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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Most Read