Invermere mayor says bill payments can wait and asks visitors to please stay home

Al Miller provides an update on the District of Invermere and COVID-19.

Submitted by Al Miller, mayor of Invermere

Our DOI office is still closed due to the COVID-19 virus. Our main concern for Mayor and Council, is the safety of our staff and our citizens. We have staff working at both the office and from home in order to quarantine and to socially and physically distance in our work areas. If you require any of our services don’t hesitate to call or email, and we will help you out.

Through these uncertain times we understand it will be financially difficult for many. Council felt it was very important to help out by deferring the utility bill without penalties when they would be normally due. There will be extra grace time given till November.

‘Stay in place’ has been a common theme for several weeks right across the country. One of the biggest contributors to spreading this disease is travel and congregating together. I have personally been on several radio and television stations in both B.C. and Alberta asking for the visitors and second home owners to please stay where they are. We absolutely hate having to say this because we all know that tourism and second home owners bring not only great economics to the Columbia Valley, but many also bring their volunteer spirit with them and help out in so many ways. And in many ways several of them have become very good friends and neighbours. The problem is our infrastructure will not handle a surge in the virus if the pandemic grows in our area. Many folks have told me if they get the virus they will simply hop in their car and drive quickly back to Alberta. But if you chat with the health care professionals, as we do, not all cases affect people the same. You can go from a symptom to ICU in a matter of a very short time in many cases. And that would be problematic for our small hospital. Health units across the world are saying ‘stay home.’ And we had better listen so that we can get through this as soon as possible.

There are many good links on the web page (https://invermere.net/covid-19-response/) and I suggest you check them out so that you can make informed decisions set out by our qualified medical teams.

On behalf of Mayor and Council I would also like to thank all our front line workers who are working hard to keep everyone safe and well with their essential needs. And to the chief of staff of our medical departments and all other health care workers, we applaud all of you in your efforts to keep us informed and safe. We thank you.

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