A physical distancing reminder sign sits in a garden bed in Harrison Hot Springs. Physical distancing measures remain in place during public meetings, council meetings and when enjoying the village’s outdoors. (Adam Louis/Observer)

Harrison Village: Please maintain physical distancing in meetings

Village officials issue reminder of regulations amid continued pandemic measures

  • Aug. 7, 2020 12:00 a.m.

As public meetings and council meetings grow more frequent after the summer holiday Mondays, Harrison Hot Springs officials want to remind the public certain COVID-19 rules remain in place.

Council and public meetings are currently held at Memorial Hall in order to allow for a bigger capacity for the public while maintaining physical distancing protocols brought on by the pandemic. Village staff stressed this change is for the safety of the public as well as village officials and council; while it is a different venue, the same guidelines and rules that applied at the village hall also apply at Memorial Hall.

“We ask that you respect the office of the elected officials and their proceedings,” a recent announcement read. “All other areas within the hall are not available to the public. Public washrooms are available for use at the entrance to the hall.”

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The chairs in the council chambers as well as the seating area for media and the village staff and officials is laid out before each meeting, and village staff ask that those in attendance do not move chairs or tables.

“The maximum occupancy capacity for the main area of Memorial Hall has been established as 46 persons in accordance with WorkSafe B.C.’s guidance,” the announcement continues. “As such, designated seating has been positioned in the chambers to ensure physical distancing measures are met. Please do not move any of the designated seating before or during the proceedings.”

Further to the point of physical distancing and safety, the village staff also asks the public to refrain from congregating in the lobby or the chamber following the meeting, but rather to exit the building safely while sustaining physical distancing.

Digital copies of the council agenda are available online at www.harrisonhotsprings.ca. Wifi is available at Memorial Hall under the secure network (password: Harrison2019!).

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Elsewhere in the village, the long weekend brought on a crowd of tourists to possibly rival pre-coronavirus levels. Village Coun. Gerry Palmer posted a public Facebook note on Sunday (August 2) expressing his gratitude toward bylaw officers and village staff on an especially busy weekend.

“[Village Mayor Leo Facio] has arranged for at least two police officers to be here…a traffic director at the boat launch entrance and four bylaw enforcement officers for longer than normal hours; that, plus the normal cleaning and garbage removal staff,” Coun. Palmer wrote. “I know quite often they are all subject to a lot of Facebook criticism but I want to thank them all for a great job in difficult circumstances.”

The next Harrison Hot Springs Village Council meeting is scheduled for August 10 at Memorial Hall, starting at 7 p.m. Physical distancing protocols are in place.

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