Burns Lake RCMP sees increase in COVID-related calls. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake RCMP sees increase in COVID-related calls. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake sees increase in COVID restriction calls

Two violation tickets have already been given out

The Burns Lake RCMP has been getting a high number of calls for response around COVID restrictions.

“Burns Lake has received an increase of Covid restriction related calls for service. Our response is still a measured approach regarding compliance. Should enforcement be required, a violation ticket can be issued,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson of the RCMP.

To date, there have been two violation tickets issued in the Burns Lake area.

“The two violations were issued following a house party and the other was issued when a visitor refused to leave a private residence and causing belligerent behaviour,” said Saunderson.

An update from the ministry addressed this issue earlier last week and said that anyone without a mask in an indoor public place or who refuses to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space, may be subject to a $230 fine.

As of Dec. 11, there were already four COVID exposure incidents at William Konkin Elementary School in Burns Lake and one possible exposure incident at the Decker Lake Mill.

At the time of going to press, B.C. had a total of 773 new COVID-19 cases, taking the provincial total to 40,060 cases till date. Northern Health had a total of 40 new cases taking the health authority’s total to 1,199 cases of which 788 had recovered, 43 were hospitalized, 14 were in critical care and there were nine confirmed deaths.

However, tracking by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows cases declining in recent days after peaking at nearly 1,000 in November. Restrictions on private gatherings, indoor fitness, team sports and non-essential travel were imposed, first on Fraser Health region and then province-wide.

The restrictions were supposed to last for a two-week period ending on Dec. 7 however, the increasing number of cases in province prompted the health officers to extend the measures until January 8, 2021.

“This weekend, take a step back from the usual holiday rush,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement around the latest results.

“Take the time to get outside and enjoy a quieter weekend with those in your household. Show your loved ones you care by staying local and staying away right now.”

– with files from Tom Fletcher

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Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist


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