Notices were set up at public parks in Summerland during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Tuesday, the notices were changed as the playgrounds, outdoor courts and skatepark were closed to the public in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland continues to close its doors

Businesses and services restrict access; notices set up at parks as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Doors are continuing to close in Summerland as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Over the past week, many businesses in downtown Summerland have closed their doors to the public. While some have closed entirely, others have posted signs informing clients and customers that all transactions are to be done by telephone or by email.

Municipal and protective agencies have also closed their doors to the public, although they are providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Summerland RCMP detachment closed its front counter as of March 18.

The police detachment continues to operate and the telephone at the detachment is still in use.

RCMP Const. James Grandy said the decision to close the counter was made in order to limit public contact with police staff due to COVID-19 concerns.

The closure is similar to the one enacted in Penticton, which eliminated all non-essential front counter services, including fingerprinting and police information checks.

For non-emergency matters, the public can call the detachment at 250-494-7416.

The municipality has closed municipal hall and its works and utility office to the public, effective March 19. Staff at both facilities are continuing to work.

“District of Summerland staff will still be available by telephone or email to serve the public and continue business during regular hours,” said Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer with the community.

“Any essential services that may require a meeting with staff will be done by appointment only. The community should contact the relevant department to make an appointment.”

Earlier, the municipality had closed the Summerland Arena and the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre in order to slow the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, playgrounds, outdoor courts and the skatepark were also closed.

The meeting on Monday evening was open to the public, in order to comply with provincial legislation.

However, the agenda was shortened to defer those items which would require a public comment opportunity or a public hearing.

“It’s really important for us to proceed so we’re following the proper processes,” Mayor Toni Boot said.

“We’re following all of the procedures that are being strongly recommended by public health.”

In addition, the Summerland Arts and Cultural Centre on Wharton Street has been closed to the public since March 18.

The Summerland Ornamental Gardens were closed to the public on the same date. Numerous events, including the annual general meeting, have been postponed.

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce building, which also houses the visitor centre, has also closed its doors. The closure was announced March 18.

Around the community, many other businesses have either limited their hours or have closed their doors to the public entirely. Some are holding meetings in extreme cases and by appointment only, while others are only communicating with clients and customers by telephone, video conference, text and email.

The Summerland Review will continue to publish, but the office building on Victoria Road North is now closed to the public. To reach the paper, call 250-494-5406 or email news@summerlandreview.com or class@summerlandreview.com.

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