Greater than 100 social distancing complaints have been made in Kelowna

Kelowna bylaw officers have already had a busy April educating people about physical distancing concerns.

According to community risk manager Lance Kayfish, about 200 COVID-19 related complaints have been called in this month since bylaw officers were authorized to begin responding to public complaints on March 30.

“About 125 of the complaints have been concerns brought to our attention about people not practicing social distancing,” said Kayfish.

“Whether that’s people in a park playing soccer or neighbours gathering at the end of their driveways people are concerned that’s breaking the rules.”

As many of us in BC start to plan for the #LongWeekend, please remember: avoid all non-essential travel & gathering in groups. If you plan to enjoy the outdoors with the people you live with, you must maintain at least a 2m distance from others. #COVIDBC #DoYourPartBC

— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) April 6, 2020

However, Kayfish reports that there seems to be some confusion amongst the public that social distancing is only a recommendation and not a legally enforceable order.

“If it’s not a gathering over 50 people, which there is an order against, officers can only educate,” explained the community safety director.

“The officers work to educate both sides about what’s recommended versus what’s a legal order.

Generally, people have responded positively to officers, the goal is to keep everyone healthy.”

If bylaw officers encounter a continual offender, or people breaching provincial orders, they have the power to forward a complaint to health officers for further enforcement.

According to Kayfish, Kelowna officers have forwarded two such complaints.

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