Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne is urging residents to follow the new provincials orders on COVID-19.
“The onus is on the public,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight. “Everyone has to do their part so this doesn’t happen again, whether you agree with it or not.”
Sweeping new orders were introduced by provincial health officer Bonnie Henry Thursday, Nov. 19, following an increase in COVID cases across the province.
Masks are now required in all indoor public settings and retail stores, and in shared areas in the workplace. No social gatherings of any size are permitted in private residences, outside of the household or core bubble.
Non-essential travel and outdoor gatherings are also disallowed.
The orders are in effect until Dec. 7.
Coyne and the rest of the council made the decision on the weekend to close town hall and the visitor’s centre for two weeks.
Town staff are still working, and taking appointments, however the preferred method of meeting will be over the phone, the mayor said.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League suspended play for two weeks, benching the Princeton Posse.
Princeton Art Council classes are suspended, and the annual Light Up Festival is cancelled.
Coyne said he is worried about the economic impacts on the community, if the restrictions are ignored and the orders stay in place past Dec. 7.
“These next weeks are crucial to our retailers. This could be the breaking point from some and I’m concerned about that.”
He is also apprehensive about the mental health of residents over the holiday season.
“Everyone needs to wear a mask. If we don’t it’s very possible that this Christmas will be very lonely for a lot of people.”