The Bowser Royal Canadian Legion Branch 211 will close for the remainder of 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The message was relayed by president Norman Anderson to its members. He since the branch has done its best to create a safe place for members and commended the many people — volunteers and guests — for working together to make it happen.
“Despite the many critics we have heard from over the last few months, we have worked hard to follow all B.C. health protocols and I feel confident that we have provided a safe environment for all those that have joined us,” said Anderson in his message. “We did however come to the realization that Central Vancouver Island is now facing more risk of exposure and our volunteer base has been overly burdened. As such we had voted to close the branch in December to give our volunteers a break and further evaluate the COVID situation.”
He added: “We are all hopeful that the numbers will come down over the coming weeks and look forward to kicking off the New Year with our annual levee on Jan. 1.”
Qualicum Beach Royal Canadian Legion 76 recently closed its doors for 10 days due to a low-risk exposure to COVID-19. They are set to open again on Nov. 23. Also, Dolly’s Home Hardware store voluntarily closed its store for one day last week for cleaning, after a one of its team members tested positive for COVID-19.
Mayor Brian Wiese said it is a serious concern that all residents and visitors to Qualicum Beach must be concerned with.
“I think everyone here got a little bit lax that we were doing so good, myself included,” he said.
Wiese said that the Island has been getting more visitors from out of the province who visit Qualicum Beach as most can’t travel out of the country due to the pandemic.
“We all expect the second wave, guess what. It’s here,” said Wiese. “We have to get back to work and stay vigilant. We have to bring it back to wearing masks all the time. I don’t want Island Health or the province to step in and say ‘OK, we’re shutting right down’. We the citizens of beautiful Qualicum Beach need to step up our game. We need to wear masks. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.”
Qualicum Beach council passed a motion at its meeting on Nov. 18 that directs staff to issue a public statement, along with posted signage encouraging residents and visitors to wear facemasks in indoor public spaces within the town boundaries.