Public parks in Penticton are closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. However, from April 1 to 21, local bylaw officers received eight complaints of people using closed public facilities and 50 COVID-19 related complaints in total. (File photo)

COVID-19: Penticton bylaw officers field 50 complaints in April

Noise complaints during 7 p.m. cheer for health care workers also received

In the past 21 days, Penticton bylaw officers have received 50 calls from concerned residents reporting non-compliance of COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation regulations.

Bylaw has also received multiple noise complaints during the 7 p.m. cheer for health care workers, according to bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert.

“People are doing that to show support and we’re getting complaints about the noise that it’s causing, so that’s kind of ironic,” said Siebert.

READ MORE: City of Penticton sees increase in unpermitted construction, renovation projects

Bylaw services are taking calls from the public about persons accessing public spaces that are closed, groups of people gathering in public that are not following the two-meter social distancing requirement, businesses that are operating without social distance restrictions, and people failing to self-isolate when necessary.

“We are asking citizens to use their judgment and only report infractions where groups are blatantly gathering in public spaces and ignoring the requirements for social distancing,” said bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert.

Bylaw is not handing out tickets to people who fail to follow guidelines but rather focusing on educating the public about the precautions they should be taking.

Siebert said that following a complaint residents have, “for the most part,” been understanding and receptive toward bylaw’s education efforts.

The different types of complaints bylaw has received break down into four categories, with lack of social distancing in public spaces the most common concern, totaling 20 complaints from April 1 to 21.

The complete breakdown of complaints in that time period is as follows:

  • Eight complaints of people using closed public facilities such as skateparks and playgrounds
  • Twelve complaints of businesses operating in contravention of public health orders
  • Twenty social distancing complaints
  • Ten complaints of people failing to self-isolate after returning from an international flight

Sibert said all instances of people failing to self-isolate after returning from an international flight have been forwarded to provincial health officers for further investigation.

Local bylaw officers are urging that people avoid becoming “complacent” even as cases of COVID-19 continue to slow in the province and warm weather makes “normal” activities more enticing.

“Just because you may not have heard of someone you know directly who has COVID-19 doesn’t mean it’s over and we can move on,” said Siebert. “It’s still very important to follow the rules.”

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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READ MORE: COVID-19: Penticton bylaw officers enforcing closure of public spaces

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