With cases in the Northern Health region on the rise, several people in Burns Lake have been complaining about the local Save On Foods’ non enforcement of the mask mandates.
Social media has been rife with several people talking about how many people have been going in to Save On Foods’ without masks and aren’t being asked to wear one.
When Lakes District News reached out to Save On Foods, they wrote back clarifying what and how Save On Foods’ is enforcing the provincial mandate.
“The safety and security of our team members and customers is always our highest priority and we are paying particular attention to this given the increasing escalation in tensions and violence in the workplace being driven by the emotions around COVID-19 and its related restrictions,” said the email.
The Save On Foods’ media team also said that the the stores are doing “their level best” to inform and educate the public about this government order by posting signage at the door, recordings to pre-recorded PA announcements, and have even made face masks available to customers at the service desks.
On Nov. 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced a new set of measures, one of which was making masks mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in the province.
Masks are required for both customers and employees in indoor retail and public spaces in all parts of the province, except for when eating or drinking in a designated food service area.
During the briefing, Henry also clarified that those unable to wear a mask for a medical or disability related reason are exempt, and cautioned that not all people’s conditions will be visible.
”Further to the Nov. 19 briefing from our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, we cannot make assumptions about our customers and are cognizant that we don’t always know on the surface if the customer has a condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. We are following the orders of our public health officials and expect our customers to do the same,” wrote the media personnel.
Contact tracers have not been seeing transmission between people in public spaces such as grocery stores, which according to health officials is due to so many people wearing masks voluntarily.
“Since the onset of this pandemic, the safety of our communities has been our focus and as we make our way through this together, we will continue to make safety our most important priority,” said the Save On Foods’ media personnel.
– with files from Katya Slepian