Many Burns Lake businesses have displayed the mask mandates and exemptions in their windows. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Many Burns Lake businesses have displayed the mask mandates and exemptions in their windows. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Mask mandate violations continue in Burns Lake

Experts urge vaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks as well

Over the past few days, several community members in Burns Lake have taken to social media complaining about those in the community who have been flouting the mask mandate. Some members of the community have encountered others who refuse to wear masks in public, especially in grocery stores.

In response to the rising number of people not wearing masks, Burns Lake Mayor Dolores Funk expressed her concern and displeasure.

“I am deeply saddened that there are those within our community that would choose to put their individual “rights and freedoms” above the well-being and safety of the whole. I, personally, do not love wearing a mask. It is uncomfortable, it makes it harder to breathe (especially for those of us, like me, who find it can make them panicky), and is quite simply inconvenient. However, I do know that scientifically, masks work!” she said.

Last year in November, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer put in place the mandatory mask order. According to this order, masks are required in all public indoor and retail spaces.

Exemptions for the mask mandate

Henry did leave room for those unable to wear a mask for a medical or disability-related reason and said in those cases, people would be exempt from wearing masks. She also cautioned that not all people’s conditions will be visible.

Some of the reasons for the exemption are if you are 12 years or younger, if you have a health condition preventing you from wearing a mask or a physical or a mental condition, or if you are unable to put on remove a mask without assistance from others.

Several businesses in Burns Lake have now put up a list of these exemptions from the B.C. Office of the Human Rights Commissioner about the mask order in their windows. The mandate and the list of exemptions also states that those who are able to wear a mask but choose not to as a matter of preference, are not exempt from the mask mandate. Additionally, the people who are not exempt and yet refuse to wear masks, could be fined according to the province.

“If you are unable to wear a mask, please order your groceries via curbside pickup and minimize your time in our stores. I do not say this to be harsh or uncaring, I say this because people’s lives depend on your compliance. I know that it is a cliché by now, but we are in this together. And my desire is that every single one of us, will come out the other side of this, alive, healthy, and ready to move on to a new era,” added Funk.

COVID vaccine and masks

Starting this week, everyone in Burns Lake above the age of 18 years is eligible to receive a COVID vaccine. However, despite receiving a COVID vaccine people will have to continue wearing masks. With the continually evolving situation with the pandemic, information on how the virus would behave after receiving a vaccine is still under study and hence, the mask mandate would continue to remain in place.

In fact, even for those who are fully vaccinated, experts and scientists have called for continued care including mask-wearing and hand-washing for the time being.

“Masks help to contain the spread of COVID and its variants. This is a powerful tool that we have in our hands. It is a simple tool that protects our loved ones, makes our community safe and will enable us to weather this challenge!” said Funk.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

The Beacon Theatre roof project will ensure the theatre’s roof can handle the snow loads and stay open during winter months. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Roof replacement for Beacon Theatre begins

Theatre to remain closed until August

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Most Read