Karat Chocolate will be restricting its hours as of Tuesday March 17

COVID-19 beginning to take a toll on local business in Kelowna

Downtown Kelowna Association encourages Kelowna businesses to cancel events over 50 people

The Downtown Kelowna Association is encouraging all Kelowna businesses to follow the recommendation of the province to limit social gatherings to a maximum of 50 people.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday all gatherings of 50 or more people must be cancelled. Last week, Henry had called on all events and gatherings with more than 250 people to shut down.

“That’s aligned with what we’re seeing in the United States,” Henry said. The ban echoes U.S. Centre for Disease Control recommendations made in recent days.

READ MORE: Three more COVID-19 deaths at B.C. care home, as number of cases grows to 103

In response to the recent ban, the Taste of Downtown scheduled for May 2nd is being postponed. It will be rescheduled once health authorities indicate it is safe to do so. The upcoming Downtown After 5 scheduled for Wednesday, April 15th at OAK + CRU in the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort is also cancelled.

“The health, safety, and well-being of our customers, staff and their families are a top priority during this evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” reads a release issued by the DKA.

“Therefore, we are following the directives of the federal and provincial health authorities and plan to continue to do so moving forward.”

Small businesses in Kelowna have seen numbers in sales drop amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tables of Codfathers Market in Kelowna has seen business drop by 60 per cent since the beginning of the month. But while the pandemic has hurt the establishment’s revenue, manager Ross Derrick said he understands the importance of keeping the restaurant’s traffic low.

“We’re trying to focus more on takeout options for the time being,” said Derrick.

“If we need to we will switch to takeout only or shutdown. We have an older demographic, so we need to be mindful of that.”

The DKA said social media is indicating many of the downtown stores have closed, while a lot of restaurants are staying open while following the recommendations of the province.

READ MORE: Kelowna recreation centres make changes to operations amid COVID-19 concerns

In terms of St. Patricks day events, Kelowna’s biggest celebration has been cancelled. O’Flannigan’s Pub stated on Monday it is cancelling the festivities to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“After careful discussion and with a great deal of consideration, management of the Royal Anne Hotel and O’Flannigan’s Pub and Liquor store have decided to forego this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration at O’Flannigan’s Pub, due to COVID-19,” said Christine Park, hotel manager at the Royal Anne Hotel.

“As the health and safety of both our staff and patrons are of utmost concern and our number one priority. With heavy hearts, the decision was made to cancel our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this year and close the pub entirely on March 17.”

Doc Willoughby’s Public House will be continuing operations for the time being, while Sapphire Nightclub has cancelled all events in the near future.

As of Monday (March 16) afternoon Naked Cafe is no longer allowing patrons to dine in the restaurant. Customers are encourage to order take out by using the Naked Cafe app. You can download the app, place an order and pay online. No personal containers or mugs are allowed at this time.

Swimwear store 1000 Palms, located in The District on Bernard is going to be shutting down for the next two weeks.

All classes will be cancelled at REC Fitness, located in Cannery Lane, for the rest of the week.

Karate Chocolate, on Ellis Street, we will be closing all seating areas and is asking that guests utilize the to-go system. Hours are also being cut back from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and staff will be taking extra sanitizing precautions and wearing gloves while on shift.

350 BakeHouse and Cafe on Bernard Avenue, is also limiting it’s service to take out only and will be removing seating in the restaurant. Funktional store will be closing the store until April 1, where they will re-evaluate the situation surrounding COVID-19.

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