We in Kimberley are not out of the woods yet with the Coronavirus, says Mayor Don McCormick, and we won’t be for a while.
What is concerning McCormick is that as we open up more and more, people may be becoming complacent in terms of social distancing, and taking other precautions such as wearing masks in tight spaces and hand washing.
McCormick says he has noticed things getting looser as the province opens more.
“Things are opening up faster and more successfully than we would have imagined back in March,” he said. “But along with that positive news come challenges.
“Just because we are not hearing as much about cases, doesn’t mean it’s not around.
“We’ve been diligent about sanitation, social distancing and masks in tight quarters, but as visitors return to town, we must continue. The virus is going to be around for at least another six months.
“Along with opening up comes responsibility. We must continue to social distance, pay attention to sanitation and wear masks in tight spaces.
“We’ll be just fine if we pay attention.”
McCormick says we are fortunate in Kimberley that most of the activities people pursue are outdoors.
And he is pleased that most indicators are that there is still potential for a solid summer business-wise.
“I have heard from accommodators that reservations are strong, indicating we should have at least as good a year this year as last.”
Granted, he says, some of those reservations may have been made before COVID-10 hit and some may cancel, but many people are travelling closer to home, making Kimberley a good choice to visit.
“Airline travel is down and people who would normally travel further and looking closer to home. Being four hours from Calgary makes us a good place to check out. If people like what they see, they will come back.”
One thing McCormick also wants to address is behaviour towards visitors. He urges residents to look at behaviour rather than license plates. If a visitor is practicing COVID-19 protocols, there is no need not to be welcoming, he says.
“It’s how they behave when they get here,” he said. “Observe behaviour not licence plates.”