Mayor Gary Sulz addressed the crowd at the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in 2019. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

‘Be kind’ says Revelstoke mayor in wake of COVID-19 shaming

Mayor Gary Sulz said folks may not understand the situation facing another during this health crisis

Mayor Gary Sulz said calling out friends and neighbours is not the right course of action during the pandemic.

“I hear the stories of social shaming and the voices of the people wanting to re-open,” he said in his weekly address on April 21.

“None of us know the reason that others may be traveling to our community or those sheltering in place.”

During the last month, the Revelstoke Community Facebook page has been littered with individuals calling out others for congregating or visiting.

According to a public health order released March 16 by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, gatherings in excess of 50 people are prohibited.

READ MORE: Meet the moderator of Revelstoke’s most popular Facebook community

People who ignore the order can be jailed or fined up to $25,000, under B.C.’s Public Health Act.

As-of-April 16, bylaw officers have followed up on 18 calls since April 1 in regards to people congregating. The city said no fines has been issued in Revelstoke.

The province is also urging individuals to keep two metres apart in public.

Sulz said people may not understand the situation facing another that might cause them to leave home.

“Nor can we understand the toll that this pandemic is taking on people’s mental health or the fear that we see in the eyes of another as we pass them on the street.”

Sulz continued, saying to do what you can to protect yourself and those you love.

“I encourage you to focus your efforts and actions on your responsibilities and not spend your time calling out the actions of others.”

READ MORE: City praises Revelstokians for compliance during pandemic

On April 20, the province said anyone with symptoms can now be tested for COVID-19.

Primary symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, key indicators of the novel coronavirus that can cause a range of illness from mild symptoms to life-threatening pneumonia-like conditions.

“While everyone can get tested, not everyone needs to get tested,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

“That’s very important. If you do not have symptoms, this test has very limited benefit and is not necessarily valid.”

READ MORE: PHOTOS: A look at Revelstoke during the pandemic

Previously, B.C’s testing focused broadly on returning travellers, health care workers and to track community transmission cases.

As-of-April 20, B.C.’s current testing rate is 10,999 per million people, compared to 14,780 per million in Canada as a whole, with Quebec and Ontario grappling with much higher numbers of cases testing positive.

The Selkirk Medical Group, a local clinic in Revelstoke, is encouraging anyone who believes they might be developing COVID-19 symptoms to reach out to their doctor or contact the Revelstoke Test Centre for further instructions.

The test centre can be reached at 250-814-2230.

Over 50 more cases of COVID-19 were reported in the province over the weekend, with five more deaths, bringing the total to 86.



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