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Revelstoke mayor warns tourists refusing to stay away they could get sick

Last Updated Dec 5, 2020 at 12:16 pm PST

(Courtesy facebook.com/TourismRevelstoke)
Summary

Revelstoke mayor describes his frustration with tourists still choosing to visit despite Dr. Bonnie Henry's directives

Earlier this week someone in Revelstoke posted an ad on social media seeking out exposure to COVID-19

Mayor Gary Sulz said those responsible for the ad are 'playing with a loaded gun'

REVELSTOKE (NEWS 1130) — As the number of COVID-19 cases in Revelstoke is expected to keep climbing, the mayor has a blunt warning asking tourists to stay away from his community.

As people out of province continue to visit Revelstoke to ski or snowmobile, Mayor Gary Sulz explains to NEWS 1130, his message is simple: “if it’s not essential, please stay home.”

“We’ll love to welcome you back to the community once this crisis has passed.”

He adds the call is also for visitors’ health a safety.

“The problem is that if people come, whether they have COVID or not, we don’t want them to take COVID away. We want everybody to be safe. Our locals want them to be safe. We’re just encouraging people to stay away for now.”

Sulz is reminding tourists the directive comes directly from the province’s Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“If you don’t need to come here if it’s not for work, it’s not for education, it’s not for a medical appointment, please stay home,” he says.

“If they are going to come and they’re going to be here in the community, then we’re asking to do the same thing our residents are doing. Mask up, keep your physical distance, keep yourself clean, stay in your family, do the things that our locals are doing.”

Sulz says Revelstoke currently has 23 active cases of COVID-19, but the local hospital has only fewer than 15 beds and two respirators, so he doesn’t want staff getting overwhelmed.

“The last thing we want is COVID in Revelstoke to be shared in another community. We’re going to see numbers go up. We want to make sure that it doesn’t get into our seniors’ homes, that it doesn’t affect anyone else. We’re concerned about schools. We’re concerned about our retailers.”

Mayor disappointed people seeking COVID exposure

Earlier this week, Sulz also expressed his concern for those responsible for an ad on social media claiming they want to be exposed to the coronavirus to build up immunity of “playing with a loaded gun.”

Sulz said he is disappointed to hear people on social media claiming to want to be exposed by the virus, adding that you expose your family and people in the community when you expose yourself.

“I just encourage you to try and stay away from those who are COVID positive,” Sulz said in a YouTube video. “It’s really important that we all follow these protocols that we all follow the provincial health officers’ recommendations.”

Sulz added the anti-mask message adds they felt concerned they were being “vilified” for not believing masks can prevent the spread of the virus. But Sulz reiterated the mask policy is mandatory and essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when physically distancing is more difficult.

The ad which was posted Monday has since been taken down.