The Arrowsmith Hall at Coombs Fairgrounds, rented for a gathering on Tuesday evening, Nov. 17. (Arrowsmith Agriculture Association Photo)

Coombs centre operators not pleased gathering violated COVID-19 protocols

‘We are as upset as the public’

The manager of the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association (AAA) is upset after the RCMP was needed to disrupt a large assembly at the Coombs Fairgrounds, an event police said violated current COVID-19 gathering protocols.

Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP said approximately 150 people were found in a rented indoor space.

The Coombs Fairground and Event Centre, located at 1014 Ford Rd. in Coombs, is operated by the agricultural association.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Oceanside RCMP bust big gathering at Coombs Fairgrounds

In an email, associated manager Megan Pattison said they “have a COVID-19 safety plan in place that incorporates guidance from the BCCDC and WorkSafeBC.”

She said at the time of booking, event organizers are informed by the AAA of their requirements to follow all provincial health orders, as well as facility guidelines, where they then sign an agreement to indicate compliance.

“At no time would we consider renting to a group that clearly indicated they were intending to violate these orders and guidelines,” said Pattison.

She said the building has since been locked and no access will be granted until a thorough cleanup and disinfecting are done.

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide

“We are as upset as the public that a group we have rented to would violate the rules as set out by our association as well as the provincial health order.”

Pattison and the AAA are thankful the RCMP attended last Tuesday, and intend to co-operate with any pending investigations. A message to one of believed organizers was not returned by late Thursday.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, announced on Nov. 19 that facemasks are now required in all public indoor and retail spaces, including grocery stores, except when eating or drinking.

Henry said that those unable to wear a facemask for a medical or disability related reason are exempt, but cautioned everyone to remember that not all people’s conditions are visible.

READ MORE: Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C

The provincial health officer also announced that the ban on private gatherings in the Lower Mainland is now extended to all of British Columbia for the next two-and-a-half weeks, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Henry urges B.C. residents to socialize only with fellow household members and to avoid social gatherings of all kinds until Dec. 7.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoombsCoronavirusParksvillequalicum beach

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

Just Posted

A rendering of a proposed housing development located across from the beachfront in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Multi-residential development planned across from Qualicum Beach waterfront

Residents raise variety of concerns about project

Proprietor of Sweet Truck, Morgan Ray, as she hands off her baked goods to a customer. (Photo courtesy of Avrinder Dhillon Photography)
COVID-19: Qualicum Beach baker eyes move back from food truck to bricks and mortar

Storefront offers more stability amid growth in sales: Ray

The Town of Qualicum Beach will put aside money for future purchase of electric vehicle and to put up charging stations. (Photo Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)
Qualicum Beach to put aside funds for purchase of electric vehicles, charging stations

Citizens can donate funds to help reduce emissions in town

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read