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Safety measures enhanced for seasonal workers at South Okanagan campground

New provincial funding will help enhance pandemic-related safety protocols at a South Okanagan campground that houses seasonal workers.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) says it has received $60,000 from the Ministry of Agriculture to continue coordinating COVID-19 precautions at the Loose Bay Campground near Oliver.

The campground is used by domestic seasonal workers for several months at a time while they work on farms and in orchards.

In a news release issued Friday morning, the RDOS stated that the funding will help cover costs associated with hiring a COVID-19 coordinator and cleaning and hygiene measures.

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It will also be used to print educational material and signage.

“Domestic temporary workers are a designated essential service and they are a crucial and appreciated resource in maintaining part of the food supply system,” said RDOS chairperson Karla Kozakevich.

“Providing seasonal accommodations at Loose Bay campground helps agricultural workers remain safe and available for service.”

The site is also used by tourists, and safety precautions have been in place since the campground opened on May 1.

All new entry residents at Loose Bay and visitors, such as farmers looking to hire temporary workers, will be greeted by a RDOS COVID-19 coordinator for the site, and are then required to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment before entering the camp.

The regional district said this step is also required for anyone who has been away from the camp for more than 24 hours.

Campers are also provided with site orientation and discussion about COVID-19 prevention including physical distancing, while workings are being encouraged to stay local and avoid all non-essential travel.

The regional district says the Ministry of Agriculture is also working with farmers to ensure they understand their responsibilities as employers to promote health and safety.

 

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