By Steve Hubrecht
The District of Invermere is continuing its COVID-19 reopening and, as part of the measures it is taking, it will be hiring a local community Restart Plan ambassador.
Many other municipalities in the East Kootenay are also hiring community ambassadors. The role — which will likely extend from June through to the end of August — involves educating the public about the importance of physical distancing, providing information and answering questions about the B.C. Restart Plan, and encouraging the safe use of open amenities and services.
The matter was discussed by Invermere council during its Tuesday, May 26 committee of the whole meeting, with acting chief administrative officer Kindry Luyendyk explaining that in most other East Kootenay municipalities, local governments have filed the role by hiring a staff member they had previously had to let go of due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Invermere, she pointed out, has not cut any staff, and so will be advertising the job and hiring a new person for the role.
Other reopening measures discussed at the meeting include the opening of playgrounds and splash parks, the decision of which is up to council, but which is happening in many places across B.C. in early June.
Council agreed that Invermere should follow provincial norms, and Luyendyk pointed out that the district may need to put up some signs reminding people to bring and use their own sanitizer to apply after using the playgrounds and splash park, as it would be impossible for the district to sanitize these facilities after each individual use.
The district office will also open back up to the public in June. Luyendyk told council members that the district does not have a detailed plan completely in place yet, but that efforts are underway to get plexiglass, floor stickers and other items needed for the office to function and maintain social distancing. She added that as part of the plan some district staff may continue to work from home, and some may work in the office in rotating shifts.