you or anyone in your family develops any signs of illness, you must stay home from work, school, or daycare, and arrange to get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
  • All workers are strongly encouraged to work from home, where possible.
  • Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage
  • Students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.
  • Mandatory face mask requirement within all Indoor facilities.
  • No indoor gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble.

The new or extended measures were put in place as a proactive measure to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. At this time, keeping the public safety from COVID-19 is a top priority throughout B.C., and that of course includes Invermere.

The District of Invermere is following all public health orders to help control the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, everyone must wear a face mask in public settings. This is now mandatory in places such as local businesses, workplaces, and anywhere that people may be around others.

Wearing a face mask has always been about protecting one another. I ask all of you to please be respectful and follow the Provincial Health Officer’s new orders.

This is a precautionary step. This is not a reaction to an immediate concern or threat in our community. We are very fortunate that the number of COVID-19 cases continues to be very low in our area; however, to help ensure we are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe, we will continue to follow the guidance given by Public Health Officials.

I ask that you all do your part by educating yourself on the importance of wearing a face mask and staying safe. Face masks should be worn correctly and consistently for the best protection. Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask and do not touch the mask when wearing it. Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

At this time, please stay local and avoid non-essential travel within B.C. Do not travel outside of the province unless it is essential. Now is the time to show our support for our local businesses, for example, area restaurants through take-out food orders or enjoying a meal at an outdoor restaurant patio.

The health restrictions are temporary to help keep everyone safe. Trust me when I say this, we love our visitors.

Social interaction and getting together with others in person and online are very important to our well-being and mental health. At this time, British Columbians must limit in-person social gatherings to the people they live with. This is not the time to invite friends or family over to your home. And please do not go to someone else’s home for a social visit at this time. Wash your hands and keep your distance from others.

The intent of the Province’s new health orders is to set ourselves up for success, not failure. A crucial component of our success in fighting this pandemic has been the cooperation and efforts made by all community members. I am grateful to all that continue to act responsibly and for the patience and respect you show one another. It is important for all of us to be reasonable and respectful in our expectations of each other during what has been a challenging time for all of us.

We are getting through this, and we are doing it together. Your continued cooperation is much appreciated.

Thank you,
Mayor Al Miller