Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19

Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19

District also working with businesses on ‘voluntary reductions in operations and shutdowns’

Expect delays at the transfer station, and there is now a place to do your business, says the District of Hope.

In updates Thursday and Friday, the District of Hope stated there are now handicap accessible portable toilets in Memorial Park. They’ve also placed hand wash stations there as well, after closing public washrooms last week. “These portable toilets will best safeguard against transmission of the COVID-19 virus by ensuring single use access and appropriate spacing,” the district stated.

Earlier this week, the district also closed playgrounds at Memorial Park and Kawkawa Lake.

After one resident warned of out-of-town visitors checking in to the Coquihalla Campground, the district stated the campground has now stopped taking reservations for “all forms of recreational camping.” They are still open for anyone with a local address who needs to self isolate for 14 days, provided they have “fully contained RV units.”

This closure comes just days after Hope’s tourism and economic development organization AdvantageHOPE urged non-residents to stay away from the community and leave essential supplies and services for locals.

Read more: Don’t come to Hope, says local tourism agency

The district also warned residents to expect delays at the Hope transfer station due to measures put in place in response to COVID-19, as well as the annual spring cleaning rush. Run by Valley Waste, the transfer station is now only allowing one vehicle in at a time. Anyone heading to the station is being asked not to get out of their vehicles when weighing in or out, instead the scale attendant will assist while people remain in their cars “to maximize social distancing.”

Hope’s Mayor Peter Robb also posted an update on the district’s website Thursday, urging people to continue to obey health authorities by “maximize social distancing,” eliminating non-essential travel and following hygiene recommendations.

“Many of you are concerned about hoarding and the motivations behind some non-residents buying items in Hope,” the mayor stated, adding provincial measure to control and coordinate supply chains of key items, as well as ban the resale of essential items will help with these concerns.

Provincial leaders said Thursday these bans, and other orders including limiting gatherings to under 50 people, would be enforced at the municipal level. Robb said the district will be looking to augment bylaw enforcement and will also be directing the local RCMP detachment regarding enforcement.

So far, there is no order to shut down non-essential businesses. In Hope, several businesses have taken the preventative measure of closing their doors while others continue to keep their doors open. “Despite this, we are working with businesses to get voluntary reductions in operation and shutdowns while helping them get the support they need,” Robb said.

Read more: Hope Mayor urges calm in Monday address regarding COVID-19

Robb added the district’s council will be starting up virtual council meetings “to keep the important business moving for our community during this crisis.”