British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Harrison Hot Springs lays down mask rules for village-owned spaces

Brief Monday meeting sets up schedule for next year, upcoming events

As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the province, Harrison Hot Springs officials are working to bolster safety measures.

During the Nov. 2 council meeting, council voted unanimously, passing a mandate requiring facial masks or coverings in public areas of municpally owned buildings.

The masks are not required if villagers are seated in designated seating at least two metres apart from other people – recommended social distancing in place since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. Those who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons and children under the age of five years old are exempt from this mandate. The village mask mandate will remain in place “until such time as provinical public health officials advise it is no longer necessary.”

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

While the pandemic hit Fraser East hard recently, Agassiz-Harrison has stayed relatively free of major COVID-19 events. A day short of 9 months after the first confirmed Candian case of COVID-19, the first local outbreak occured. until Oct. 26, where one staff member from the Mackay Crescent facility went into self-isolation. Staff and residents are screened twice a day as a result of the outbreak, per Fraser Health information. Within the Fraser-Cascade School district, Fraser Health notified students and families of Hope Secondary that a COVID-19 exposure event had occurred; there was no direct risk to the public.

In other council business, the council unanimously approved price changes to the boat launch facily and parking for the 2021 season. The prices are the following:

Day Launch – $25

Season Pass – $150

Fleet Pass – $500

Parking Pass per one day – $12

Additional Parking – $12

Taxes and surcharges benefiting the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue are included in these prices.

RELATED: Harrison to continue visitor deterring measures, beef up COVID-19 rule enforcement

In a late item, Coun. Gerry Palmer proposed the village staff report to council about setting up a policy to replace every tree removed from public lands. Coun. Michie Vidal upped the ante, suggesting two trees be planted to replace every tree removed.

“I think that sends a message that council is making an attempt to recognize climate change as trees do play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gasses,” Coun. Vidal said. The council voted yes unanimously, sending it to the staff to look into viable options.

The council approved the meeting schedule for 2021 as well as closures for the upcoming year. The Council also approved Coun. Palmer as Harrison’s representative to the Fraser Valley Regional Library Board. Coun. Ray Hooper is the alternate.

The council passed a council code of conduct; this code is based on a model from the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).

The next Harrison Hot Springs Council meeting is slated for Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

In an effort to curb COVID-19 spread, those who attend public meetings will be required to register their contact information. If you have symptoms of a cold or of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, fatigue), please stay home.

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