The City of Kimberley has asked for a stop on all non-essential visitor traffic into the city for at least the next month in an effort to slow the impact of COVID-19.
“Viruses don’t travel, people do,” Mayor Don McCormick said in a City of Kimberley Facebook post issued on Tuesday.
“We know that the virus is in our community, but lack of broad testing makes it invisible. Our primary concern is for Kimberley’s more than 2,000 residents that are in the vulnerable category.”
The City is concerned that visitors entering the community could potentially carry the novel coronavirus, putting our vulnerable segments of the population at risk.
The other major consideration behind this new mandate is of the area’s healthcare facilities. As we are a relatively remote community without a hospital, Kimberley relies on Cranbrook’s East Kootenay Regional Hospital. If their facilities become overburdened, the risk for everyone’s health increases greatly.
McCormick acknowledged the strain and concern this places on the local business community, but he said that he worries non-essential traffic into the city at this time would only make the situation worse.
“Given all of this, we are telling anyone considering coming to Kimberley – or this region for that matter – to please stay home until we weather this pandemic,” McCormick said. “Self quarantine at home is the way we will beat this thing sooner than later.”
McCormick reiterated the City is monitoring the status of the situation continually and keeping in step with the Provincial Health Officer’s advice.
“Although we do not know exactly when we can begin to promote travel again, rest assured it will be as soon as it is safe to do so,” McCormick said.
“Thank you for doing your part to keep Kimberley safe and your contribution to flattening the curve. We are making on impact on the numbers in BC. If we continue to be vigilant and listen to Dr. Henry we will successfully get through this.”