The Loose Bay Campground, a seasonal facility catering to agricultural workers in Oliver, is scheduled to soon open for the summer, despite growing concerns over migrant workers and COVID-19.
The Loose Bay Campground Society, an agricultural industry group that managed the campground, recently voted to dissolve as a result of the complexities of meeting the safety guidelines required by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is has taken control of the campground.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 safety protocols which follow provincial health directives, are scheduled to be in place when the campground opens on May 1, said the regional district in a news release.
On April 28 the regional district facilitated a conference call with stakeholders including the former chair of the Loose Bay Campground Society, the BC Fruit Growers’ Association, the Town of Oliver, Interior Health, AgSafe BC, local elected officials, and staff from the RDOS and Oliver Emergency Operations Centres, to devise a plan on how to safely host campers.
Plans are now being finalized to ensure staff and campers at the Loose Bay Campground follow provincial health directives. Interior Health is providing guidance on the plans.
Measures at Loose Bay Campground will include:
- Signage on site regarding COVID-19 protocols and compliance
- Contractors and bylaw officials will be available to ensure compliance and provide information
- Regular cleaning of campground washroom facilities as per provincial health directives
- Kitchen and communal areas will be closed
- No campfires will be allowed to ensure physical distancing; Campers will cook using propane or gas stoves
- Measures for campers who require self-isolation or quarantine are still under discussion
The regional district says their staff will continue working with industry representatives, provincial health agencies and local elected officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Agricultural workers are a designated essential service and providing seasonal accommodations at Loose Bay Campground are an important part of ensuring they remain available for service, and stay safe,” reads a statement from the regional district.