Children and teens continue to use the Summerland Skatepark. The ones pictured here are practicing social distancing and are staying two meters apart, but concerns have been raised that some people — of all ages — are not following proper social distancing guidelines. Mayor Toni Boot urges those at the park and at playgrounds around the community to practice social distancing. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Follow directives to slow spread of COVID-19, Summerland mayor urges

Mayor Toni Boot calls on community to practice social distancing

Summerland residents need to work together and follow the directives to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Toni Boot said.

“Please follow the social distancing,” she said. “Stay at home, keep your kids at home. If you are able to work from home, work from home.”

Boot’s comments echo statements made by others, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 prompts closures in Summerland

READ ALSO: Summerland care facilities work to protect residents from COVID-19

“Like we do inside, we need to go outside with our close family, with our small groups,” Henry said during a provincial briefing on Friday. “We’re not to be outside in groups. We’re not to be out playing basketball. We’re not to be out sitting together in large groups on the beach, watching the beautiful sunsets that we have.”

Boot said while COVID-19 can affect people of all ages, its effects tend to be more severe among the elderly.

She said most people in Summerland — but not all — have been good about respecting and following the directives to slow the spread of the pandemic.

She added that a strong message is needed to tell parents and children to observe social distancing at playgrounds in municipal parks. While Summerland’s parks remain open, municipal staff have posted information signs urging people to observe distances in order to limit possible exposure to the virus.

Likewise, the Summerland Skatepark remains open, but Boot urges children and teens at the park not to be clustered too close to each other.

While the virus continues to spread and while public interactions have been limited, Boot urges people to support each other during this time.

“Be kind, be mindful, think of your friends and neighbours,” she said. “Above all, don’t panic.”

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