The City of Kamloops is offering some clarity on the request of the public to wear masks in civic facilities.
On Tuesday, the majority of city staff and council were not wearing masks throughout the regular council meeting, which was held in Valley First Lounge in Sandman Centre.
Asked to clarify the city’s mask policy, CAO David Trawin said the city is requesting that masks be worn when people are moving around city facilities and incapable of physical distancing. Once seated and when physical distancing, a mask is not necessary.
Staff seated at their desks, for example, are not required to wear masks. However, if they lean over to talk to another staff member and are not at a physical distance of at least two metres (six feet), they must don a mask.
Meanwhile, KTW has received questions from the public about mask-wearing in certain circumstances at other city facilities. Here are the questions asked and answers received from Trawin.
• Q: Do curlers need to wear masks while on the ice at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre?
A: “We look at that as a facility that’s been leased by the curling club. Even though it is owned by the city, they are leasing it full-time. They control what happens in that facility. It’s up to them. Now, as you’re going to the curling club, in the lobby and stuff like that, you wear them. Once you’re on the ice, as it’s leased to them, we feel it’s their requirements.”
• Q: Do athletes need to wear masks while working out at the Tournament Capital Centre?
A: “Typically, if you’re walking to another machine or to a treadmill, you should be wearing a mask. Once you’re on that treadmill or machine, you can take it off when you exercise. That’s consistent with a lot of other gyms in town.”
• Q: Do you need to wear a mask while playing hockey in a city arena?
A: “Once you’re actually doing or undertaking the sport, no, you don’t need to be wearing it. But, again, we’re not allowing anyone in those facilities. You come in, you get dressed, you go in one exit, you come out the other exit, make sure the next group comes in another exit. There’s no crossover between that bubble, per say.”
Trawin said the city has not had any problems with its mask-wearing appeal, which was made on Oct. 29, noting the vast majority of people are following the request.
“We’re basically saying, ‘Please wear a mask,’” Trawin said. “We’re not saying, ‘If you’re not going to wear a mask, we’ll throw you out.’”