Mayor advocates for mask use in village

 | August 5, 2020

Encouragement comes after multiple cases confirmed in community

Photo Sharon McCutcheon

Sun Peaks’ Mayor, Al Raine, has added his voice to the chorus of community leaders around the province encouraging wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a letter shared with customer facing businesses with the help of Tourism Sun Peaks on July 30, Raine asked businesses to speak with staff about donning masks. 

“I am requesting that all businesses require all employees to wear face masks while working on your premises,” he wrote. “We need to be ‘mask friendly’ as of Friday, July 31 to send the message to our guests and residents that masks are advised within the village area and when in all businesses.” 

While the request doesn’t make coverings mandatory, Raine said he was encouraged to see businesses and residents wearing more masks in the village.

“I must say I think probably half the businesses were already wearing them or were planning on it for the long weekend,” Raine told SPIN. 

He said he hopes the step can help prevent further spread of the virus, as three active cases have been confirmed in recent weeks, as well as show visitors the community is taking the risk seriously. 

“I’m not an expert on the virus, I’m just trying to use some common sense…We want to contain the spread of the virus here in Sun Peaks so that’s probably a good first step. My hope is that public health is right (that the current cases have been contained) and it will die off here in 14 days.” 

In addition to the mayor’s suggestion to businesses, Sun Peaks’ Community Health Centre has committed to publishing a weekly update. Raine said he thinks it will be beneficial in providing accurate information in sometimes confusing time. 

“I’m very pleased Dr. Barclay volunteered to do a weekly statement,” Raine said. “One of the things here unfortunately is the rumours…I think for everybody’s comfort level we shouldn’t be believing everything we see online or everything somebody tells us. Most people are afraid of the coronavirus so when you hear a rumour the natural tendency is to make it sound worse.”